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« Political Linkage | Main | Women, Men, Romance, Sex Linkage »

October 28, 2008

His Opponents Are Stupid

Donald Pittenger writes:

Dear Blowhards --

Timothy Egan has a column on the 26 October New York Times web site (I'm not sure if it's in the print edition) titled "The Party of Yesterday" in which he takes the position that Republicans and, by extension, conservatives are largely stupid and Democrats are smarter. The link is here, but might not be available for long, so below are some extracts that deal with the stupidity/intelligence parts of his argument (tactical and political points are left out because such details are tangential to my subject today and the copyright must be honored).

Here are some snippets:

Brainy cities have low divorce rates, low crime, high job creation, ethnic diversity and creative capitalism. They’re places like Pittsburgh, with its top-notch universities; Albuquerque, with its surging Latino middle class; and Denver, with its outdoor-loving young people. They grow good people in the smart cities.

But in the politically suicidal greenhouse that Republicans have constructed for themselves, these cities are not welcome. They are disparaged as nests of latte-sipping weenies, alt-lifestyle types and “other” Americans, somehow inauthentic.

If that’s what Republicans want, they are doomed to be the party of yesterday.

. . . . .

... John McCain made a fatal error in turning his campaign over to the audience of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. In so doing, he chose the unbearable lightness of being Sarah Palin, trotted out Paris Hilton and labeled Obama a socialist who associates with terrorists.

. . . . .

Here in Seattle, it’s become a one-party city, with a congressman for life and nodding-head liberals who seldom challenge a tax-loving city government. It would be nice, just to keep the philosophical debate sharp, if there were a few thoughtful Republicans around.

That won’t happen so long as Republicans continue to be the party of yesterday. They’ve written the cities off. Fake Americans don’t count, but this Election Day, for once, they will not feel left out.

It's possible that McCain or Palin made a speech explicitly telling the world that folks in Denver were all effete bicyclists, but then I don't pay much attention to more than a few major speeches or appearances by any of the candidates and might have missed it. Conservatives do make fun of effete, egg-headed liberals but are perfectly happy for every urban vote they can get. Liberals trash Wall Street, yet Wall Streeters are heavy contributors to Obama (who indeed disparaged flyover country voters while making informal remarks in San Francisco). This is just politics, and the intelligent folks Egan discusses probably see through campaign verbage.

I live in the Seattle he mentions and am not bothered when some talk show host gets going about over-educated, guilt-ridden issues-emotional college-town elites. I know perfectly well the subject is a bunch of my neighbors and not me. Seattle has that congressman-for-life "Baghdad Jim" McDermott who owes his safe seat to district boundary-drawers who take advantage of the fact that the city of Seattle itself is hugely Democratic and is the bulk of his district. Republicans run for office in Seattle, but given the moderate to extreme leftism of most of the voters, there is no hope that a conservative will win a city-wide office in the foreseeable future no matter how "thoughtful" he is.

The fact is, I really don't inderstand what Egan is so steamed up about. His characterizations don't ring true to me. Actually, neither party is the party of the future. Conservative parties can (think the Reagan era) be based on an understanding of human nature and honoring wisdom from the past while using this background to deal creatively with current events and potential futures. Democrats talk about how future-oriented they are, but most of their programs tend to favor increasing socialism in this country -- socialism being an old idea with a poor track record when carried to its limit.

It has been said that conservatives are of necessity politically bi-lingual and liberals seldom are. This refers to the fact that almost all the major news media, the entertainment industry, colleges and universities along with other purveyors of news and culture tend to be of the left. A liberal who consumes such culture, education, news and so forth hears pretty much the same story day in and out. So does a conservative. But the conservative is aware of a parallel ideology that the typical liberal knows almost nothing about. The liberal media disparage Rush Limbaugh and liberal readers and viewers simply pick up on this assertion without bothering to listen to Limbaugh to verify this characterization.

This seems to be the case for Egan. Reading between the lines, I'm almost certain that he sincerely believes Republicans and conservatives are his intellectual inferiors in spite of the few bones he tosses in the opposite direction.

So I say Bravo and Huzzah!!

Yes, Tim my man, go ahead and believe this with all your heart and soul. Act upon your belief. Write about it as often as you can. And please, please urge politicians you favor to come out loud and clear in their speeches and advertising that conservative political opponents and their supporters are simpletons.

Thank you Tim, and keep up the good work. Underestimation of one's opponents is a sure road to long-term success.

Later,

Donald

posted by Donald at October 28, 2008




Comments

Thanks for pointing this out. It always seemed to me that while liberal Democrats claim to be the academics and intellectuals and see Republicans as middle-class, rednecks, or "old" moneyed" elitists, they conveniently forget that the poor and uneducated that they so vocally embrace are a large portion of their voting party.

Posted by: susan on October 28, 2008 10:33 AM



I am a conservative, and I am hoping...no, PRAYING...Obama wins AND the Dems get a supermajority for a full four years. Instead of being armchair quarterbacks and crowing about their superiority from the sidelines, now they actually have to put their money where their mouths are. Rather than just having an agenda of criticism, they actually have to lead and be proactive. Now they can't just claim superiority, they have to prove it.

Posted by: T. AKA Ricky Raw on October 28, 2008 10:42 AM



Everybody conveniently forgets the cyclical nature of American politics when they are in position to win.

We get sick of either party when it is in office too long. Remember how fed up we were with Bill Clinton and his panty sniffing by the end of his second term?

This "liberals are smarter" theme that Democrats like to bandy about serves as a pretext for blacklisting anybody who disagrees with them out of academia, the arts and the media. Why they continue to take pride in this ruthless blacklisting... who knows? Democrats resort to taunts of McCarthyism at the drop of the hat. They are praciticing it with a vengeance when they gain control of an institution.

This starts in universities and colleges, where a conservative Christian simply cannot find a job in the humanities. Blacklisting is the method used to keep departments ideologically pure.

You've presented this issue in a lighthearted fashion, Donald, but it isn't so lighthearted. The left has adopted viewpoint discrimination and blacklisting as its preferred tactics. These tactics are illegal and actionable, but difficult to prove in court.

Bill Ayers is not as tangential an issue as Democrats have insisted. He is exhibit A in the attempt of the far left to infiltrate colleges, turn college humanities programs into indoctrination camps, and blacklist anybody who disagrees. Ayers is an outspoken advocate of blacklisting, and of using education as a means of indoctrination. He is not a fringe figure, either. He's a major national player in education.

I recently interviewed with a new client in the media industry in NYC. He talked with me about technololgy and my experience for about 5 minutes. He then launched into a diatribe about President Bush, gays rights, nationalized healthcare and the upcoming election. He clearly expected me to agree with him as a precondition to doing business. This happens, I estimate, about a third of the time in the media business.

It has been common over the past 8 years for business meetings in NYC to open with a ritual denunciation of President Bush.

This is not funny, innocent stuff you're talking about Donald. This blacklisting and viewpoint discrimination costs me $25,000 to $50,000 a year in income and pushes me out of the most creative fields into more boring corporate work.

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on October 28, 2008 10:56 AM



I'd like to know more about these "brainy cities." Low divorce rates? Compared to what? Low crime? Compared to what? Listen, I've never been to Pittsburgh, but I know Albuquerque pretty well, and he's being economical with the truth to call it a "low crime" city.

High job creation? Things sure must have changed a lot in Albuquerque recently. Or maybe he means lots of new openings for delivery drivers and Mexican restaurant waiters.

Ethnic diversity? No doubt. Do Third World tribesmen and Latino welfare magnets make those cities "brainy"? Incidentally, Mr. Egan might like to know — or might not like to know — that Albuquerque's Hispanic population is mostly Spanish, people whose ancestors have been in New Mexico for three or four centuries. They are not the Mexican border jumpers he is touting as the future of America.

"Denver's outdoor-loving young people"? Does loving the outdoors make you brainy? I guess I don't get outdoors enough to follow his logic.

But his main point is clear enough, and the logic is question begging: his brand of politics appeals to the brainy people, because the brainy people are the ones who buy his brand.

Posted by: Rick Darby on October 28, 2008 11:47 AM



ST writes "This "liberals are smarter" theme that Democrats like to bandy about serves as a pretext for blacklisting anybody who disagrees with them out of academia, the arts and the media." That's for darn sure. When I went into the arts/media world, I assumed it was going to be a fun free-for-all, open in a way that "normal life" didn't seem to be. Silly me. It turned out to be far more regulated and thought-policey than anything I'd ever known.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on October 28, 2008 11:53 AM



Interesting how Egan, a "liberal", recognizes the crucial importance of intelligence, its relation to desirable social outcomes (low divorce), and by implication, its relation to virtue.

Odd then, how liberals deny the very existence of intelligence, deny its connection to desirable social outcomes, and especially any connection to virtue...when the intelligence of any of their favoured groups is compared unfavourably to that of whites, men, the middle class, etc.

It's also interesting that their own superior intelligence is so central to their self-image that liberals are willing to let Republicans thrash them over and over again by depicting Dem-libs as "elitist" and themselves as "common folk".

And the Dem-libs fall for it every time! Intelligence isn't simply a good thing, it's the only thing.

No wonder Dem-libs deny its genetic foundation. The very thing upon which their amour-propre depends...and they've done nothing to deserve it.

PROPOSITION: There is a direct correlation between the importance of intelligence in contributing to a liberal's prosperity and well-being and its centrality to the liberal's self-image.

Well, whoop-dee-doo. But here's number two:

PROP THE SECOND: There is also a direct correlation between a liberal's dependence on intelligence and his tendency to deny its importance in others.

