April 20, 2013

War Nerd on Chechens

Here's a War Nerd (John Dolan) article from 2002 on the Chechens:
The Russians were expanding south all through the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, of course. That’s what led to all the Russo-Turkish wars, and the European entanglements, like the Crimean. But the Chechens were apparently one of the last peoples to accept the Russians. The Chechens, and this does seem to be one consistently clear thing about the war, were the real warriors, the stone crazies, of the region. I’ve come across some amazing stories about them in trying to research this column. The neighbors, the Daghestanis for example, are terrified of them. And the Chechens apparently used to rule the Moscow crime world in the early Yeltsin era even though there were only about a thousand Chechens in Moscow. There’s a great story about the Chechens going to a meeting with the slow old Russian crime bosses. The Russians were eating and drinking, feeling safe, when the Chechens just grabbed the steak knives and started stabbing. Half the Russian bosses were dead before they had time to finish the first course. 
They seem like one of those tribes that are either going to rule the world or go extinct but nothing in between. They messed with Stalin. I mean, that’s serious stuff. ... So they got themselves officially labeled a “Criminal nationality” and shipped off in cattle cars to somewhere in the steppes. It was like training camp for them. All the old and weak and peaceful types just died. The ones that were left — I read this in a Chechen guy’s account of growing up on in the steppes — the kids that survived used to pass the time by fighting. That’s all they did. All day, every day. One kid would go to another kid’s tent and call his name. The kid would come out swinging and they’d fight till it was time to go in and have their gruel or whatever. Broken bones, damaged organs — all part of the fun. You weren’t even supposed to mention them or you weren’t a real man. 
After that, war or crime must’ve seemed easy. So when the Russians finally let the Chechens go home, they were ready for some action. ... 
Everybody else got to leave, but not the Chechens: there were pipelines at stake, and states get REAL serious when oil pipelines are involved. Just ask the caribou up in Alaska. Anyway, the Chechens waited till Yeltsin was in power and the Red Army was turning to rust. Then they made their move, declared independence, waited for the pain. 
The Russians…it was like the whole state was drunk on whatever Yeltsin was having. They came in like drunken cowboys. I mean literally: the method was to send lightly-armored APCs, BMPs, charging into central Grozny. We’re talking a Soviet-style city, which means endless blocks of 9-story apartments. And these are the Chechens — born killers. OK, so Russian generals, Tsarist or Soviet, are not exactly known for worrying over casualties or coddling their men…but even for them, it was pretty damn stupid. Once again, it was the good old RPG-7 that did the job: Chechens let the huge armored convoy come right into the crowded center of town, sitting up there on the highrise roofs with a perfect view. Then they blasted the first and last vehicles in classic ambush strategy and took their time killing all the ones jammed up in the instant armored traffic jam. By all accounts it was a massacre. Once you’ve seen what happens to an APC when an RPG round hits it, you don’t want to stay inside…but the Russian troops had been trained to stay in there, and they obeyed, as Russian troops do. So they were firing out of the ports, totally uselessly, blasting the windows of the groundfloor shops, while waiting to be targeted by the rooftop RPGs. It must’ve been the easiest mass kill of armored vehicles since our ex-drug czar, Gen. Barry McCaffrey, decided to get himself another star by ordering the obliteration of a retreating Iraqi armored column at the end of the Gulf War. 
The Russian brass watched from a safe distance and took notes on the position of the RPG positions, then blasted the city. Really blasted it, by the accounts I read: 4000 detonations per hour at one point in the bombardment. Nobody ever denied the effectiveness of Russian artillery, not since the Wehrmacht learned it the hard way; and the tubes were glowing by the time they were finished dosing Grozny. ( I hear “Grozny” means something like “Terrible.” I kind of like that. Seems like a good name for the place.) They weren’t doing any of this pinpoint/smartbomb crap; they were going to kill every RPG gunner by the simple method of killing EVERYBODY in town, on the theory that the gunners would be included in the tally…and the rest were probably sympathizers, so too bad for them. The Air Force was in on it too, and Russian air has always seen close air support as its primary mission, so you can bet those Sukhois were screaming in close, lighting up everything that moved. 
But one of the things the last century taught us is that it’s real hard to kill everybody in a city. Berlin in ’45 looked unlivable for anything bigger than a rat. ... And people were still living in Grozny. I saw some of the interviews they gave, back when the Western press was trying to be interested. It was very much like Berlin, the streetscenes: ghost walls, a few trashpiles still burning, and old ladies appearing from nowhere to moan to the news crews about their missing grandkids and how hard it was to get decent coffee. It was…I don’t know how to say this…it was kind of nostalgic, you know? It was a very 20th c. style of war. I guess you have to admit that the Russian Army is a very 20th c. Army. You can tell it’s not really designed for the new sort of war. So it was kind of nice to get all this footage of them having one last fling. 
And the Chechens could take it. ... The Russians and the Chechens fought one of those slow, bloody street-by-street wars for the rest of the winter. The Russians finally “liberated” Grozny a block at a time — only by the time they’d finished, there weren’t any blocks. Just brickpiles. The Chechens did what any idiot could’ve predicted they’d do: they fled to the countryside and started ambushing convoys. 

Or then again ...

From Slate:
Is Boston Like Columbine? 
Were the Tsarnaev brothers a “dyad” like Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, with a charismatic leader and submissive follower?  
By Dave Cullen|Posted Friday, April 19, 2013, at 11:28 PM

My Twitter feed has been flooded with this theme today: The Tsarnaev brothers seem more like the Columbine killers than al-Qaida. 
Maybe. Either, neither, or it could easily be a combination. It’s way too early to know. The first thing I learned covering Columbine all those years was that most of the theories that gain traction this week will be wrong. 
But we do have an interesting situation developing with a pair of brothers as suspects: potentially, the classic dyad scenario. Notorious dyad examples include Bonnie and Clyde, Leopold and Loeb, and the D.C. snipers. The dyad tends to be a twisted, particular relationship that plays out very differently than the lone gunman or the terrorist team.

Since that idea is getting a lot of attention, let’s explore the “dyad” phenomenon and how dyads typically play out. 

And so forth and so on ...

I have a shorter diagnosis: They were Chechens acting particularly Checheny.

