Saturday, April 29, 2006

Whose view of reality is more distorted: old female hippies or blacks? Surveys have revealed that many blacks, and even more educated blacks, believe that HIV may have been invented by white scientists to kill them. I thought that there could not be a group of people less in touch with reality. Then I listened to old hippies. On several occasions on television, I have heard Jane Fonda types saying they believe that America is so reactionary, compared to every other country on the planet, that a woman simply cannot win the presidency. They see the world very clearly indeed: only 95% percent of those polled said they would vote for a woman. The number is so friggin' high, GSS has stopped asking the question.
Who would have guessed? Smart people believe in genes! What kinds of people are most likely to think that where you end up in life has nothing to do with genes? Educated people might talk a good egalitarian game, but people going no further than high school are much more likely to think that genes don't matter. Thirty-five percent of the uneducated felt this way: only 20 percent of those with advanced degrees did. And other factors? Not surprisingly, 40% of blacks are pure nurturists, compared to 30% of whites. For hard-core conservatives, it was 17%. For hard-core liberals, it was 35%. As for religion, people with no religion had the highest share of nurturists (37%). Interestingly, the religion with the greatest appreciation of genes was Judaism. Only 24% of Jews thought genes were inconsequential.

The picture that emerges here is this: smarter, better informed people appreciate the power of genes (at least privately) unless they have some agenda, as in the case of liberals.
Gay men ain't so hot for marriage, part 2: Looking at the survey I constantly analyze, I ran across a question about how important personally is it for you to be married. While 57% percent of straight men felt it was important, only 18 percent of gay guys did. The push for gay marriage is probably primarily a demand for recognition that gays are as a good as straights and should get everything they do, and only secondarily a romantic or practical desire for marriage.
Alert to women married to a Russian: They might be cheating on you! The General Social Survey asks people is it wrong to cheat on your spouse. America has a long-standing dislike of infidelity (never mind Clinton's popularity). According to polls, Americans are more accepting of minor drug use than cheating. But let's look at how this might vary by ethnic group. Below is the percent of men who say cheating on your wife is not wrong:

USA 13.4%
1. Russians 24.0
2. Yugoslavs 23.9
3. Greeks 22.7
4. West Indians 22.3
5. Puerto Ricans 20.7
6. Spain 20.2
7. Blacks 20.1
8. Portuguese 20.0
9. Finns 18.4
10. Arabs 17.4
11. French 17.3
12. Italians 15.6
12. Chinese 15.6
14. Japanese 14.8
15. Lithuanians 14.7
16. Austrians 13.7
17. Irish 12.4
18. Scots 12.1
19. English/Welsh 12.0
20. American Indians 11.7
21. Polish 11.6
22. Czechs 11.5
23. Germans 10.9
24. Swiss 10.8
25. Hungarians 10.7
26. Danes 10.5
27. Swedes 10.3
28. Mexicans 9.5
29. Indians 9.3
30. Filipinos 8.4
31. French Canadians 8.3
31. Dutch 8.3
33. Norwegians 7.2

So, southern and eastern Europeans tend to be high, Asians are toward the middle, and northern Europeans are more often seen at the bottom. Blacks, West Indians, and Puerto Ricans are towards the top, but, strangely, Mexicans fall toward the bottom. Mexico has a long tradition of a wife and a mistress on the side, so I'm not sure why Mexican-American attitudes do not reflect this.

But this is just people talkin'. Next, I'll post their behavior.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Red states are great places to live #2: All those Bush states are boring places to live, right? Sure, because the only Wild West shows you can find there are fake. According to state-level data from Laboratory of the States, the zero-order correlation between red states and murder rates is -.72. That means that half of the story of homicide can be predicted by whether the state is red or blue. It's no wonder that so many Californian families with children are leaving the Golden State for a mountain state. "Hmm, let's see--living close to Disneyland...or saving my kid from a stray bullet...Love that Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blasters ride, but Colorado Springs, here we come!"

So I guess, in a way, life in heartland states is Europe or Japan. If you want to live in the most exciting place on earth, try Colombia where the homicide rate is a dozen times higher than ours.
Two-thirds of American Indians say they are white? Perhaps being white is cooler than I thought. There are large numbers of Americans from groups we don't think of as white who identify their race as white on the General Social Survey.

Percent of certain ethnic groups who say they are white:

Arabic 75.0%
Mexicans 69.8
American Indians 68.4
Puerto Ricans 57.1
Other Spanish 56.4
Japanese 19.4
Filipinos 18.9
India 18.4
Chinese 8.0
West Indians 6.0

So most Arabs and Hispanics think they're white. I tell my Hispanic-dominated classes that it is ridiculous that the U.S. government often lumps them in with whites in its statistics, but maybe many think that is appropriate. And two-thirds of American Indians are white? Huh? These must be mixed people who choose white as race and AI as their ethnicity.