Chris White exemplifies the type. I might accuse MQ of the same, but I'm not quite certain his position is clear to me.

Posted by: PatrickH on October 28, 2008 12:03 PM



Ricky Raw,

Keep dreaming. The libs will still be making excuses for themselves by blaming Bush four years from now.

Posted by: Bill on October 28, 2008 12:05 PM



Shouting Thomas, this is why Audio Connoisseur came into being.

Posted by: Charlton Griffin on October 28, 2008 12:10 PM



I am always amazed that people who wish to persuade me to thier point of view feel the need to call me stupid. I guess I am too stupid to understand

Posted by: kevin on October 28, 2008 12:41 PM



Augh! People!

2 Blowhards is where I come to *escape* from the kind of lowest-common-denominator, us-vs.-them, red-blue, separatist, elitist (on ALL sides) thinking.

Am I guilty of lumping all conservatives in with the stooges I hear on Fox News or the knuckle-draggers who shout racist epithets from McCain/Palin rallies? Yes! I confess! I admit that sometimes even on these here threads, I'll feel my commie-pinko-feminist-liberal-Jewish-urban-elitest ire shoot off the charts when I read certain comments from certain commenters. And then I think of the wonderful posts I've read by certain commenters on the beauty of small town, upstate NY, and I'm forced to remember that there's a person involved--a full and complete person with whom, God help me, I have some areas of overlap, whether or not either one of us wants to acknowledge it.

There are lovely, bright, interesting people of all political stripes who gather here. And assholes. And people who, when they get fed up, just choose to *act* (or react, really) like assholes.

I'm tolerant to a point, and I have a good enough sense of humor that I can laugh at my own commie-liberal-pinko-feminist-etc self. May I make the humble suggestion that we all tend to the Lincoln Logs in our own eyes, and let the specks sort themselves out?

KEEP 2 BLOWHARDS FUNKY!!!

/rant

Posted by: communicatrix on October 28, 2008 1:16 PM



I'm from the Pittsburgh area and, as any reader of Richard Florida [who taught at CMU] knows, it is your basic working class town with a few decent, but hardly world-class universities. They grow good people in Pittsburgh, although John Murtha calls them "racists" and "rednecks" and Florida considers them to be homophobes. And they don't sip lattes nearly as much as they swill Iron City beer. Mr. Egan clearly doesn't know what he thinks he knows, but that's about par for the New York Times.

Posted by: D. B. Light on October 28, 2008 1:38 PM



"But in the politically suicidal greenhouse that Republicans have constructed for themselves, these cities are not welcome."

In the financially suicidal greenhouse that is the New York Times, the Sulzbergers need to welcome some competent editors.

Posted by: Robert Townshend on October 28, 2008 2:20 PM



Low divorce rates? Compared to what?

Compared to conservative, family-values states, that's compared to what.

The lowest divorce rates are (lowest first) in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, North Dakota, Illinois, Iowa, Connecticut, and New York. All of those except ND and IA are reliable Democratic states, and Iowa is a swing state. Massachusetts, Illinois, and New York are notably liberal. By contrast, some of the the family values states (Alabama, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Arkansas, Wyoming) have the highest divorce rates. Even Utah has a higher divorce rate than the liberal states.

No big deal, really, except that you'd think exactly the opposite if you paid attention to all the hot air, which Rick Darby did.

Posted by: John Emerson on October 28, 2008 4:43 PM



That's a fun chart John linked to, I recommend a scan of it. The divorce rate in Nevada is off the charts, while the rate in the District of Columbia is tiny. No idea what to make of either fact.

I think it'd be interesting to see more granularity, though. In NY State, for instance: New York City is a completely different culture than the rest of New York State. If I remember right, 60% of New York State's Dem votes come from NY City, and only 15% of its Republicans live in NY City.

I have nothing in particular against divorce, by the way.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on October 28, 2008 5:25 PM



I love Pittsburgh.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on October 28, 2008 5:30 PM



As a professor at various good universities, I have been around extremely intelligent people all my adult life, and I can tell you for sure that intelligence is no guarantee that you are wise, sensible, or good. All it means is that you can say non-obvious things, and that you are good at manipulating certain sorts of symbols. Big deal. Give me wisdom and common sense any day.

Posted by: Lester Hunt on October 28, 2008 5:40 PM



What you call yourself and what you are are two different things. Left wing morals with right wing needs makes one a hypocrite, albeit one that feels good about himself.

Thinking without constraints, leads men to a left wing world view. Anything is possible in a society where men are malleable to any form. But for us crusty bastards who know man has an imperfect nature, thinking leads to a right wing view.

Posted by: slumlord on October 28, 2008 5:50 PM



John Emerson: Statewide data mixes rural, suburban, and urban popuations, which have different rates of marriage and divorce.This NCHS publication has data divided many ways, including "Central cities", "Other SMSA", and "non-SMSA". This data shows the highest marriage rates and lowest divorce rates in rural areas, and the opposite in central cities.

Posted by: Rich Rostrom on October 28, 2008 6:09 PM



Ugh, so tired of us vs. them arguments based on a single person's op/ed article.

Posted by: JV on October 28, 2008 6:11 PM



Slumlord, what are "right wing needs?" Police protection, national defense, things like that, I'm guessing. I'm also guessing that you believe left-wingers are against those things. Is that the case?

Posted by: JV on October 28, 2008 6:26 PM



So that's why Wyoming d Arkansas have such high rates, because of their big cities? Try again.

Posted by: John Emerson on October 28, 2008 6:46 PM



No, Wyoming and Arkansas have high per capita divorce rates because they have high marriage rates. If you never marry, you can't get a divorce.

Imagine a neighborhood where only 10% of the adults have ever married, and every one of those 10% has divorced, though 90% of the total population has had at least one child, and 30% of the total has had children with 3 or more partners.

Imagine a second neighborhood where 90% of the adults have married, 18 of those 90 have divorced and found happiness either as singles or in a successful second marriage, while another 1 of the 90 has divorced twice and remarried at least once (obviously) and in some cases twice.

The first neighborhood will have a much lower per capita divorce rate than the second: 10% versus 20%. Of course, the divorce rate per marriage will be 100% versus ~20%, and the first neighborhood is far more dysfunctional when it comes to marriage.

Though my statistics are made up, I think we all know that large swathes of D.C. (just to name one very 'blue' city) are a lot like the first neighborhood, as are some red-state trailer parks, while large swatches of red-state suburbs are a lot like the second.

John Emerson should really know that per capita divorce rates are an extraordinarily misleading measure of societal dysfunction compared to divorce rates per marriage.

Posted by: Dr Weevil on October 28, 2008 9:14 PM



John E., I think it may be an error to relate the low divorce rates in MA, PA, CT and NY without looking at the percentage of the population who are Roman Catholic, and as such are strictly forbidden a divorce (unless they are Kennedys, and can get the Vatican to annul marriages that last 14 years and spawn 3 children).

Income is also a factor. I know guys (like my brother) who'd leave the ol' ball & chain in a New York minute if it wouldn't cost them half of their assets and 12-18 years of alimony and child support. When you have nothing, giving it up isn't so hard.

Finally, my hometown of Boston is fully of Democrats, which means the men aren't really. Is the model of the Democratic male they indiscrimate whore-master of the JFK/Clinton ilk, or those forlorn hausfraus-with-a-penis that I see killing time downtown while their wives enjoy whatever it is they do when they toss the hubby and brood out on weekend mornings?

I also read somewhere recently that someone tested folks after asking where they got their political information (Limbaugh, NPR, Fox News), and it seems the most politically uninformed were those brilliant NPR listeners!

T, I'm with you. Obama hasn't shown any inclination to take a stand in his political career thus far, and it should be entertaining to see him try. His boy Deval Patrick has been a total cipher here in the People's Republic, and Obama has yet to convince me that he's any smarter, more talented or committed.

Posted by: Brutus on October 28, 2008 9:16 PM



Egan's article manages to embody the silliness it is meant to refute. On the other hand, I take seriously the points raised by John Emerson regarding the social stability of many Democrat strongholds. I would, however, be likely to draw different conclusions.

If you define the middle-class as the working-prosperous, then nothing could be more desirable than the largest possible middle-class. Without a middle-class, capitalism is a plantation. Where the middle-class dominate, its disposable income creates economic opportunity all over the place. If, like me, you believe the shabbiest and most corrupt form of free-trade is better than none, then that opportunity can be spread to the tip of Tierra del Fuego. I'm not talking about Fair Trade coffee, Body Shop or other forms of sympathy-voting. I'm talking about the Salvadorean "sweat-shop" that made that new-season envirofleece you just bought for a bargain-price at Sierra. Nasty but durable commerce. "Sustainable" opportunity, if I may use a pet word of the luvvies.

The problem with the urban elites is not the admirable conditions they create within their families and neighbourhoods. The problem is what I call their Adorable Opinions. The attitude is: my children are adorable, my pet is adorable, my furniture is adorable, my clothes are adorable...and my opinions are to die for! Those opinions all seemed designed to keep the aspiring-prosperous from swelling the ranks of the prosperous. (I recall a Brazilian soap-star commenting on the people who watched her glossy "novelas". She said that they were far to poor to be socialists. Only the Brazilian mega-rich could afford such opinions.)

Avid readers of the New Yorker were raised on cartoons of obese, dinner-suited, cigar-chomping tycoons sitting in clubs and conspiring to maintain their privileges. If these guys ever existed, they have been replaced by slim, athletic cafe patrons, sporting Arcteryx jackets, sipping organic cranberry juice...and thinking of all sorts of ethical and environmental ways to keep Joe the Plumber in his place.