Thinking statistically about the Bomb Brothers

From EconLog:
A simple application of Bayes' Theorem will dissolve lots and lots and lots of things you fear, but irrationally. The fear du jour in light of the Boston Marathon bombing: Muslim Rage. 
Undoubtedly, you probably once asked a math teacher "when am I ever gonna use this?" In light of recent developments in the investigation of Monday's bombing at the Boston Marathon, I have an answer: you'll use this when you're surrounded by demagogues calling for the waste of additional resources screening members of a minority group (if not members' outright persecution) based on the despicable actions of a small handful of people. 
Here's a great post from two years or so ago in which William Easterly lampoons the statistical illiteracy of people who want to persecute or "profile" Muslims based on Muslims' role in 9/11 and other attacks and that is relevant again in light of their alleged role in the Boston bombing. The upshot: even if the probability that someone is a Muslim given that he is a terrorist is 100%--meaning that all terrorists are Muslims, which they aren't--the probability that a Muslim is a terrorist is not. In fact, the probability of a Muslim being a terrorist is, according to Easterly's calculations, 0.007% or 0.0007% (depending on which one features a typo--but even with an order-of-magnitude typo in the downward direction the probability is basically low enough to ignore). 
I think a lot of people scared of Muslim Rage understand this more intuitively when we're dealing with crimes committed by white people, crimes committed with guns, and crimes committed by white people with guns. Consider school shootings. A quick Google search turned up this piece about Katherine Newman's book Rampage: The Social Roots of School Shootings. Apparently, all of the school shooters Newman studied have been white males (this article offers counterexamples, but let's just go with "all school shooters are white males" for sake of the example).

Of course, this is the kind of sophistry that gets churned out in the wake of having our stereotypes confirmed so spectacularly. Think about it: there are practically zero Chechens in the United States, but it still turns out that the most spectacular terrorist rampage in the last few years was committed by two of the 200 immigrants from a small, remote ethnic group that has still managed to develop a reputation as the World's Scariest Guys. That's stereotype rebunking at its finest.

And of course, the issue isn't just terrorism. If two regular guy Chechen brothers pulled off this, that suggests that the bell curve for the whole group is shifted in the direction of courage, violence, hostility, and a general lack of appreciation for the Golden Rule -- which we already knew about the Chechens from all the other brave/psycho things they've done over the centuries. That manifests itself in a whole lot of ways -- for example, see my post below on how Chechens in Chechnya drive.

We see something similar in England. The Muslims commit the spectacular suicide bombing attacks, but that's just the far right edge of a Muslim probability distribution that is shifted overall in the direction of hostility toward the host populations, which manifests itself in rape, riot, immigration fraud, cousin marriage, welfare cheating, and petty acts of bloodymindedness.

How Chechen drivers deal with the petty frustrations of their daily commutes

From Youtube.

NYT: Let's not forget the Real Victims: Chechen refugees

From the New York Times op-ed page, a near self-parody:
Beslan Meets Columbine 
APRIL 19, 2013

I COULD always spot the Chechens in Vienna. They were darker-haired than the Austrians; they dressed more snappily, like 1950s gangsters; they never had anything to do. 
There are thousands of Chechen refugees in Austria, and thousands more in Poland, France, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Dubai and elsewhere (as well as scattered communities in the United States). Wherever they are, they stand out, a nation apart. 
The word most linked to “Chechen” is “terrorist,” because of the attacks against the audience at Moscow’s Dubrovka Theater in 2002, against children in Beslan, North Ossetia, in 2004, and now the marathon in Boston. But terrorists were only ever a tiny fraction of the population. A more accurate word to link to “Chechen” would be

Gangster? Marauder?

Chechnya is the ne plus ultra exemplar of the mountain bandit culture. Like the Bomb Brothers, Chechens tend to be brave, aggressive, macho, uncooperative, thieving (the Bomb Mom is wanted for shoplifting), and vicious.

All over the world, it's common for people who live in highly defensible positions, such as mountains, to raid their neighbors, then beat it back to their geographically complex and daunting home turf. As Thomas Babington Macaulay pointed out, his Scottish Highlander ancestors were "Gaelic marauders" preying upon the lowland Scots and the northern English until they overreached and invaded central England in 1745 under Bonnie Prince Charlie. After that, the furious English finally crushed the Highlands' mountain bandit culture.

Other mountain bandit cultures include the Pathans of the mountains dividing Afghanistan and Pakistan. But Pathan culture is remarkably dysfunctional, while the Chechen culture, while constantly infuriating to their neighbors, makes for competent, cohesive raiding parties. Thus, Chechen guerrillas repeatedly humiliated Russia in the 1990s. Much of Putin's prestige among Russians owes to his finally paying back in 1999 the insults Russia endured at the hands of this tiny breakaway nationality of less than two million people.

I feel sorry for the Chechens that, due to a Leninist technicality, they didn't get their own country when the Soviet Union broke up, while the Georgians, Azerbaijanis, and Armenians on the south side of Caucasus Mountains got independence. But, I also understand why the lowlanders, as in Britain after 1745, periodically get fed up with the highlanders' predation.

But, mostly, I don't want Chechens' problems in my country, and thus I don't want them in my country.

Back to the NYT oped: what's a more accurate word to link to Chechens:
“refugee.” Perhaps 20 percent, perhaps more, of all Chechens have left Chechnya in the last 20 years. 
Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, the 19-year-old suspect in the Boston bombings, was born to a Chechen family. He was just a baby when Boris N. Yeltsin sent tanks to subdue his rebellious nation. At this point, we know very little about the suspect’s motivations. It’s unclear how much time, if any, he’d spent in Chechnya,

Not much. He lived in Kyrgyzstan and Dagestan before coming to the United States. The U.S. is a lot nicer place to live than Kyrgyzstan or Dagestan (in Russia, next door to Chechnya) but they weren't usually war zones, except when Chechen raiding parties kidnapped Dagestanis. Their parents recently moved back to Dagestan, probably to escape the Bomb Mom's criminal charges here, so it can't be so awful.
while he spent years living in the United States. All we know is that, for his generation, Chechnya has always been a place of violence, abductions, widows, orphans and rape: a place to escape from, not to go home to.