Thursday, April 27, 2006

Why so much preference for vanilla over chocolate? (Or coffee, for that matter). From earlier discussions, it is safe to say that black men are much more attracted to white women than white men are attracted to black women. So what is the most important reason for this? The possibilities that come immediately to mind are:

1. Men in general prefer feminine women, and whites, on average, are more feminine than blacks (both in looks and behavior).

2. Black men, along with everyone else, are socialized to believe that white women are the most beautiful.

3. There is such a thing as objective beauty which all people appreciate, and white women are, on average, more beautiful.

4. Since white women have historically been a taboo to black men, this makes them more appealing.

5. Black men don't find them to be more beautiful, but to have other more appealing traits like cooperativeness.

6. Black men want to be with white women as a form of racial revenge.

What evidence do we have to support or contradict these ideas? Do people have other explanations in mind?
Who is more cliquish: blacks or Jews? I'm interested in the question of how much people prefer the company of their own to that of other groups. The General Social Survey provides answers when it asks about the religion and race of your best friend. If minorities did not prefer their own company, we would expect them to frequently have an outsider as a best friend because, as a member of a small group, they are are surrounded by a sea of opportunities to befriend members of the majority. The smaller the group, the more out-members you will bump into during your daily routine. If, on the other hand, you strongly prefer your own, you will swim against this tide of opportunity and seek out as a best friend a member of the in-group. For majority members, even if they had no preference for their own, we would expect most of them to end up with majority friends because they too are surrounded by members of the majority. Even if you wanted to, it is difficult to find a Jewish best friend in Boise.

These are the percent of people whose best friend is of the same faith:

Protestants 75%
Catholics 60%
Jews 76%

Jews are as likely to have a best friend of the same religion as are Protestants, even though Protestants are 29 times larger (58% versus 2%). Jews are more likely to have a co-religionist as a best friend than are Catholics, even though Catholics are a much larger group (27% versus 2%).

Let's now look at race. Here are the percentages of people having a same-race best friend:

Whites 90%
Blacks 84%

Blacks are almost as likely to have a same-race best friend as whites, even though whites are 6 times are numerous (80% versus 13%).

So to answer the question in the title? One complicating factor here is that blacks are more segregated than Jews, so it more difficult for a black person to make a white friend. Another complicating factor is how much other groups want to be your friend. It seems clear that majority groups will befriend Jews more easily than blacks. Bottom line: Jews are more cliquish than blacks.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Do black men prefer white women?

Here's the second set I promised. A reader suggested that the first set tends to be older, and it is among younger blacks where you see this preference for whites being realized. Fortunately, this set happens to be younger, and the girls are indeed lighter. I don't know that I am yet convinced of a clear preference for whites, but there is an unmistakable preference for light-skinned women with non-African features.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Do black men prefer white women?

An interesting discussion has unfolded in an earlier post about whether black men prefer white women or mulattas. I am not aware of any studies or hard data, but will keep looking. One simple we can approach the question is the examine a few extreme cases. Famous celebrities should be able to choose any type of woman they want. I wrote down the first 10 black male actors that came to mind and above are photos with their wives. The blog limits me to 5 photos, so I'll post the other 5 and some commentary next.
Roseanne-type women make my life a living hell: Is it just me, or are fat, ugly women the most difficult people in the world? Almost without exception, the students who harass me about how I grade them (as well as other class-related issues) are either females who look like Jabba the Hutt, or vocal black students. All the white guys and attractive girls never utter a peep. What is going on?

Monday, April 24, 2006

Dienekes has posted a study that shows that males have an average IQ that is 3.6 points than for females. For years, I have adopted Arthur Jensen's view, as expressed in g Factor, that the sexes have the same general intelligence. But as someone who has taught college students at several institutions over a decade, this view is at variance with my experience. And, of course, most of the intellectual leaders in my field are men. This graph closely matches what I have seen: you can't detect a gender difference among average students, but it becomes more noticeable at higher levels. The ratio of guys to girls at the highest level appears to be perhaps 4 to 1. La Griffe du Lion has documented the considerable gender difference in math, but I have sensed a general intelligence gap in the classroom. I thought maybe it was just bias on my part, but I am beginning to think it is real, and very important at the highest levels. Just take a look at Charles Murray's Human Accomplishment to see how much it matters.
Science, The Serial Killer

You broke Dream's neck,
Fed Romance arsenic,
Stabbed Spirit in the heart,
Crushed Poetry's skull,
Slit Dance's throat,
Throttled Ecstasy in her bed,
Shot Music in the head,
And hanged Magic with a rope.