Posted by: Robert Townshend on October 28, 2008 11:27 PM



Slumlord, what are "right wing needs?" Police protection, national defense, things like that, I'm guessing. I'm also guessing that you believe left-wingers are against those things. Is that the case?

No, not at all. Left wing people love defence. That's why the continually vote down military expenditure, are disparaging of soldiering as a profession, witch hunt soldiers involved in collateral civilian damage while at the same time living and mouthing off under the liberties that the aforesaid soldiers are providing.

Left wing people love Law and order. That's why they're strong on criminal rights at the expense of the victim, they support claims of police victimisation, they like light sentences and oppose the death penalty while at the same time choosing to live in areas furthest away from the social problems that their policies have caused.

Left wing people care about the environment. That's why they love to live in inner city areas which have the highest per capita energy expenditure in the country.

Left wing people like the poor. That's why they live the furthest away from them while at the same time giving the least to them.Furthermore left wing people on high incomes don't see the apparent contradiction in preaching sharing while not practicing it.

Left wing people also like education, that's why they continually dumb down the curriculum and award academic positions on race based quotas rather than merit.

Posted by: slumlord on October 29, 2008 1:22 AM



Brutus: No, it was Fox listeners. The opposite of what you said.

Weevil, I was responding to Rick Darby who doubted that Blue states had lower divorce rates than red states, and then Rick Rostrom. He laughed at the idea, but it's true. If you guys keep moving the goalposts until you find something to make liberals look bad, eventually you'll succeed, but people have been pulling stuff out of their butts.

Posted by: John Emerson on October 29, 2008 9:06 AM



slumlord fences with JV, and scores:

A touch! A palpable touch!

Actually, not so much touché as a run-through.

Posted by: PatrickH on October 29, 2008 10:25 AM



There is nothing stupider than a leftie. By definition, they failed a basic comprehension test: despite all the historic evidence to the contrary, they still think expropriation->redistribution cycle they advocate will work. "Advocate" is the wrong word here; it's more like parroting the talking points they have swallowed whole.

They have memory of a fly. I recall one particular thread, on this here blog, 4 years ago, when residents lefties were ranting on how stupid Bush is, and how people that are going to vote for him are even stupider. With somebody making the same observation as Bill above, namely - that tactic of calling your customer stupid seem strange if you want to get their money. But hey - as Donald said - keep talking, boys and girls, keep digging yourselves deeper yet.

Posted by: Tatyana on October 29, 2008 12:28 PM



Like Rick Darby, I'll claim some familiarity with Albuquerque. Not only does it not really meet Egan's description for low crime, but he might ponder the fact that the congressional district which it dominates (about 1/3 of New Mexico's population lives in the Abq. metro area) has elected 3 Republicans to Congress for something like the last thirty years. Bad example in a silly article.

Posted by: mdmnm on October 29, 2008 12:35 PM



Oh, Patrick, Patrick, Patrick ... words and their usage, like most things, are not entirely fixed and immutable givens but depend in part on context to be properly understood. The meaning of "intelligence" used in the linked piece has only a tangential relationship to the meaning of "intelligence" as many who comment on this blog have often used it. And as you seem to want to use it here, namely as being inextricably tied with race, the Bell Curve, and so on ... in short, a way of saying whites of European ancestry have "intelligence" beyond that of all other ethnicities (save Asians and some Jews) because it is their genetic birthright. This is based on the way they score on I.Q. tests ... primarily a creation of (you guessed it) white men of European ancestry. The linked article uses a more commonly understood definition of intelligence, namely persevering to a level of academic achievement and/or using brains rather than brawn to make a living.

I have plenty of problems with the article its underlying presumptions. What I do see as the kernel of truth within it is the way the GOP has, since the Nixon era, steadily moved toward a stance that denigrates intelligence and academic achievement as "elitism" while courting various guys named Joe ... Joe Sixpack and now Joe the Plumber. A large part of this strategy has been to obscure the durable connection between their party and the corporate and financial elite it primarily serves while seeking to win voters from the ranks of the working and middle class that were, in the days of strong unions, more aligned with the Democrats. This process began with the Vietnam era when a combination of demographics and the draft made college campuses the nexus for antiwar liberalism while slighty older working class men increasingly felt that the Democratic Party was no longer theirs.

In the recent election cycles what has been fascinating is the way the GOP ... whose positions on taxes, unions, regulation of business, and on and on are dramatically skewed in favor of the wealthy and global corporations to the detriment of the middle and working classes ... has managed to present themselves cloaked in rhetoric that appeals to the very sectors of the electorate being hurt the most by their policies.

Brutus – Why, given your past comments, do I suspect that you consider those NPR listeners "politically uninformed" solely because they do not agree with you own Rush Limbaugh Dittohead views?

Tatyana – Care to take a crack at re-writing your comment substituting "free marketers" in place of "lefties"? Given the current worldwide evidence of the overwhelming failure of trickle down economics and its belief in self-regulation, a situation that has for decades greedily redistributed vast sums of wealth upward and, in a grand climax, has been simply wiping out much wealth as well, perhaps now is not the time to denigrate the left for clinging to their disproved utopian beliefs. Perhaps now is the time to consider the virtues of thinking of society as an interdependent whole rather than a mass of discrete individuals, each encouraged to grab as much as they can before the next guy can beat them to it while ignoring the consequences on the community as a whole. Even Alan Greenspan is finally (if characteristically in his uniquely oblique phrases) admitting that the theories that lay behind the financial sector being able to write its own rules and virtually police itself have failed in a most spectacular way.

LORD, I'll be so happy when this election cycle ends!

Posted by: Chris White on October 29, 2008 1:20 PM



Chris, keep repeating the talking points of like-minded demagogues in your Party.

Free markets didn't show failure - regulation of them did. Ever heard of of a Community Reinvestment Act? Corporatism is organized on diametrically opposing principles than FreeMarketism: where unregulated competition is the foundation (FM), corporatism - perpetrated by limousine liberals of Wall St, incl. Greenspan, Bernanke, Paulson, etc- is fond of eliminating competition by Congressional fiat - and putting a million or two in their own pockets in the process.

A usual trick of leftie projecting, with a hefty dollop of red herring.

Please, Chris, I know you consider everyone who's not a leftie (i.e. you and your parasite buddies) too stupid for a real argument - but please, I beg you, do try to bring something intelligent to the table, for a change.

Posted by: Tatyana on October 29, 2008 1:51 PM



Before you cry out: but Greenspan is not a Democrat: take some time reading this selection and see if you find a courage to own up to the problems caused by liberal thinking.

Posted by: Tatyana on October 29, 2008 1:55 PM



So I say Bravo and Huzzah!!

Yes, Tim my man, go ahead and believe this with all your heart and soul. Act upon your belief.

Honest Abe, 1860: "It was mere bushwhacking, because you had nothing else to do. You are still on that track, and I say, go on! If you think you can slander a woman into loving you or a man into voting for you, try it till you are satisfied!"

Posted by: Moira Breen on October 29, 2008 2:56 PM



If Greenspan is a liberal, Tatyana is a Communist. Let's get real.

Posted by: John Emerson on October 29, 2008 3:01 PM



I enjoy the thought process of the typical leftist. Its always good for a laugh.

As far as Obama, he was chosen to be president a long time ago. Vote if you like, but its not going to change the script one iota.

He isn't going to end the war. He will expand it. If the democrats were really serious about ending the war, they would have done it when they took over Congress. See, its the Congress' job to declare and fund wars, not the president's. It didn't happen. Know why? They get their money from the same guys who told Bush to invade Iraq, that's why. Its the 100-years war, at least that's what we were told. Its not going to end. But our freedom and and any kind of prosperity will. Presidents don't run anything. If they decide they are in charge, they get shot in the head, like Kennedy did. They do exactly what their paymasters want them to do, and they get blamed for it and take the fall, while the real elites stay in the shadows and run things.

As far as the moral and intellectual superiority of the typical leftist, what do you say to people who haven't learned or observed their version of Utopia in the 20th century? Communism killed what, 100-150 million people, with the rest living in poverty and bondage? How can you possibly believe in that? That's where we are headed too. You'll get a real strong taste of Daddy and Mommy government real soon, right here in the former land of the free.

Posted by: BIOH on October 29, 2008 3:05 PM



Tat, you guys always trot out the "Dem in hiding" bit when one of yours fucks up.

Slumlord, the only part I fit in your archaic characterization of a liberal is the no death penalty part. I'm not going to get into all the reasons for that.

Defense - I'm all for a strong defense, used wisely. I'm not all for unfettered access to the national coffers. Voting to decrease military spending is not inherently voting for a weak defense. Hell, you guys yammer all the time about how "throwing money at schools" doesn't necessarily solve anything. Same goes for the military. Also, I haven't heard anyone on the left disparage soldiering as a career, either in the media or in person. Again, your characterization there is a bit archaic. There are many left-leaning people currently serving in the military honorably.

"Left wing people care about the environment. That's why they love to live in inner city areas which have the highest per capita energy expenditure in the country."

I'd really like to see a citation on that one, as everything I've read states that cities use far less energy per capita than either suburban or rural areas. That is not a judgment for or against any area. In fact, I live in the suburbs and always have. So do a lot of us commies. (Psst! We're right behind you!) I'm just sick of this city vs. rural crap.