Dzhokhar, with his boy band sensitive looks, might have been able to get off with, say, a 10-year-sentence if he'd given up peacefully and blamed it all on his thuggish big brother. A jury with a lot of women on it might have melted for a well-coached Oprah-ready story. But, no true Chechen would do something so womanly and dishonorable, so Dzhokhar blasted away when he was finally located.
... In 2008, I spent a month traveling through Europe’s Chechen diaspora, trying to understand how the people had been affected by what they had survived. I met Birlant and her husband, Musa, in the town of Terespol, the entry point for Chechens coming to claim asylum in Poland. Birlant’s father and brother had been shot in front of her. Now she lived in a bleak hostel in a pine forest, along with 48 other Chechen families, and hated it there; they wanted to go to Austria. 
“If you cannot treat people like people, then why won’t they let us go to a country that will?” asked Musa. 
It was a sentiment I often heard. Wherever they were, they wanted to go somewhere else, do something else, be someone else. Could I take them to London? Perhaps life was better where I lived. Musa called me for years after that one brief meeting, from Helsinki, from Stockholm, from Oslo, never sounding any happier. ...
But there was enough in America already to alienate young men like Adam Lanza, Dylan Klebold and all the other mass murderers in recent history. There are enough weapons to kill anyone you want, and a madman can always find an excuse for murder if he looks for one. 

There are only about 200 Chechens in the United States, so 1% of all Chechens here have turned out to be spectacular terrorists.

April 19, 2013

Obama sounds worried about his Elect-a-New-People plan

Here are excerpts from Obama's Friday evening statement:
That American spirit includes staying true to the unity and diversity that makes us strong — like no other nation in the world.  In this age of instant reporting and tweets and blogs, there’s a temptation to latch on to any bit of information, sometimes to jump to conclusions. ... And that’s why we take care not to rush to judgment — not about the motivations of these individuals; certainly not about entire groups of people. 
After all, one of the things that makes America the greatest nation on Earth, but also, one of the things that makes Boston such a great city, is that we welcome people from all around the world — people of every faith, every ethnicity, from every corner of the globe.  So as we continue to learn more about why and how this tragedy happened, let’s make sure that we sustain that spirit. 
Tonight we think of all the wounded, still struggling to recover.  Certainly we think of Krystle Campbell.  We think of Lingzi Lu.  And we think of little Martin Richard.  Their lives reflected all the diversity and beauty of our country, and they were sharing the great American experience together.

Immigration status of the bombing Borat brothers

From CNN:
The brothers came from the Russian Caucasus region and moved to Kazakhstan at a young age before coming to the United States several years ago. 
"My youngest was raised from 8 years in America. My oldest was really properly raised in our house. Nobody talked about terrorism," their mother said. 
The suspects' parents recently returned to Dagestan in the Caucasus region after living in the United States for about 10 years because they were "nostalgic," the father, Anzor Tsarnaev, told Russian state-run Zvezda TV.
He accused someone of framing his sons. "I don't know who exactly did it. But someone did." 
A federal official told CNN that Dzhokar Tsarnaev came to the U.S. as a tourist with his family in the early 2000s and later asked for asylum. He became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2012. Tamerlan Tsarnaev was not a naturalized citizen, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. He came "a few years later" and was lawfully in the United States as a green-card holder.

Thank goodness they didn't have to live in the shadows as undocumented workers!

We must ask ourselves how our immigration system failed these youths. Perhaps they were lonely because they didn't have enough other Chechens in their neighborhood to be friends with. Since the solution for all problems with immigration is more immigration, the implication should be obvious: we need more programs to bring more Chechens to America. 

In fact, all Chechens who want to grace us with their diversity should be bought houses in Cambridge, MA, the academic capital of America. I'm sure that Harvard and MIT professors would not be so insensitive as to object.

Sen. Schumer: Pay no attention to those men in front of the curtain!

From Politico:
New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer admonished colleagues not to “try to conflate” the immigration reform bill that the Senate is considering with the bombings at the Boston Marathon, the perpetrators of which have been identified as immigrants.

We have a carefully concocted public relations offensive that has been hitting all its marks on the Holodeck of the MSM, and there is no room in the timetable for glitches caused by the intrusion of real life immigrants into our expensively constructed fantasy world.
Pay attention only to the men behind the curtain pulling the levers. We're bipartisan!

"Chechen youths are a story of BRAVERY of Love"


The Chechen Terrorists and Immigration "Reform"

Tyler Cowen writes at Marginal Revolution:
"There is a good chance these events doom immigration reform, by the way."

I suspect Tyler is being too logical, but we can hope, can't we?

Call him prescient about Tamerlan and Djohar Tsarnaev

A commenter on my blog wrote in the middle of last night:
I'm writing from within yards of where the shootout in Watertown happened. I was just getting to sleep when I heard hundreds of rounds fired in bursts, single shot, staccato, at least three different calibres from the sounds and also what sounded like grenades or IEDs (maybe pipebombs). I will say that Watertown is home to many Muslim immigrants, most of whom are great neighbors and fine people. But I've heard teenage punks sound off late at night in trhe local 24 hour store about Jihad, I suspect mostly to epater le kafir. But I'm now leaning to the conclusion that a couple of these punks may have become over-intoxicated by their own rhetoric and caused all the havoc of the past five days. I agree with other posters that the MSM and feds have done everything in their power to pin this on a couple of white, right-wing loons yet to be found (white Islamics, white Hispanics, WTF). But to my eye the suspects' pictures look a lot like many of my muslim neighbors from various parts of the Balkans, Levant, and Middle East. Color me prescient if I'm right. Call me a hateful right-wing, racist loon if I'm wrong.

It turns out the terrorists are Chechen refugees who lived in Cambridge, next door to Watertown. (It will be interesting to see how the Harvard/MIT academics react.)

"Balkans, Levant, and Middle East" -- the Caucasus is like those places squared, just bursting with Diversity.

By the way, here's my 2010 review in Taki's Magazine of the quite relevant British comedy Four Lions.

David Sirota should be happy: You can't get much more Caucasian than Chechens!

Link to article by Democratic activist David Sirota: "Let’s hope the Boston Marathon bomber is a white American."