On another point, I don't see a contradiction between making a lot of money, living in a nice area, and still advocating for the poor. Liberals don't necessarily "love the poor." We'd rather them not be poor because being poor sucks (which is why as soon as anyone, liberal or conservative, has money, they move away from poor areas because they are generally shitty places to live, duh). Now, we can argue about the various ways to help them or not, but that's entirely irrelevant to where a person chooses to live.

And finally, I think you'll find race quotas have been diminishing in the past 5 years. I fully agree they should go.

Posted by: JV on October 29, 2008 3:30 PM



Emerson, have you already forgotten the last beating I gave you? Btw, how's your niece - back from Iraq - or she got the dishonorable discharge (or whatever it's called), for trying to milk the system?

Oh, yeah, about "forgotten". As I said - lefties got a short-attention-span problem.

Go read some @my link, Emerson - it's not Mao's poetry, that's for sure. It actually makes sense.

Posted by: Tatyana on October 29, 2008 4:06 PM



Chris (again):

This is based on the way they score on I.Q. tests ... primarily a creation of (you guessed it) white men of European ancestry. The linked article uses a more commonly understood definition of intelligence, namely persevering to a level of academic achievement and/or using brains rather than brawn to make a living.

That canard in the first sentence of the quote is so utterly refuted, so completely devoid of anything but sly innuendo (you can almost feel the nudge and hear(!) the Big Fat Wink), that it's beside the point trying to get you to answer honestly the following question, but here goes anyway...Chris, do you have any evidence that blacks score lower on IQ teststhan whites because whites designed the test? Or do you just have your little insinuations? Why is it Asians score higher? Jews? Is it because Jews designed IQ tests? David Wechsler was a Jew. Yuck, just more of your sneakiness.

As for the second sentence, there is a very high correlation between IQ scores and your "more commonly understood" definition of intelligence.
More commonly understood? Says who?

Besides, hasn't one of the criticism of IQ tests been precisely that they measure ACADEMIC SMARTS?

Gack. I give up. There's no getting through to you. It's wiggle here, wiggle there, Mr. Jello with his little gelatinous slanders.

The article used "intelligence" in exactly the way I used it my comment. Intelligence as part of the liberal's self-concept is expressed precisely in things like their preoccupation with grades and degrees and other such paper.

You exemplify the type, I said, Chris. You just revealed that fact again with your mealy-mouthed evasive response. Man, the way you shade words!

My comment stands, untouched by your sly little dancy-poo non-response. Liberals are intelligence snobs, and that's why they deny its genetic foundation. If it's genetic, they have nothing to be snobbish about.

Liberals. Pah! Butter wouldn't melt in their mouths! The coldness of you people! The slyness! Liberals. I'm beginning to really hate the cold-blooded dissembling moralizers. The whole bunch of them.

Liberals. How to be a heartless bloodless uncaring mealy-mouthed middle-class dissembler, all while prancing about wearing a patchwork heart on your sleeve.

Be a liberal.

Posted by: PatrickH on October 29, 2008 4:20 PM



Tat, you guys always trot out the "Dem in hiding" bit when one of yours fucks up.

Say what?
Are you talking to me?
Nothing "in hiding" about regulation of finance industry; it's been there for decades. I'm "trotting" no bits; you're confusing me with your own: I report to no obkom. "One of mine" never fucked up, because there never was anybody close enough to my libertarian views who's been elected President.

I'm sure a clever, intellectually superior person like you, JV (is that a man or a woman, incidentally? I like to mentally picture an opponent when (s)he is talking to me) is capable of reading at least 2-3 entries from the link I provided. Then you can prepare a contra-defense and offer us your thoughtful, well-researched argument instead of incomprehensible one-liner.

Posted by: Tatyana on October 29, 2008 5:13 PM



got snipped somehow:
"...close enough to my libertarian views who's been elected President since Reagan."

Sorry for not being clear.

Posted by: Tatyana on October 29, 2008 5:29 PM



Tat, you're right, I should not have assumed you are a Republican. Still, the "Dem in hiding," or maybe "liberal in hiding" thing still holds. Greenspan is no liberal.

And I'm a man, baby.

Posted by: JV on October 29, 2008 5:31 PM



Tatyana – Since I have never belonged to any political party, and have repeatedly said so, as well as said that I hold Democrats as culpable in most of the problems we face, I fear your view of me is somewhat skewed by your own political biases. Whatever ills you've personally experienced under communism have apparently left you prone to lump any and all individuals and ideas that range from the mildly liberal to extreme Stalinist as equivalent. This furthermore leads to you being counted on for the immediate ad hominem attack, which does not encourage reasonable debate, just Tit-for-Tat name calling.

Whatever party Greenspan belongs to is secondary to his strong, well known, libertarian economic philosophy. To argue that "Free markets didn't show failure - regulation of them did, is as hollow an argument as made by those who claim true Marxist communism has never actually been tried. We've had thirty years in which free trade, free market fiscal policies have dominated ... under both parties. The boom/bust cycle this produces has very effectively moved wealth steadily upward. It is no less "redistribution" for being aimed at concentrating wealth in the pockets of the few rather than seeing it spread more evenly throughout the populace.

Patrick – You can, and should, give up on trying to convince me that genetic factors explain more about success, academic and otherwise, than a whole host of other influences. It is but one factor in a very large equation. For what it is worth, I fully accept that Blacks score lower than Whites and Whites lower than Asians on I.Q. tests. I fully accept that I.Q. tests have a certain utility in predicting an individual's capability for abstract reasoning and thus academic success. The question is, what does this mean in the real world?

I've known Whites with high I.Q. who are abject failures and not particularly "intelligent" in a practical, real world, sense. Some would say this includes me, in fact. Perhaps the two people I've known personally with the highest I.Q.s have both been dramatically disabled psychologically, one variously deemed bi-polar and/or schizophrenic, he's spent his adult life in and out of institutions. The other, while I am unaware of any official diagnosis or institutionalization is so "crazy" (for want of a better word) that many who know him go to extremes to avoid him. I've known Blacks who may well have lower than average I.Q.s, but with the personality, drive and common sense to make themselves likable, moderately successful and seemingly more "intelligent" in daily life than many who are measurably "superior" by dint of higher I.Q.

Society needs members with a wide range of abilities to function well, from intelligence to empathy, mathematical capability to physical strength. While it is only human nature to favor those who have attributes similar to our own, it does not follow that our attributes (both positive and negative) are somehow superior in the abstract.

In the context of this thread we have a Democratic supporter making a half assed partisan political argument based partly on nonsense and partly on perceptive reasoning about the way Republicans have been using attacks on caricature versions of supposed "bi-coastal urban intellectual elites" as stand ins for Democrats as somehow not being real Americans. They've done this in part with Sarah Palin and her well scripted and voice coached Gosh darn it "authenticity". They've done this in part with McCain's attacks that distorted Obama's interaction with Joe the Plumber to claim Obama is a socialist out to bilk the already decimated middle class. In short, to distract from their own party's stronger allegiance to the more problematic elements of the status quo.

I would love to have viable alternate parties functioning as more than spoilers in most elections. I would love to see the Good Cop and Bad Cop parties lose their seeming permanent lock on the government, which they use to advance the interests of the elite that pay so handsomely for that service. Given that is not currently possible I'll more often give my vote to those candidates who seems more aligned to those elites whose self-interest is enlightened enough to recognize that their place at the top will be happier, and the chance for continued economic growth better, if there is a robust middle class rather than a huge and unhappy mass of poor and an ever wider gap between the very top and the rest of us.

Posted by: Chris White on October 29, 2008 7:28 PM



Greenspan was as close to a libertarian as you're ever going to get, Tat. Eat your heart out.

Not only do I not remember the beating you gave me, I didn't even notice it while it was happening.

Posted by: John Emerson on October 29, 2008 8:12 PM



John Emerson:
I thought I'd made it clear in my first comment, but obviously I have to make it even clearer for you: 'divorce rate' is an ambiguous concept. You quoted the ratio of divorces to total population as if that were the only meaning of the phrase. I pointed out that the ratio of divorces to marriages is a more accurate measure of social health and gave a pair of hypothetical examples to show why your definition of divorce rate is less accurate than mine. That is not "moving the goalposts", that is honest argument. You might want to try it yourself.

Posted by: Dr. Weevil on October 29, 2008 8:39 PM



JV, at any point are you actually going to open, read and refute the evidence in Tatyana's links or are you just going to keep saying "Greenspan's no liberal" over and over again as if that's an actual argument?

Posted by: T. AKA Ricky Raw on October 29, 2008 8:43 PM



sorry, Chris, I will have to postpone reading your post for a while - at the moment I'm occupied with an urgent issue: selecting the drink for a PWI (Pollwatching While Intoxicated) party on Tues.

So far the craziest contender is this:
"Irish Car bombs. A shot glass filled with Irish Cream and Irish whiskey dropped into a Pint of Guinness." I might as well try it.

Patrick, what do you think? [yeah, I know you finally decided you DON'T like me. But you seem just a guy to ask for an expert opinion]

Posted by: Tatyana on October 29, 2008 8:54 PM



Jackie and Chrissy-I listen to NPR while I drive, fools; unlike most radio today, there's an occasional gold nugget in the silt and Car Talk is just good radio. I've been listening for 30 years, as my college was the local NPR outlet and many friends interned there. I've never listened to Limbaugh and I don't watch Fox News (or any other MSM video outlet, for that matter). Not knowing what a dittohead is, I can only imagine that it's some sort of leftie slur from Chrissy.