Suspect No. 2 may be named after first president of Chechnya, whom the U.S. helped rat out to Yeltsin

The immigrant refugee terrorist Tsarnaev brothers from Chechnya who bombed the Boston Marathon seem to be named after significant people. The now dead older brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev bears the name of the Muslim conqueror Tamerlane, while the still-on-the-run brother Dzhokhar (or Djohar) Tsarnaev, born 1993, was perhaps named after the first president of a breakaway Chechen republic:

From Wikipedia:
Dzhokhar Dudayev

1st President of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria
In office
9 November 1991 – 21 April 1996
Nationality Chechen
Political party CPSU (1968), NCChP (1990) ...
Religion Islam 
Dzhokhar Musayevich Dudaev (Chechen: Dudin Musa-khant Dʒouxar/Дудин Муса-кIант Жовхар; Russian: Джохар Мусаевич Дудаев; 15 February 1944 – 21 April 1996) was a Soviet Air Force general and Chechen leader, the first President of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, a breakaway state in the North Caucasus. 
Dudaev was born in Yalkhoroy in the abolished Chechen-Ingush Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (ASSR), just days before the forced deportation of his family together with the entire Chechen and Ingush population on the orders of Joseph Stalin. His family was of the Yalhoroy Teip. He was the thirteenth youngest child of veterinarian Musa ana Rabiat Dudayevs. He spent the first 13 years of his life in internal exile in the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic. His family was only able to return to Chechnya in 1957.[1] ... 
In May 1990, Dudaev returned to Grozny, the Chechen capital, to devote himself to local politics. ...
Taking advantage of the Soviet Union's implosion, Dudaev and his supporters acted against the Zavgayev administration. On 6 September 1991, the militants of the NCChP invaded a session of the local Supreme Soviet, effectively dissolving the government of the Chechen-Ingush ASSR. ... 
After a controversial referendum in October 1991 confirmed Dudaev in his new position as president of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, he unilaterally declared the republic's sovereignty and its independence from Soviet Union. In November 1991, the then Russian President Boris Yeltsin dispatched troops to Grozny, but they were withdrawn when Dudaev's forces prevented them from leaving the airport. Russia refused to recognize the republic's independence, but hesitated to use further force against the separatists. From this point the Chechen-Ingush Republic had become a de facto independent state.[citation needed] 
Initially, Dudaev's government held diplomatic relations with Georgia where he received much moral support from the first Georgian President Zviad Gamsakhurdia. When Gamsakhurdia was overthrown in late 1991, he was given asylum in Chechnya and attended Dudaev's inauguration as President.  ... 
While he resided in Grozny he also helped to organise the first "All-Caucasian Conference" which was attended by independentist groups from across the region. Ichkeria never received diplomatic recognition from any internationally recognised state other than Georgia in 1991.[citation needed] 

You can't get much more Caucasian than a Chechen.
The Chechen-Ingush Republic split in two in June 1992, amidst the increasing Ossetian-Ingush conflict. After Chechnya had announced its initial declaration of sovereignty in 1991, its former entity Ingushetia opted to join the Russian Federation as a federal subject (Republic of Ingushetia). The remaining rump state of Ichkeria (Chechnya) declared full independence in 1993. That same year the Russian language stopped being taught in Chechen schools and it was also announced that the Chechen language would start to be written using the Latin alphabet (with some additional special Chechen characters) rather than Cyrillic in use since the 1930s. The state also began to print its own money and stamps. One of Dudaev's first decrees gave every man the right to bear arms.[citation needed]

The just need more gun control to stop Chechens from being so Checheny.
Dudaev's inexperienced and poorly-guided economic policies soon began to undermine Chechnya's economy and, Russian observers claimed, allegedly transformed the region into a criminal paradise. The non-Chechen population of Ichkeria left the republic due to criminal elements and faced with indifferent government.[9]

I'm shocked, shocked to learn of gangsterism in Chechnya.
In 1993, the Chechen parliament attempted to organize a referendum on public confidence in Dudaev on the grounds that he had failed to consolidate Chechnya's independence. He retaliated by dissolving parliament and other organs of power. Beginning in early summer of 1994, armed Chechen opposition groups with Russian military and financial backing tried repeatedly but without success to depose Dudaev by force.[citation needed] 
On 1 December 1994, the Russians began bombing Grozny airport and destroyed the Chechen Air Force (former Soviet training aircraft requisitioned by the republic in 1991). In response Ichkeria declared war on Russia and mobilised its armed forces. ... 
Before the fall of Grozny, Dudaev abandoned the presidential palace, moved south with his forces and continued leading the war throughout 1995, reportedly from a missile silo close to the historic Chechen capital of Vedeno. He continued to insist that his forces would prevail after the conventional warfare had finished, and the Chechen guerrilla fighters continued to operate across the entire country picking off Russian units and demoralising their soldiers. A jihad was declared on Russia by the Dudaev-appointed Mufti of Ichkeria, Akhmad Kadyrov, and foreign volunteers began pouring into the republic, mostly from neighbouring North Caucasian Muslim republics such as Dagestan.[citation needed] 
[edit]Death and legacy 
Dudaev was killed on 21 April 1996, by two laser-guided missiles when he was using a satellite phone, after his location was detected by a Russian reconnaissance aircraft, which intercepted his phone call. The telephone homing equipment was supplied to Moscow by the USA National Security Agency.[13] [Bold added] 

Thank goodness we have had the opportunity to experience the vibrant diversity that Chechens have brought to America. Why wouldn't we want to get to share in the full Caucasian Experience? The Caucasus are so multicultural and multiethnic that all we boring Americans can do is ask the Caucasians to teach us their wisdom.

The Chechen bombers came to Cambridge as refugees

Dave Weigel recounts in Slate the captions on a photo essay featuring the older terrorist brothers Tamerlan Tsarnaev:
Tamerlan, who studies at Bunker Hill Community College in Boston and wants to become an engineer, took the semester off from school to train for the competition. 
Tamerlan fled Chechnya with his family because of the conflict in the early 90s, and lived for years in Kazakhstan before getting to the United States as a refugee. 
Originally from Chechnya, but living in the United States since five years, Tamerlan says: "I don't have a single American friend, I don't understand them." 
If he wins enough fights... Tamerlan says he could be selected for the US Olympic team and be naturalized American. Unless his native Chechnya becomes independent, Tamerlan says he would rather compete for the United States than for Russia. 
Tamerlan says he doesn't drink or smoke anymore: "God said no alcohol." A muslim, he says: "There are no values anymore," and worries that "people can't control themselves."

It's funny how the refugee system works. It's almost as if foreigners who are really good at getting their neighbors to hate them seem to wind up as refugees in America more than foreigners who are good at getting along with their neighbors.

I'd say that that's ironic, except that irony is racist.

Chechen asabiya and the Borat Brothers

In the comments, FredR writes:
In [Tolstoy's] Hadji Murad, Chechens come across as border people with a hell of a lot of asabiya.

"Asabiya" is medieval Muslim sociologist Ibn Khaldun's Arabic term for tribal solidarity. You don't want enemies with a lot of asabiya in your country. They go down fighting like these two Chechen terrorists in Boston.