Jackie boy, it just Googled the Pew site, and NPR listeners hit the tape 1% ahead of Limbaugh listeners, behind Colbert/Stewart watchers, O'Reilly watchers and newspaper readers. I stand corrected on Fox News, but it doesn't surprise me. But again, as with the topic at hand, the analysis is too complex; the simple equation is the fewer watchers/listeners, the higher the score. Like the jazz station in the Simpsons, 287 listeners can't be wrong!

And Jackie, let's look at the numbers. According to the CDC, DC, Georgia and Massachusetts have the lowest divorce rates. What these 3 places have in common I have no idea, beyond the fact that they are also 3 out of the 4 states with the lowest MARRIAGE rates!

And BTW, sorted for religion, Roman Catholics have the lowest divorce rates (tied with the Lutherans, atheists and agnostics). Self-described conservative Christians have a divorce rate of 27%, which is surpassed by only one group (wait for it) Jews! Almost 1/3 of Jewish marriages end in divorce.

Posted by: Brutus on October 29, 2008 8:58 PM



I can accept that IQ testing has some value somewhere or other. Certainly, I have no prob accepting that the average Ashkenazy or Japanese is going to beat the average Aussie-Mick at just about anything computational. Being a below-average Aussie-Mick in this area, I'd better not have a prob!

It's just that I find many high-IQ types to be a touch inarticulate, and more than a touch literal-minded. So pay them more, and kill me first, by all means, but be wary...

The Michael Mann hockey-stick was confected by very-high-IQ types. It was believed by many stupendously-high-IQ types. And yet, to accord it even a momentary glimmer of credence, meant you had to be:
a) utterly ignorant of human history
b) dumber than dog-shit.

Posted by: Robert Townshend on October 29, 2008 9:25 PM



And let's not forget how prone the high-IQ crowd is to falling in love with its own dazzling ideas, often (if not usually) at the expense of common sense and common experience.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on October 29, 2008 9:50 PM



Chris, I am not "trying to convince [you] that genetic factors explain more about success, academic and otherwise". I've given up on that, believe me. None of your bloviations that followed that burp have anything to do with whether variance in IQ is affected by variance in genetic factors.

My point about the intelligence snobbery of ilberals remains unanswered by you. Egan displayed it in full, and it was his essay I was responding to.

What ticked me off was your baseless slander of the makers of IQ tests, with the unsupported implication that their race somehow caused them to design IQ tests in such a way as to create, artifactually, the black/white IQ gap. That is a lie, and you still haven't provided any evidence to back it up, any more than any of the people who think using European ancestry as a mark of disqualification ever do.

As for the comments about the limitations of IQ, well, yes, gentlemen. Yes, indeed. The gravamen of my point about Egan is that liberals like Chris White who insist that any claim about IQ differences between black and white is the same thing as asserting black inferiority are the ones worship at the feet of IQ.

It is liberals who deny the influence of g on the distribution of positive life and social outcomes. And yet these same liberals insist in unguarded moments (and even guarded ones) that their own high IQs make them better people than all those lowbrow knuckle dragging Republicans. It is precisely liberals that reduce judgments of moral worth to a score on an IQ test. Look at what they said about George Bush! Look at what they're saying about Sarah Palin!

"I'm better than you because I'm smarter than you" is a belief far more common among Dem-libs than it is among Republicans.

Posted by: PatrickH on October 29, 2008 10:53 PM



Yes, Weevil, I got your point. Personally I, like Michael, don't really think that divorce rate means a whole lot. I was responding to specific things said by specific people. I do get tired of family-values people who've been married three or four times telling us how evil and horrible New Yorkers and Massachusians (?) are.

By your logic, of course, someone who's been married four times really believes in marriage, whereas someone who has been married once is suspect. One of the reasons why social conservatives get married more often is that they get married young out of desperation out of pure horniness. What I think is that they shouldn't do that. It doesn't work and it's stupid. And they also shouldn't point fingers.

Posted by: John Emerson on October 29, 2008 10:57 PM



Tatyana,

"Irish Car bombs. A shot glass filled with Irish Cream and Irish whiskey dropped into a Pint of Guinness." I might as well try it.

Patrick, what do you think? [yeah, I know you finally decided you DON'T like me. But you seem just a guy to ask for an expert opinion]

Tatyana, I said I do not love you. I do like you. Even though you tick me off sometimes. I can't help it. I just like you.

Ah yes. The Irish Car Bomb. That sounds like one of those drinks where, when you drop the shot in the brew, it turns into an Old Faithful geyser of foam. To avoid losing everything to the table and floor, you have to take the whole thing down, exploding foam and all, in one continuous wide-mouthed gulp.

Bomb indeed. If I was still a drinking man, I'd want one. Maybe more than one.

Posted by: PatrickH on October 29, 2008 10:58 PM



The IQ fetish of the pseudo-scientifc racist right is BS. IQ is one, limited form of intelligence out of many different sorts. IQ has to do with the ability to manipulate decontextualized abstractions on written tests. In an absolute sense, it is not highly correlated with life outcomes, although it is more correlated than other constructs taken from social science pencil-and-paper tests. Also, we know very little about how genetically vs. environmentally determined IQ or other complex skills are (IQ is a complex higher-order skill whose physical roots are not understood at all, not a genetic trait -- like the ability to play chess well, not like skin color). In fact, because genes and environment interact so deeply we don't know very much about how how to parcel out their relative contributions to *any* complex dimensions of the human personality.

their own high IQs make them better people than all those lowbrow knuckle dragging Republicans. It is precisely liberals that reduce judgments of moral worth to a score on an IQ test. Look at what they said about George Bush! .....I'm better than you because I'm smarter than you" is a belief far more common among Dem-libs than it is among Republicans.

Liberals are better than American movement conservatives, but that's because most movement conservatives seem to be hysterics ruled by weird fears and resentments of their imagined liberal / communist / islamofascist oppressors. (As is regularly demonstrated around here). They are neither particularly interested in nor prone to examine the reality around them. George Bush may or may not have had a high IQ, it hardly matters, but he was riddled with character flaws that made him unwilling to consider evidence that contradicted his prejudices or to deal responsibly with the challenges the real world presented him with. (A related issue is that he had bad values generally). Incuriousity, anti-intellectualism (beyond the understanding of the typical blind spots intellectuals are prone to), blind parochialism, short-sightedness, arrogance, are all character flaws that can coexist with cleverness. I don't think anyone would say Dick Cheney had a low IQ, but he was worse than Bush in many ways. There are plenty of high-IQ right wing ideologues -- I think Anne Coulter and Rush Limbaugh are pretty clever people. But I regard their values and judgement as far inferior to e.g. Barack Obama.

Also, for what it's worth, I find the kind of smug NPR-liberal complacency expressed by Mr. Egan to be pretty annoying as well. But it's much less dangerous to the country right now than the ideological narrowness we see on the right.

Posted by: MQ on October 30, 2008 12:53 AM



Greenspan believed with a religious fervor in the wisdom of the unregulated free market. His recent mea culpa shows this clearly, as he stumbled bleary eyed into the sunlight, bewildered that the financial markets aren't as inherently altruistic as he thought. That sounds to me like a Libertarian, maybe a bit of a Conservative, but certainly no liberal.

I did indeed read 5 or 6 posts from Tatyana's link, and could find no evidence supporting Tat's assertion, but I admit to being a bit of a dunce in matters financial.

Posted by: JV on October 30, 2008 2:46 AM



Speaking of Timothy Egan... I found a lost copy of his recent book on the Dust Bowl, and glanced through it before sending it off on Bookmooch. He noted how Oklahoma's good-old-boy governor, Billy Something-or-other, railed against FDR's Bolshevism, but his own voters kept re-electing the guy regardless. Egan's view of this was smugly approving.

So Okies and other hicks are good, down-home, salt-of-the-earth people when they're ratifying the income tax, endorsing the New Deal, and silently posing for WPA propaganda photos. The moment they save a few bucks, or take offense at "progressive" engineering, and start voting Republican, all of a sudden they're racist retardates.

In other words, their only crime is no longer supporting the yellow dog party.

Okies are smart enough to see through betrayal. Evidently blacks are not, or perhaps too emotional. By voting for legalizing illegals, Obama wanted to shift billions in jobs and assets from the South Side to the West Side, effectively stabbing his own people in the back.

Posted by: Reg Cæsar on October 30, 2008 3:23 AM



JV:

It really is like re-inventing the wheel with you guys. Look about you the facts stare at you in the face.

Defense - I'm all for a strong defense, used wisely.

It's all Rhetoric, who is militarily wise, the democrats or the generals? No, the generals can't be trusted. Only the all wise party can. The nadir of U.S military power came during the Carter Administration. In fact the real and lasting damage to the U.S. military happened during the Kennedy administration, when idiotic military strategy was forced onto the JCS by Kennedy's personal pick, McNamara. The legacy and precedent of direct political involvement in military operations has it's roots in that administration.

Also, I haven't heard anyone on the left disparage soldiering as a career, either in the media or in person

Remember this from your former presidential candidate, John Kerry?

"You know, education, if you make the most of it, if you study hard and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, uh, you, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.”

I'd really like to see a citation on that one, as everything I've read states that cities use far less energy per capita than either suburban or rural areas.

Read and weep.