From Wikipedia:
In the August 1996 Battle of Grozny (also known as "Operation Jihad") Chechen rebels regained and then kept control of Chechnya's capital Grozny in a surprise raid.[2] The Russian Federation had conquered the city during the Battle of Grozny (1994–1995) and posted there a large garrison of federal and republican Ministry of the Interior (MVD) troops, but a much smaller rebel force managed to infiltrate Grozny and then either rout or split the MVD forces there into dozens of small pockets of resistance, and over the next five days to beat back and decimate several Russian Ground Forces units that were sent to eject them from the city,[3] resulting in the final ceasefire of the First Chechen War and effectively ending the 1994-1996 conflict.

Okay, the Russian Army usually wins in the end. But, even beating the Russian Army once is impressive.

Djohar Unchained

From the comments, a reference to the late Chris Dorner:
Dzhango Unpronounceable said... 
Twitter won't have to rent extra servers, he doesn't have the whole LL Cool J police officer look their users most enjoy rooting for

Suspect No. 1: Tamerlan Tsarnaev, Chechen immigrant

The older (and now dead) brother is said to be 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, an immigrant from Chechnya.

Tamerlan's younger brother is said to have run him over while getting away from the cops.

The latest word is that Tsarnaev family has been in America for about ten years. We are a nation of immigrants.

Here's Tameran's Youtube page.

From the Wikipedia article on Timur (or Tamburlaine, as Christopher Marlowe's play of 1588 spelled the name):
Timur envisioned the restoration of the Mongol Empire of Genghis Khan.[13] Unlike his predecessors Timur was also a devout Muslim who referred to himself as the Sword of Islam, converting nearly all the Borjigin leaders to Islam during his lifetime.[14] His armies were inclusively multi-ethnic. ... Timur's armies were feared throughout Asia, Africa, and Europe,[16] sizable parts of which were laid to ruin by his campaigns. Scholars estimate that his military campaigns caused the deaths of 17 million people, amounting to about 5% of the world population.

Here's a reader's comment on the original Tamerlan.

Social network page of Suspect No. 2

From VK, the Russian version of Facebook:
Djohar  Tsarnaev

Djohar Tsarnaev

Relationship status:
Hide full information

Contact information

Current city:


Махачкала, 1999–2001


World view:
Personal priority:

Personal information


Rubio 2016!

The 33-year-old MIT campus policeman murdered by Chechen terrorists (legally living in Cambridge, MA) was the father of a six month old baby.

Boston bomber terrorist Dzhokhar Tsarnaev won a 2011 Cambridge city scholarship

Cindy Sin (who looks about like her name suggests) tweets a link to this on the Cambridge municipal website:
Congratulations 2011 City Scholarship Recipients 
Each year, the City of Cambridge awards 35-45 scholarships for $2,500 each to Cambridge high school seniors and others pursuing higher education. City officials gratefully acknowledge the generous contribution of the many citizens of Cambridge who make this special opportunity possible.  
The 2011 recipients will be honored at a ceremony and reception Monday, May 16, at 4 p.m., in the Sullivan Chamber of Cambridge City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue. 
2011 Recipients:   
Sarah Adkins, Arjun Agarwala, Jason Tang, Neyka Alexandre, Paola Arias Sanabria, Ty Atkin, Ariane Berelowitch, Samuel Borrus, Samisa Brioso, Joan Brunetta, Gina Chen, Gwendolyn Child, Abina Cohen, Kayla Coleman, Katrina Cooper, Judy Cortes, Anne-Marie Denis, Sira Fati, Jillian Felie, Hannah Firestone, Carlos Galvao, Kidan Gebremedhin, Yordanos Gebremichl, Adam Gelaw, Lillianna Griggs, David Guan, Pouchy Guerrier, Michael Sferza-Lewis, Hichem Hadjeres, Regina Hallisey, Pasang Lhamo, Rebecca Loh, Rebecca Mazur, Amatullah Mervin, Kathleen Mullen, Suryani Dewa Ayu, Liam O’Leary, Rebecca Pearce-Probst, Megan Rebello, Rose Schutzberg, Hyun-Wook Seo, Alexandros Stefanakis, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Dorcas Yip, Fesehaye Zewdie.

Invite the world, invade the world!

What can I say?

Time for a National Immigration Safety Board

In the Boston Marathon bombing, one Chechen terrorist is dead and his brother is holed up in Watertown. NBC News claims they have been in the country for one year and are legal residents of Cambridge, MA.

As I wrote last year when the Obama Administration was accusing Egyptian Copt immigrant Sam Bacile of singlehandedly ruining American foreign policy by making an anti-Muslim movie:
The only interesting question is the one that never seems to have occurred to the NYT's half-dozen newshounds: Why is this guy in my country? Why was he let in? Why wasn't he deported after one of his previous offenses? ...
You know how Global Warming is something that We Must Do Something About Now? Well, Sam Bacile's immigration isn't like that. It's more like Continental Drift -- just something we have to live with, cuz whaddaya whaddaya? 
As I mentioned before, you know how Congress created the National Transportation Safety Board to investigate airliner crashes because the FAA was too much in bed with the airlines? We need a National Immigration Safety Board to investigate immigrant screw-ups to shine a spotlight on what went wrong.

In September I wrote about Sam Bacile:
There has been virtually no debate over why is this guy in the country anyway. Is he a citizen? Does he have a green card? Why wasn't he deported during his long chain of crimes? If he is a citizen, what breakdowns in the system allowed for him to become one? How does the American immigration system let in the dregs of the whole world like Nakoula? 
Our reigning mindset doesn't let us ask any such obvious questions. What's more important to talk about is how you and I better dummy up to avoid offending mobs in some country Obama decided to bomb on a whim. 
You know how there's a National Transportation Safety Board that investigates airline crashes? It's independent of the Federal Aviation Administration and other organizations to prevent conflicts of interest. The idea is that figuring out why one airliner went down is important not just in that particular case but to figure out how to prevent future airliner crashes. 
What we need is a National Immigrant Screwup Board that investigates how Nakoula, Sirhan Sirhan, the 9/11 terrorists, Aunt Zeituna, the Egyptian terrorist who murdered two Jews at the El Al counter at LAX on July 4, 2002, and other notorious immigrant screwups got in the country in the first place and didn't get kicked out.

If conman/drug dealer Sam Bacile didn't do it for you, the Tsarnaev brothers of Chechnya ought to.

"Diversity is our strength!" -- Dan Quayle

From the Washington Post:
AP: Surviving Boston bomb suspect identified as Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, 19, of Cambridge, Mass.

Supposedly, he and his fellow terrorist brother from Chechnya via Turkey are legal residents of Cambridge, MA.

Thank God he doesn't have to "live in the shadows" as an undocumented worker.