From the Australian Conservation Foundation.
The whole report is here.. This foundation is definitely pro-left. I'll quote a juicy bit:

"Urban living patterns offer many opportunities for efficiency and reduced environmental impacts, compared to more dispersed populations.For example, access to public transport, as well as shops and
facilities within walking distance, help make inner city dwellers less car dependant. Further, the prevalence of more compact housing such as apartments in urban centres could lead to lower per person electricity and heating costs.
Yet despite the lower environmental impacts associated with less car use, inner city households outstrip the rest of Australia in every other category of consumption. Even in the area of housing, the opportunities for relatively efficient, compact living appear to be verwhelmed by the energy and water demands of modern urban living, such as air conditioning,
spa baths, down lighting and luxury electronics and appliances, as well as by a higher proportion of individuals living alone or in small households.
In each state and territory, the centre of the capital city is the area with the highest environmental impacts, followed by the inner suburban areas. Rural and regional areas tend to have noticeably lower levels of consumption."

Now which voting demographic has high income, small family size, a taste for the finer things in life and lives in the inner city?

The local progressive rag was "suprised" by the findings. In Australia nearly all the inner city areas are left or green voting.It seems those "flyover" rednecks may be doing less damage driving an F100, than metrosexual Martin in his Prius.

On another point, I don't see a contradiction between making a lot of money, living in a nice area, and still advocating for the poor.

Let me tell you, as a former member of the working class, the poor can see the hypocrisy a mile away. Advocating what? What you think the poor want or what the poor actually want? How a about flunking kids who don't make the grade, or throwing kids out of school who are disruptive, how about rewarding virtuous behaviour and ecouraging it while punishing vice. Left wing social policy does the total opposite, left wing social theory encourages poverty. The wicked right steals from you but keeps your character intact, the progressive left gives you money but destroys your character.

A lot of left wing social policy is based upon feel good factors for the policy proposer. Here's a radical idea, how about auditing you policies. Which one's have worked? The great society program? Welfare? Law and Order policy? Sex ed? Have we less abortions now than say ten years ago? Curriculum reform? Are kids more literate now rather than say 20 years ago. Greenhouse emissions would be far less if nuclear power had not been stopped in its tracks by the idiot left.

Posted by: slumlord. on October 30, 2008 7:48 AM



MQ: In fact, because genes and environment interact so deeply we don't know very much about how how to parcel out their relative contributions to *any* complex dimensions of the human personality.

Actually, you can. Heritability figures for IQ have been established and occupy a fairly narrow range. They're by no means all over the place. Even gene/environment interaction--which can't be internally partitioned by the nature of the stat, can nonetheless be distinguished--"parcelled out"--from environmental and genetic contributions.

In an absolute sense, it is not highly correlated with life outcomes...

Yes, of course. People are complicated, as you say. But it is far more highly correlated with life outcomes than any other trait I can think of.

The IQ fetish of the pseudo-scientifc racist right is BS.

The educational system, the US Army, any place or org or institution that uses any kind of g-loaded test for selection purposes, are they part of the "pseudo-scientific racist right"? Fire departments, police departments looking for sergeants in the ranks...how about them? G-loaded tests, the lot, and used for something pretty important. Why? Because of their predictive validity.

IQ is a complex higher-order skill whose physical roots are not understood at all...

Are you in favour of research to help us understand those physical roots of IQ? And of course the issue is not the specific physical roots of IQ--those will be found unless you have your way--but the contribution of IQ differences to social and life outcome differences, and whether or not and to what degree IQ differences are amenable to attempts to eliminate them.

Liberals are better than American movement conservatives...

Clever, MQ. Sly, but a better cleverer grade of sly than the transparently dissembling Chris W. You're comparing unmodified "liberal" to "movement conservative". Nice one. How about comparing "movement liberal" to "movement conservative", or unmodified to unmodified? Movement people are inferior just by being movement people.

And thanks for the heads up that there's more to people than IQ! My response is: you try to crush any mention of IQ as having any broad social effects at all. It does have effects, and big ones. Low IQ people have a devil of a time in today's society, and pretending they and their problems don't exist is just more of that pseudo-compassion constantly being expectorated by liberals that so exercises me.

Let me repeat: the low IQ have a horrible time of things...and some of that horrible time is because high IQ people of a certain political persuasion have it in their interest that the contribution of the trait of which they have a genetic lottery-given disproportionate amount, not be recognized as having contributed to their own privileged lives. Because if it does...why then, liberals might just have a real obligation to try to help the low of IQ, by a) recognizing they exist; b) recognizing they have terrible problems because of their low IQs; and c) doing something about that.

But, if IQ is this "fetish", if it doesn't have decisive impacts on social outcomes, why then, we can go back to sipping our microbrews, smoking our pinner joints, and smirking at all those dumbass Repubs for being such hicks...and above all, for being so lacking in liberal compassion.

Well, I'm not cold-hearted enough to have that kind of "compassion". If I found myself developing appreciable levels of that kind of "compassion", I'd eat a pistol.

So excuse me while I vomit all over your claim that liberals are "better". They're not. I would say that I have never encountered a group of people so cold, so heartless, so ruthless in their darwinian social competition, who at the same time refuse to admit any of it as applying to themselves.

They're the ones you've got to keep your eye on. And your ammo dry. Because the hearts of liberals aren't brimming over with the milk of human kindness. Oh no, not at all. The heart of the modern American liberal is icy stone cold.

Posted by: PatrickH on October 30, 2008 11:29 AM



"It's all Rhetoric, who is militarily wise, the democrats or the generals?"

The generals, of course. Why do you think just because I'm a Democrat I wouldn't want seasoned professionals advising what I hope will be a Democratic White House? By the way, far more Dems than Republicans in both the House and Senate are veterans.

"Now which voting demographic has high income, small family size, a taste for the finer things in life and lives in the inner city?"

First of all, the majority of millionaires in the US made their money running typically blue collar businesses and tend to be at the very least, fiscally conservative. Now, "the finer things" is a nice bit of semantics. Would that include ridiculously sized trucks, massive televisions, boats, ATVs, that kind of stuff? Because in the conservative suburb I live in, those things are everywhere. So please don't do the polarizing thing, everyone likes and has "the finer things." What those things are may differ. And the fact remains that the world is increasingly urban, so perhaps Martin the metrosexual (distant cousin of Joe the Plumber?) driving his Prius is going in the right direction by attempting to limit his energy consumption. More likely, though, he's taking public transportation.

It doesn't really matter, though. Faggy things like green energy is the future, and as always, the progressives will drag conservatives kicking and screaming into the future. I'll agree with you on nuclear power, though, that was a mistake of the left to oppose it as they did. I think you'll find more and more people on the left (myself included) jumping on the nuclear bandwagon.

I honestly don't have the time to dig up reports stating that urban populations consume less energy per capita than rural populations, but they are out there. As always, we can find a study to support whatever viewpoint we have.

As for the poor people thing, you can read after the part you quoted and see that I said we can argue about methods of helping to alleviate poverty, but your assertion that moving away from poor areas is somehow hypocritical is crap. That's my main point.

I fully agree we need to reform social programs across the board. I was all for the work to welfare program that Clinton put into place.

Posted by: JV on October 30, 2008 12:17 PM



"By the way, far more Dems than Republicans in both the House and Senate are veterans."

Ah, should have checked better on that one. It's pretty evenly spread. Of course, almost the entire Bush cabinet did not serve, but anyway, I've never been one to use military service as a litmus test.

Posted by: JV on October 30, 2008 3:22 PM



Heritability figures for IQ have been established and occupy a fairly narrow range. They're by no means all over the place.

If genes and environment interact, heritability is not a measure of the pure genetic influence of IQ. Heritability mixes genes and environment in unpredictable ways. See Dickens and Flynn, 2001 for a discussion (http://www.apa.org/journals/features/rev1082346.pdf ).

Even gene/environment interaction--which can't be internally partitioned by the nature of the stat, can nonetheless be distinguished--"parcelled out"--from environmental and genetic contributions.

no it can't. Not without making heroic assumptions about the nature of the gene/environment interaction.

Yes, of course. People are complicated, as you say. But it is far more highly correlated with life outcomes than any other trait I can think of.

parental income is more highly correlated with life outcomes than any other trait. It dwarfs the influence of IQ, and cannot be explained by IQ heritability (see this post on Gene Expression ).

Of course, parental income is probably acting as a proxy for a host of different background and environmental effects...but so is IQ, and as I said IQ/outcomes correlations are nowhere near large enough to explain the parental income/adult outcomes correlation.

The educational system, the US Army, any place or org or institution that uses any kind of g-loaded test for selection purposes, are they part of the "pseudo-scientific racist right"?

No, they're just using IQ for the purpose the test was designed for -- as a quick and dirty way of seeing which of a group of highly heterogeneous recruits to a large bureaucracy can handle abstractions well enough to take instructions in a large bureaucratic organization. This is an important skill in life, it should be developed by schooling, but it's far from the only skill.

The fetish of the racist right runs like this: IQ is all-important, IQ is genetic and cannot be influenced by environment, hence social inequality is the unchangeable result of genetic determinism, therefore we don't have to do anything about injustice and inequality. It's the modern version of the belief that God has decreed the order of the social classes.

Are you in favour of research to help us understand those physical roots of IQ?

not really, not in the physical sciences anyway. Or yes, but not directly. The biological and physical sciences should be trying to understand how the brain works from the ground up. Starting with a socially defined skill set and looking for correlations with genes is the wrong way to do that. It's like looking for population correlations between lifestyle and health outcomes rather than doing the basic science to understand how disease processes actually work mechanically inside the body. Research on IQ is not basic science. Research on how the brain stores and processes information is. Perhaps one day, many decades or centuries from now, one will shed light on the other, but not for quite some time.

Research on IQ belongs in the social sciences, the only data the social sciences have to work with is these artificial test and survey-based constructs like IQ anyway.