Rubio 2016!


From the Atlantic Wire:
Pete Williams of NBC is reporting that two suspects have not been positively identified, but it is believed that they are "foreign nationals" who might have received military training and have been in the country for over a year. Williams adds that they are "legal permanent residents" and may be from Chechnya, but were living in Turkey before coming to the U.S. Boston police commissioner Ed Davis tweeted the most recent surveillance photo of the missing suspect that was taken last night, before the shootout.

Beats me.

Suspect No. 1 looks more plausibly Chechen than he looks Ethiopian, as the overnight rumor implied (I had a hard time buying it because the late Suspect No. 1 is the least Ethiopian looking guy in the world). And Chechens are notorious Muslim hard-asses. Tolstoy, who fought them, wrote a book about them.

NBC is saying the suspects are brothers with complicated Chechyan names, who have at least one Massachusetts drivers license, and are here legally.

Latest: Suspect No. 2 is this guy:

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19
Cambridge, MA

Places Lived Cambridge, MA
Phone(617) 864-XXXX
About Dzhokhar Tsarnaev
Dzhokhar A Tsarnaev was born in 1993. Dzhokhar currently lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Before that, Dzhokhar lived in Cambridge, MA

Or, then again, maybe not. If this rumor is wrong, sorry to Dzhokhar.

But, in any case, never forget that the grand strategy of the Bush Administration -- Invade the World, Invite the World -- hasn't failed, it's just never been fully tried yet!

Diversity is our strength!

Giant news: Famous basketball player comes out of closet! Oh, wait ...

Sam Borden writes in the New York Times:
One of the most dominant basketball players in recent memory came out as gay Wednesday, casually mentioning the fact in an interview as if it were an afterthought. The news media and the sports world seemed to treat it as such, too, with little mention of the star’s sexuality showing up on social media or on message boards, and virtually no analysis of what the revelation meant for tolerance in society as a whole.

At first glance, it seemed implausible. After all, players, fans, coaches and league executives had been waiting with bated breath for weeks, if not months and years, to see if an active team-sport athlete would come out. So how could this sort of revelation be treated with such nonchalance? 
“Because it was a woman,” said Jim Buzinski, a founder of Outsports.com, a Web site about homosexuality and sports. “Can you imagine if it was a man who did the exact same thing? Everyone’s head would have exploded.” 
The aftermath of the former Baylor star Brittney Griner’s revelation in several interviews this week was muted, to say the least. Griner, who was chosen with the No. 1 pick in the W.N.B.A. draft Monday, did not treat the issue with any outward hesitation — in fact, she appeared to refer to her coming out in the past tense, as though it had happened before — giving a casual feeling to the entire episode. 
It was an odd juxtaposition: as there is increased speculation about whether a male athlete — any male athlete — will come out while still playing a major professional team sport, one of the best female athletes in the history of team sports comes out, and the reaction is roughly equivalent to what one might see when a baseball manager reveals his starting rotation for a three-game series in July. ...
There is, obviously, a more substantial history to female athletes’ coming out and continuing to play. Individual-sport stars like the tennis legend Martina Navratilova and team-sport players like basketball’s Sheryl Swoopes and soccer’s Megan Rapinoe are among the women to continue playing after publicly discussing their sexuality. 
But those players generally received a similarly subdued response, with nothing close to the expected surge in attention that figures to follow a male athlete’s coming out. The reaction to Griner’s disclosure, then, was simply the latest example of a disturbing trend, according to some leaders of L.G.B.T. causes. 
“We talk a lot in the L.G.B.T. community about how sexism is a big part of what contributes to homophobia,” said Anna Aagenes, the executive director of GO! Athletes, a national network of L.G.B.T. athletes. “It’s disheartening when there are so many great role model female athletes out that we’re so focused on waiting for a male pro athlete to come out in one of the four major sports.” 
Context may not be the only factor in the ho-hum public response to Griner’s disclosure. Stereotypes that top female athletes are gay continue to persist, and that probably played a role in how the sports world responded to Griner, said Sherri Murrell, the women’s basketball coach at Portland State and the only openly gay basketball coach in Division I. ...

She continued: “I think we’re always going to be living in that bias. I think it’s getting better, but there is still that tag.” 
That persistent stereotype about female athletes does damage on multiple levels, said Patrick Burke, a founder of You Can Play, a prominent advocacy group for L.G.B.T. athletes. While a number of heterosexual male athletes, including the N.F.L. players Chris Kluwe and Brendon Ayanbadejo, have publicly supported the efforts of L.G.B.T. athlete groups, it has been much harder to find straight female athletes to speak out in support, Burke said. 
“In sports right now, there are two different stereotypes — that there are no gay male athletes, and every female athlete is a lesbian,” Burke said. “We’ve had tremendous success in getting straight male players to speak to the issue; we’re having a tougher time finding straight female athletes speaking on this issue because they’ve spent their entire careers fighting the perception that they’re a lesbian.”

Maybe the straight female athletes know that the stereotype that female jocks are disproportionately lesbian is true?

And, maybe, male jocks are disproportionately not gay? Could that possibly be?

Everybody treats this like it's a new question because nobody remembers anything. But, Sports Illustrated gave a lot of attention to homosexual athletes around 1975. For example, Former NFL player Dave Kopay came out that year, too. About the same time, 1968 Olympic decathlete Tom Waddell came out. In early 1975 SI's (arguably) top writer Frank Deford ran a two part extract from his biography of 1920s tennis great Bill Tilden. Deford said he wrote a book about Tilden precisely because he was gay ... and that so few top male athletes are gay. (Here are Deford's first article and second article.)

Here's my 1994 National Review article "Why Lesbians Aren't Gay," which points out the radical difference in sexual orientation of male and female athletes.

For those who turn to iSteve first every morning

Lots of news overnight: 

The two Boston marathon bombers whose pictures were released by the FBI yesterday murdered an MIT campus policeman, carjacked a Mercedes, then shot it out (and threw bombs) in nearby Watertown, MA with pretty much all the cops on the Eastern Seaboard. Suspect No. 1 (black hat) is dead, Suspect No. 2 (white hat) is still on the run in Watertown.

Two names are widely being circulated via Twitter: Suspect No. 1 supposedly has an Ethiopian/Eritrean name and Suspect No. 2 has a subcontinental name. But does Suspect No. 1 look terribly Ethiopian to you?