Low IQ people have a devil of a time in today's society, and pretending they and their problems don't exist

total straw man, liberals are hardly known for pretending the problems of low-IQ people don't exist. Rather the opposite, I'd say. Of course low-IQ people have a hard time, for several reasons: 1) IQ is correlated with a bunch of other qualities, from schooling to upbringing, so low IQ will be correlated with bad social outcomes due to those other qualities too, 2) IQ does indeed indicate valuable intellectual skills for functioning in abstract bureaucratic organizations, which dominate the economy these days, so we need to make sure our school system provides those skills to everyone at some minimal level, 3) IQ cannot of course be equalized across individuals, but our social institutions don't work as well as they probably should for people with average or lower IQs and without an upbringing that helps compensate for that. (I feel our level of income inequality is greater than our level of actual productive inequality).

liberals might just have a real obligation to try to help the low of IQ, by a) recognizing they exist; b) recognizing they have terrible problems because of their low IQs; and c) doing something about that.

weird. This is pretty much the major agenda of liberalism. Except that liberals don't make constant references to "IQ" and how some people are genetically doomed to be stupid. This alone is causing your temper tantrum, nausea, threats of suicide, etc.? Like I said, an IQ fetish here.

Posted by: MQ on October 30, 2008 3:49 PM



no it can't.

Yes it can! And my brother's bigger than your brother!

If genes and environment interact, heritability is not a measure of the pure genetic influence of IQ.

Yes it is! The gene/environment interaction I was referring to is precisely the proportion fo variance accounted for by the (statistical) interaction of the two variables.

parental income is more highly correlated with life outcomes than any other trait. It dwarfs the influence of IQ, and cannot be explained by IQ heritability

Now MQ, be nice. Herrick pointed out that income is moderately highly heritable, just not all through IQ heritability. Not the same thing as your slanted point at all.

IQ is the ability to solve mental problems with specified solution sets. That is one skill, but it is very important, and it is implicated as a necessary supporting factor in the development of other crucial skills which involve more than that ability, but rely on it: reading is an example. Would you say reading is an important skill?

artificial test and survey-based constructs like IQ anyway.

Yes, they are artificial, i.e. man-made, and they are constructs, i.e. man-made. And my brother's still bigger than your brother!

total straw man...[and on and on and on]

There's nothing in your rant that I have to disagree with. You seem to be grudgingly conceding most of my points, while trying to blurt fast enough that no-one will notice. I noticed.

. Except that liberals don't make constant references to "IQ" and how some people are genetically doomed to be stupid.

Another assertion. No we don't! you shout. Well, yes you do. Liberals are notorious for describing conservatives as stupid, bloviating about their own intellectual superiority, and invoking IQ in everything but name as they do so. You can just say NOT TRUE! But Egan's article, which started this foofaraw, is precisely part of a long flood of this liberal self-aggrandizing crap.

This alone is causing your temper tantrum, nausea, threats of suicide, etc.?

It's okay, MQ. I was being ironic.

Try a little less all-or-nothing bald-faced assertionizing and we might have something to talk about. But first, you have to know when somebody's just pulling your leg.

And don't try to say you were just pulling my leg with your last comment. Your whole all-or-nothing utterly tendentious slanted take on things ("liberals are better"--jeebus kwist, what a twat you are, MQ) indicates to me that humour ain't one of your strong points.

Too late to grow some now, I suppose.

P.S. Your mother wears army boots!

Posted by: PatrickH on October 30, 2008 4:36 PM



Dude, MQ wiped the floor with you on this one, Patrick. At least admit it.

Posted by: JV on October 30, 2008 5:07 PM



I can tell you secretly like me anyway, Patrick.

The gene/environment interaction I was referring to is precisely the proportion fo variance accounted for by the (statistical) interaction of the two variables.

No it's not. It's not precisely anything -- it's the result of making a ton of assumptions about the relationship between the environment twins are exposed to and their genetic makeup and then running correlations through a complicated model that incorporates those assumptions. See e.g. this study , by psychologists sympathetic to twin studies but warning that it is very premature to draw strong conclusions from them.

In general, I think that the gene/environment interaction will prove to be complicated enough that few generalizations will be possible across different types of environments and different types of skills. The days of making sweeping statements about this much is genetic! this much is environmental! will hopefully draw to a close.

Now MQ, be nice. Herrick pointed out that income is moderately highly heritable, just not all through IQ heritability. Not the same thing as your slanted point at all.

How is my point slanted? I said exactly what Herrick's discussion pointed out -- that parents income is a hell of a lot more highly correlated with life outcomes (income, major life outcome) than IQ is, and that on any reasonable assumptions IQ can only account for a small minority of this correlation. (Even if you assume kids inherit exactly their father's IQ purely through genetic means -- totally unrealistic -- IQ could account for only about a fifth of the intergenerational correlation in income). Hence showing up your rather unimaginative claim that IQ is the most important determinant of life outcomes that you can think of.

IQ is the ability to solve mental problems with specified solution sets.

way too general -- you would have to define "mental problems" and "specified solution sets" rather narrowly to make this true.

it is implicated as a necessary supporting factor in the development of other crucial skills which involve more than that ability, but rely on it: reading is an example. Would you say reading is an important skill?

of course, but obviously most people (90%+) can learn to read. The ability to walk relies on physical strength, but how much weight you can lift is only strongly correlated with life outcomes if you are extremely weak. (IQ is of course more important than physical strength these days, but the analogy holds).

Liberals are notorious for describing conservatives as stupid, bloviating about their own intellectual superiority, and invoking IQ in everything but name as they do so.

as I said above, liberals are better than conservatives for *so many* reasons. Just as pure IQ does not account for the majority of life outcomes, it does not account for the majority of reasons why liberals are better than conservatives.


Posted by: MQ on October 30, 2008 6:51 PM



Oh, Jesus and Mary Wept.

Why is it the IQ thing that brings out the rabidness in the Rousseauesque here.

Can't you save it for when there's posters just stopping short of bursting out into the Horst Wessel Song?

Priorities, people. Besides, no matter how you try to cut it, in the end the IQ folks are right. The only thing that's wrong is those who start making IQ a moral thing instead of a brainpower thing, and that, my friends, is a completely bipartisan endeavor.

Posted by: Spike Gomes on October 30, 2008 7:45 PM



JV: Greenspan might privately believe in anything (religious fervor or not); his actions during last decade or so could hardly be called libertarian. If specialists refered-to BY A.Sullivan @ my link couldn't persuade you otherwise, could a non-economist like me do?

Chris: I did have a chance to read your post now, and I have to say: your view of me is determined by your political biases. I wouldn't speculate though as to your experiences that led you to end up this crippled way; I'm too polite for that.
I assure you, you're no Stalinist ot Trotskyte - you, for better (not worse) don't have the guts. MQ, for instance, could under different social conditions develop into one - but not you. As you see, I do differentiate.

But all those fractions, however much variety in their goals and strategy there is, all based on the same principle: theft of property from "haves" and redistribution of it to "have nots". Only Dems think themselves cleverer than primitive Marxsists of 1880's - they don't kill the golden goose that keeps the parasites clothed and fed - just to administer regular bloodletting. Spread the wealth, aha.
The underlying principle is the same, Chris: expropriation and redistribution. That's the basis for socialism. However stupid liberals think their opponents, that much is clear even to their fan base, too. Note that Libs promote this view intentionally, as a means to get elected into seats of power - then they'll cut the pie - not forgetting themselves in the process, of course. Just look at all those "non-profits" and social workers.


Permit me to quote the Giant:

"And what is your opinion of it, if I may ask?"
Sharikov shrugged. "I don't agree".
"With whom? With Engels or with Kautsky?"
"With neither", answered Sharikov.
"That's marvelous, I swear. And anyone who says otherw...And what would you propose yourself?"
"What's there to propose?...They write and write...congress, Germans...who knows them...makes your head spin. Just take everything and divide it up..."
"I thought so!" exclaimed Philip Philippovich slamming his hand on the tablecloth. "Exactly what I thought".
"Do you know how to do it, too?" asked Bormenthal with curiosity.
"How, how", Sharikov began, growing voluble after the vodka. "It's plain enough. What do you think? One man spreads himself out in seven rooms and has forty pair of pants, and another hangs around garbage dumps, looking for something to eat".

I highly recommend the book, btw. Make it your num.1 Xmas list entry - you won't regret it.

Patrick: vodka, then. Nothing better than pure product. "You know I really really like you..I said I really really like you..."

Posted by: Tatyana on October 30, 2008 8:33 PM



When you use state data -- for divorces, for example -- to make inferences to individuals, you commit the "ecological fallacy". That doesn't mean that your conclusion is wrong, but it often is.

For instance, in recent elections, rich states have been more likely to vote for Democrats than poor states. Does this show that Democrats are better off than Republicans? No, because there can be confounding variables, as there are in this example. In fact, as the exit polls show, those in the higher quintiles are more likely to vote Republican.

This is a common mistake. I see it from time to time in columns by (Nobel Prize winner) Paul Krugman. (I imagine that every time he makes that mistake, methodologists at Princeton laugh at him.)

I've written about this error from time to time on my site. I suppose that I should do it again some time after the election.

Posted by: Jim Miller on October 30, 2008 10:15 PM



Tatyana – If I misremembered a reference in a long ago thread about you having emigrated from the U.S.S.R. and thus having intimate knowledge of the evils of communism, I apologize, but that was my memory.