Other rumors are that Pete Williams on NBC is saying the suspects have "foreign military training." I'm not watching NBC, so I don't know about that rumor either. It would seem to contradict the other rumor that Suspect No. 2 is the missing Brown student who is a fan of his hometown Philadelphia Eagles.

So, I don't know.

The Boston area is pretty much shut down at present for fear of bombs.

Update: NBC says they are Turks, legal residents who have been here about a year.

Invade the world, invite the world!

A reader in Cambridge, MA writes:

From the iSteve comments:
LiveInCambridge said... 
Been listening to Boston PD police scanner. Suspects identified as Michael Mulugeta (dead, black hat suspect), Sunil Tripathi (at large, white hat suspect). 
I live in Cambridge. I have been following since about 10:30 PM EST, when the MIT shooting kicked off. Heard the explosions in Watertown from Cambridge. 
Current situation (4 AM local) is that the police are holding a perimeter around the suspect, and waiting for daylight.

ST would be the missing Brown U. student whose father is a prominent IT entrepreneur.

That's assuming the cops and the various intermediaries got this right. That's a big if. Do terrorists carry proper ID?

MM sounds like an Italian name to my tin ear, but most of the people on Facebook with that name are Ethiopians. (Something to do with the Italian conquest of Ethiopia in 1936? Update: Ras Mulugeta Yeggazu was commander of the Ethiopian Central Army and killed in the retreat in 1936. Okay, I'm getting off track here.) Or, they are Eritreans.

Does Suspect No. 1 look Ethiopian? I don't know ... He kind of looks more like, I don't know, Nicholas Cage than Haile Gebrsellaise. Maybe his mom isn't Ethiopian?

My apologies to all the Michael Mulugetas out there if this lead turns out wrong. It looks like there are 300 or more Mulugetas on Facebook, so don't assume that guy you know with that name is Suspect No. 1. This could all be wrong.

If Suspect No. 1 is Ethiopian that might explain something about the targeting of the Boston Marathon. Ethiopia and Kenya are the world's leading marathon rivals. Kenya traditionally dominates the Boston Marathon. Since 2002, the Kenyans have won 9 Boston Marathons and the Ethiopians 3 in the men's open division. The ratios in the women's division are similar.

Update: NBC says two suspect have "foreign military training." NBC is making it sound like they came here from abroad a year ago. But ST is a Philadelphia Eagles fan because his father's company is in the Philly area. Or maybe the whole ID of ST and MM is wrong?

The last name of ST is a prominent Indian Brahmin name. Some Ethiopians are Christians, others Muslims, and kind of vice-versa for Eritrea. But, I don't know how confident we can be in these names in the first place, so it's probably not worthwhile to research these names at this point because I'm not sure if we can trust them yet.

We shall see ...

The events seem kind of reminiscent of the Pakistani attack on Bombay in 2008.

From another source I found on the Internet, here's video taken by somebody in Cambridge at about 1am EDT of all the police cars in the world racing by.

A reader in Watertown, MA writes

From the comments to my post below "Is This Relevant?" about whether the MIT shooting is related to the Boston marathon bombing (quick answer: yes):
I'm writing from within yards of where the shootout in Watertown happened. I was just getting to sleep when I heard hundreds of rounds fired in bursts, single shot, staccato, at least three different calibres from the sounds and also what sounded like grenades or IEDs (maybe pipebombs). I will say that Watertown is home to many Muslim immigrants, most of whom are great neighbors and fine people. But I've heard teenage punks sound off late at night in trhe local 24 hour store about Jihad, I suspect mostly to epater le kafir. But I'm now leaning to the conclusion that a couple of these punks may have become over-intoxicated by their own rhetoric and caused all the havoc of the past five days. I agree with other posters that the MSM and feds have done everything in their power to pin this on a couple of white, right-wing loons yet to be found (white Islamics, white Hispanics, WTF). But to my eye the suspects' pictures look a lot like many of my muslim neighbors from various parts of the Balkans, Levant, and Middle East. Color me prescient if I'm right. Call me a hateful right-wing, racist loon if I'm wrong.

Thanks. Keep your head down. One suspect is dead, but the cops are now searching door to door in Watertown for the other suspect (or suspects).

[Update: Suspect No. 2, the guy on the white hat, is the one on the loose. The cops think he set off motion detectors in a building in Watertown.]

In case this surmise turns out to be right, here's my 2010 review of Chris Morris's British comedy Four Lions about a terrorist attack on the “unbelieving Kafir slags" taking part in a marathon.

But, we shall see ...

April 18, 2013

Is this relevant?

From Reuters:
Police Officer Shot to Death at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

This is total off the wall 100% fact free speculation on my part, but let me toss out a couple of words regarding possible motivation for the recent Boston events: Aaron Swartz.

Here is the page on Reddit on the battle in Watertown, MA. (Coincidentally, Reddit was co-founded by Swartz.)

Live video from Watertown, MA. One man on the ground, one shot and taken to hospital (different guys? -- no, apparently same guy who is now dead, cops are searching for another suspect) lots of cops running with guns drawn. (There will be some heavy police overtime bills!)
The late Aaron Swartz,
not Suspect No. 2

Or is all this just a coincidence?


So, the answer to my question about the MIT shooting is: Yes, the MIT shooting is relevant to the Boston bombing.

Channel 7 in Boston 2:33 AM EDT: One suspect shot and killed, second on the run.

No names yet.

From the Boston Globe:
Breaking News An official with knowledge of the investigation said a Marathon bombing suspect is in custody   9 minutes ago

It would seem like a possible contradiction between a bombing suspect being in custody versus one suspect in MIT killing/carjacking/robberies dead and one uncaught -- can you be both dead and in custody? -- but things are confused.

Update: Now, the cops are saying "One suspect is accounted for." So my pedantic quibble about being both dead and in custody apparently occurred to the cops, too.

A second cop, a transit officer, was shot and is in serious condition.

Update: From the New York Times:
Two young men, armed with guns and explosives in what appeared to be backpacks, engaged in a violent standoff with dozens of police on a street in Watertown, Mass., Thursday night, a resident said.

Andrew Kitzenburg, 29, said he looked out of this third floor window to see two young men of slight build in jackets shooting at dozens of police officers from behind a black Mercedes SUV. The officers and the men were 70 yards apart, he said, and engaged in “constant gunfire.” 
A police SUV “drove towards the shooters,” he said, and was shot at until it was severely damaged. It rolled out of control, Mr. Kitzenberg said, and crashed into two cars in his driveway. 
The two shooters, he said, had a large and unwieldy bomb. “They lit it, still in the middle of the gunfire, and threw it. But it went 20 yards at most.” It exploded, he said, and one of the two men ran towards the gathered police officers. He was tackled, but it was not clear if he was shot, Mr. Kitzenberg said.

"a large and unwieldy bomb"

Off topic, but I'm reminded a little of the 1997 North Hollywood bank robbery shootout.

Update: From the MIT Emergency website:
Friday, April 19, 2013 1:56 AM
MIT Police have determined that the suspect in this evening’s shooting is no longer on campus. It is now safe to resume normal activities. Please remain vigilant in the coming hours. 
Friday, April 19, 2013 1:04 AM
Suspect remains at large. Please continue to stay indoors. Updates at emergency.mit.net 
Friday, April 19, 2013 12:37 AM
Update on shooter situation. The shooter remains at large, police continue to search the campus. Please REMAIN INDOORS until further notice. ... 
Thursday, April 18, 2013 11:41 PM
Update on shooter incident. Responding agencies continue to investigate the situation. The scene is outside of Building 32 (Stata) and 76 (Koch) near Vassar and Main Streets. Injuries have been reported. The situation is still very active and we ask everyone to stay inside. ...

Thursday, April 18, 2013 10:48 PM
At 10:48 PM today gunshots were reported near Building 32 (Stata) which is currently surrounded by responding agencies. The area is cordoned off. Please stay clear of area until further notice. Unknown if injuries have occurred.. Although the situation is considered active and extremely dangerous, an investigation is underway. Updates will be provided at this site when more information becomes available.

Almost certainly completely coincidental, but:
U.S. District Attorney Carmen Ortiz is helping lead the investigation regarding the bombings near the finish line at the Boston Marathon on April 15, helping the FBI and state investigators to find the individual or individuals who are responsible for the deaths of three people and the injuries of at least 176 others. ... 
In office since 2009, U.S. Attorney Ortiz recently faced scrutiny for “prosecutorial overreach” in her office’s criminal case against internet entrepreneur Aaron Swartz. Two years after his arrest on federal hacking charges, the 26-year-old committed suicide in January 2013.

To flesh out the long-shot idea: Aaron Swarz was a charismatic Internet figure (a cofounder of Reddit) who killed himself in January when he was at risk of a huge stretch in prison for downloading JSTOR academic papers from a closet at MIT and putting them on the Internet for free. He's a hero to some of today's youth.

Conspiracy Theorists

As we all know, conspiracies can't exist. Somebody would rat out the conspiracy and then it would all be over. Therefore, conspiracy theories are not respectable.

Except, it's highly respectable to assume that the field of psychometrics has engaged in a giant conspiracy for the last 99 years to oppress blacks. The conspiracy goes so deep that it even extends to the promotion of the arcane g factor model of IQ. As the daring rebel Stephen Jay Gould spoke truth to power: "The chimerical nature of g is the rotten core of Jensen's edifice, and of the entire hereditarian school."

For example, Cosma Shalizi's giant 2007 blog post "g, s Statistical Myth" has proven wildly popular. Here's Shalizi's own list of links to his one post:
Crooked TimberUncertain PrinciplesPharyngulaChrononautic LogPure Pedantry;Exploding GalaxiesNanopolitanPyjamas in BananasDanny YeeExistence Is WonderfulCrooked Timber (again); Lawyers, Guns and Money3 Quarks DailySirisQuantum of WantumEntitled to an OpinionArchPunditRaw ThoughtIdiolectBoîte noireDissecting LeftismThe Ministry of Science;LanguageLogNoli Irritare LeonesWork for Idle HandsGreen Apron MonkeyIt Makes an Ancient Rumbling SoundEphBlogMedical Humanities BlogArs MathematicaCrooked Timber (once more, with feeling this time); JewcyLean LeftThe Jed ReportEzra KleinThe Mahatma X FilesQuantum of WantumLanguage Log (again); Social Science Statistics BlogThe Inverse Square BlogThe Useless TreeRevelations of SilenceRobert LindsaySequential EffectsAdrift in the Happy HillsThe Learner;Strongly EmergentQuomodocumque

Shalizi has never gotten this long essay published in a peer reviewed journal and has announced he doesn't want to talk about IQ anymore.

The fundamental problem with his argument, however, is apparent in his opening line:
About 11,000 words on the triviality of finding that positively correlated variables are all correlated with a linear combination of each other, and why this becomes no more profound when the variables are scores on intelligence tests.

This is like the old joke about the physicist, chemist, and economist shipwrecked on a desert island who are trying to open a can of beans. After the physicist offers a physics solution and chemist a chemical solution, the economist says, "Gentlemen, gentlemen, I have a much better solution. Assume we have a can opener." 

Shalizi just assumes that virtually all cognitive skills are positively correlated, even though that's the amazing thing. 

Being a smart guy, many thousands of words later he gets around to trying to explain away why all these variables should be positively correlated: more or less, it's a conspiracy among psychometricians.
By this point, I'd guess it's impossible for something to become accepted as an "intelligence test" if it doesn't correlate well with the Weschler and its kin, no matter how much intelligence, in the ordinary sense, it requires, but, as we saw with the first simulated factor analysis example, that makes it inevitable that the leading factor fits well. [13] This is circular and self-confirming, and the real surprise is that it doesn't work better. ...

Because, of course, there would be no rewards whatsoever for any rebel who could come up with an IQ test with predictive validity that disproves Arthur Jensen. In our society, you'd have to be a very, very brave dissident to argue against Jensen's sacred book The g Factor. As we all know, Arthur Jensen is a god to the Establishment, which is why when Jensen died last year, President Obama flew out to deliver the eulogy at his funeral.

But, courageous Cosma Shalizi has spent about a day working on an alternative idea, and, if he wasn't so busy, he'd no doubt finish it up and destroy Jensenism once and for all:
My playing around with Thomson's ability-sampling model has taken, all told, about a day, and gotten me at least into back-of-the-envelope, Fermi-problem range. In fact, the biggest problem with Thomson's model is that the appearance of g is too strong, since it easily passes tests for there being only a single factor, when real intelligence tests, such as the Weschler, all fail them. If it wasn't a distraction from my real work, I'd look into whether weakening the assumption that tests are completely independent, uniform samples from the pool of shared abilities couldn't produce something more realistic. 

But, all the Big Money in the modern world wants blacks to continue to score worse on IQ tests, so what's the point in anybody even trying to come up with a better IQ test when The Man would just hide it away in Area 51 with the everlasting lightbulb and the water-powered car?