I note, however, that you shy away from the main point I was making; wealth redistribution has been very effectively taking place for the past thirty years. It has been partly the result of government policies including changes in the tax codes, giving subsidies to select industries, and many other means. It has been partly the result of the current distorted version of "global" capitalism that has been inflicted upon us. The direction of this redistribution of wealth has been from the bottom (and middle and upper middle) to the very top. Why is this redistribution of wealth okay, while "spreading the wealth" more evenly is not?

The other point you fail to address is that, like communism, libertarian free markets are a Utopian ideal that will not, and cannot ever, exist in the real world; to continue to deny that the Greenspan era was not aimed at coming as close as possible ... and failing miserably to exhibit the benefits this system is supposed to bring ... is, given Greenspan's own mea culpa, less than credible.

Posted by: Chris White on October 30, 2008 11:51 PM



Yes, I immigrated from former SU. The rest of your paragraph about me and my views is your own speculation, and displays rather primitive thinking.

I said the financial industry has been regulated, didn't I? No libertarian will ever applaud government intervention into markets - as well as in everything else except defense.
I don't shy from anything; I told you already that government regulation is the culprit, not the free markets - Greenspan hardly been a monarch ruling absolutely, has he? If anything, it is the government regulation that is failed, all these corporatist policies that he had to fight; only at the end he didn't even attempt to. If you actually did the unthinkable and clicked on the link I provided, you'd read about that sad story.

For 30 years, you say - no, it started in 1929, with Dem's regulation, and after the War became worse. I'll give you another link (which you of course will not open, as my previous ones - but maybe somebody will): about corporatism, and the real nature of the relationship between the very rich and the government. Your government policies including changes in the tax codes, giving subsidies to select industries, and many other means are the result of this relationship. Nothing libertarian about it - but it looks very much like the principles economy of Nazi Germany was organized on.

As I said, red herring tactic - to find a scapegoat the LEAST responsible, and load him with your own sins - that's what your blaming Greenspan looks like.

Enough. I got bored talking to you.

Posted by: Tatyana on October 31, 2008 9:22 AM



No JV, MQ did nothing of the sort. He didn't say anything that was incompatible with my point that liberals worship IQ in themselves while denying its signficance in others.

He continues to elide over his misrepresentation of gene environment interaction...he simply does not understand what the term means. Genetic and environmental contributions to traits can be parcelled out...heritability is a meaningless statistic in his view, but it is not. It is very meaningful.

And much else besides. JV, I'm sorry to say this, but your own understanding of points made by others and me has been so poor, you're in no position to judge the results of a debate between MQ and myself.

I have one last question for my bud MQ: you stated that IQ measures "skills" (another clever little slant, inserted fast enough that the likes of JV don't catch it--the word to use is "traits") that enable one to function in large bureaucratic organizations.

If that bizarrely tendentious definition of IQ holds, then it must follow that since blacks score on average lower than whites, that blacks are on average less able to function in large bureaucratic organizations. Right? So what is it about them that makes this so? They don't have certain skills? Then why aren't you ensuring that those skills are taught to blacks? Are they not taught? Then why are you not agitating for them to be taught? Why aren't liberals agitating for those "skills" to be taught?

Because they don't know how. Because they're not skills. They're traits. And we don't know how to teach traits to people.

And anyway, I am ashamed that I allowed the egregious Chris White to sidetrack me from the point I was making: liberals worship IQ more than conservatives, identify themselves as in possession of more of it than conservatives, and reveal that snobbery in essays like Egan's.

And MQ hasn't answered a single part of that thesis. If anything, he's exemplified it.

Posted by: PatrickH on October 31, 2008 9:38 AM



Oh, this is hilarious - and relevant.

"The wealthy get all the breaks!"

Posted by: Tatyana on October 31, 2008 9:54 AM



And speaking of allowing myself to be sidetracked, why the F**K did I allow you MQ to sidetrack the discussion to that GNXP referenced study and take its focus on income and inflate it without notification to my point about desirable life outcomes in general?

I repeatedly stated in every comment that IQ is highly correlated with desirable life and social outcomes...not just income. I stated this REPEATEDLY.

You came along and pointed to this study referenced by Herrick and (again!) slanted it into saying that parental income is a greater determinant of desirable life outcomes than IQ is.

The study said nothing of the sort. It focused on one desirable outcome: income. As usual, you didn't respond to my first criticism of your misrepresentation of the study, that it was partitioning the heritability of income, not environmental effects (Herrick [my emphasis]: "Looks like the genetic heritability of income is being driven mostly by non-IQ channels.")

But I didn't catch your double sneak: the study only referred to income. It did not talk about desirable life outcomes in general. And I allowed you to sucker me again into following you down another one of your tricky weavy little garden paths.

No more. Next time, I'm putting you through a line-by-line read--no a word-by-word read. You're a damn sight cleverer than Chris White, so your evasions and shadings are trickier to catch.

I won't let you pull the wool over my eyes again.

Posted by: PatrickH on October 31, 2008 10:04 AM



The thing I can't help wondering about is how the Obama-maniacs (the ones who reallyreally believe in him) are going to contend when he screws up, disappoints, etc. Because all politicians screw up and disappoint.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on October 31, 2008 10:55 AM



Actually, I'm going to stop reading you, MQ. I have no faith in your honesty, or your understanding of the basic concepts of the field in question (I realized with a jolt this go-around that you clearly simply do not understand what gene/environment interaction even is; and I don't think you understand heritability either). You're not worth the time and energy I've given you. Any more than is Chris White.

I finally gave up on Roissy's worthless site because of the low intellectual quality of the commenters there, including the paste-complected middle-aged custodian of that shabby little teenboy-only hotel, Roissy himself. Time to do some write-offs here too. People who won't answer honestly are not worth asking questions of. I'm going to recover my interest in what brought me to this site in the first place--its omnivorous culture consuming quirkiness--and wean myself off the nourishment-free political discussions that the Chrises, STs and others clot this blog with.

Why, I can feel my tension headache lifting already!

WE'RE BONED 'O8. But not me, not any more.

Posted by: PatrickH on November 1, 2008 10:17 AM



Your government policies including changes in the tax codes, giving subsidies to select industries, and many other means are the result of this relationship. Nothing libertarian about it - but it looks very much like the principles economy of Nazi Germany was organized on.

OMG! Hitler changed the tax codes? He gave selective subsidies to industry? I guess he was really a bad guy after all.

Posted by: John Emerson on November 1, 2008 1:09 PM



Emerson, are you drinking again?
Ah, no, wrong... I don't think he ever stopped...

I'll say it again: nobody is as stupid as the lefty. Especially when he/she is trying to appear witty.
And then thinks that people laugh with him...while they laugh at him.

Posted by: Tatyana on November 1, 2008 3:45 PM



I have no faith in your honesty, or your understanding of the basic concepts of the field in question (I realized with a jolt this go-around that you clearly simply do not understand what gene/environment interaction even is; and I don't think you understand heritability either).

dude -- I've read and understood all the now decades-old Jensen stuff you clearly worship, and much more besides. I'm the one who gave cites to peer-reviewed journal articles to illustrate my positions, you're the one who just makes increasingly shrill assertions in response instead of actually moving the conversation forward. It's you who doesn't understand what heritability or the gene/environment interaction is, to the point that you become hysterical when asked to think about them. Understand this: in biology controlled experiments with plants or animals where the environment can be completely controlled, you can isolate heritability as a complete genetic effect, and also isolate a gene/environment interaction. Sibling studies in humans ARE NOT CONTROLLED EXPERIMENTS, environmental correlations with genes cannot be controlled, and therefore one must make *strong assumptions* about independence to come up with gene/environment interaction effect. See e.g. this article about the assumption that monozygotic and dizygotic twins have equally similar environments, necessary for the heritability estimates in classic twin studies.

Your point about trait vs. skill is potentially important and interesting. Although the Jensen-esque insistence on IQ as an unchangeable "trait" is problematic and propagandistic (IQ can be changed through environmental interventions, something that is easily demonstrable although you're not worth the effort at this point), IQ test results probably are correlated with some not-well-understood stuff about genetically endowed learning capacities that could reasonably be characterized as a fixed trait. That seems sensible enough, even though it does not justify the single-minded and absolutist IQ fetishism of some. Anyway, the relationship of genetic learning capacities and skills is a very interesting one, although you're not interested in discussion here.

The only thing you're interested in is sticking your fingers in your ears and drowning out any possible idea that someone could have read and understood the actual research and still not view IQ as the be-all and end-all of human existence. People are complicated, IQ has some significance but it's one factor among many, it has important genetic and important environmental determinants that are difficult to tease out. This is all common sense, and science does not contradict it.

Posted by: MQ on November 3, 2008 12:17 AM



Also, I do not mean to imply that the problems with the "heritability" concept are limited to the many assumptions that are made within the model itself. The whole notion that a decomposition of variance could *ever* give you a coherent answer to the question of how much of human behavior was "caused" by genetics, the whole notion that genetic and environmental effects could ever be additively separated in the manner assumed by the variance decomposition model, was elegantly exploded by Lewontin way back in 1974 , see also this more recent reflection on Lewontin's point.

Posted by: MQ on November 3, 2008 12:41 AM



While I agree with most of D. B. Light's comment as regards Pittsburgh, I have a bone to pick with his opinion of a lack of world-class universities in Pittsburgh
I'd say CMU and UPitt, though they may not stack up well in the athletics accomplishment field, can match and/or exceed most world-class universities in their academics.

As regards the general tone of things here, I'm glad God created communicatrix so that she can post here and make a very valid point.

Posted by: DarkoV on November 3, 2008 12:39 PM






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