With icy fingers, you murdered all these Beauty Queens.
Swedes: A race of drunkards! Everybody knows that the Irish drink more than other Americans, right? (Curse you, you evil stereotypers.) Wrong, it's those sodden Swedes! The numbers are high among northern Europeans and go down as we move toward southern Europe. Asians are very low, as are Arabs. Blacks and Mexicans are in the middle. As for Puerto Ricans: if you take a tour of the Bacardi plant in San Juan, you will get to see the "Cathedral of Rum." And the Russians have really let me down here.

1. Swedes 44.3%
2. Puerto Ricans 43.6
3. Finns 43.5
3. Scots 43.5
5. Irish 42.2
6. German 40.3
7. Yugoslavs 40.0
8. Swiss 39.6
9. Dutch 38.9
10. Czechs 37.4
11. Hungarians 37.0
11. French 37.0
13. Austrians 36.8
14. French Canadians 36.5
15. American Indian 36.4
15. Polish 36.4
17. West Indians 36.4
18. English/Welsh 34.5
19. Danes 34.1
20. Blacks 32.7
21. Mexicans 31.4
22. Italians 31.1
23. Portuguese 29.6
24. Spain 26.7
25. Russians 26.4
26. Lithuanias 25.0
27. Japanese 22.2
28. Indians 20.8
28. Filipinos 20.8
30. Arabs 20.0
31. Chinese 15.6
31. Greeks 15.6
Did the fraternity turn you into a drunk? Don't sit there and feel superior because you're a bigshot educated man who knows the meaning of discipline. Everyone assumes that it's the high school dropouts who are the stumble bums. But the General Social Survey tells us that 48% of men with bachelor's degrees admit that they sometimes drink too much, compared to 42% of guys who didn't finish high school.

Next, I'll look to see which ethnic group has the most drunks.
Is the stereotype of the dumb fundamentalist true? Readers of this blog will quickly notice my conservative orientation, but my goal is not so much to push an agenda but to find interesting information. For example, I'd like to tell you that, in spite of media portrayals, my fellow white conservatives who happen to be religious fundamentalists are just as educated as you and I are--they just prefer their religion straight up. Sorry, but I cannot. White Americans were asked to describe their religion, ranging from fundamentalist to liberal, and I took a look to see the percentage who completed at least a bachelor's degree:

Fundamentalist 14.8%
Moderate 22.5
Liberal 38.5

Now, as I wrote before, an education is overrated (and this coming from a professor). My parents, for example, are very sensible people, yet never stepped foot on a college campus. But I must admit that these numbers do not reflect well on our fundamentalist brethren.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Are we going to see more social strife, and from whom? Steve Sailer's article at VDARE documents the global importance of national IQ differences. He concludes that our importation of low IQ immigrants is creating long-term inequality which will produce social strife. This raised a question in my mind: Which immigrant groups are poor enough to become resentful? The General Social Survey has data on ethnicity and income. I chose $30,000 per household as the cutoff. The ethnic groups with averages lower than this are:

1. Africans
2. Mexicans
3. Arabs

These 3 groups are also non-white, so the class resentment is likely to be aggravated by racial and/or religious resentment.

White guys do not fantasize about black women, and they definitely do not fantasize about African women: Thanks to the reader who mentioned this Sudanese supermodel, Alek Wek, as an example of a real black woman. Now I'm a red-blooded American guy like the rest of you, but I must be honest--she's not giving me tingles. Maybe some hair or a body shot might help, but I find myself most attracted to women closer to home. White women with a twist of the exotic are most attractive, but Alek is too exotic.
Reason to belive in God (#2): My students have told me that at times I sound like a preacher in class. Not because I tell them how to think, but because my energy and rhythm make me sound like I am channeling MLK. Maybe I missed my calling. Well, this blog is an opportunity to share my thoughts, honest and unedited. And my thoughts often turn to the question of God.

Let me try out an idea on you. Science tells us that nature is locked in an iron grip of cause and effect, and scientific thinking has an amazing record of success...with the one crucial exception of human beings. Brilliant men have attempted to understand and predict human behavior for a very long time, yet I contend that we have made practically no progress here. Bentham? Yawn. Marx? C'mon. Freud? What a joke. Skinner? Do I look like a lab rat to you? Wilson? Well maybe, but do I look like a lab rat to you?

Now it is not my intention to identify every possible reason why scientific methods have failed to succeed in the social sciences where they have been so wildly successful in the real sciences. But I contend that one cause of the problem is that, unlike everywhere else in nature, there is considerable indeterminacy in human behavior. While carefully done research with a long list of risk factors may be able explain perhaps 50% of the sample's variation in individual behavior, this is far from 100%, and it is unable to predict what Joe (subject number 24) will do. Even the sharpest social scientist is very likely to be wrong if he ventures to predict that, "Joe will do X." Humans have much more control over their destinies than does a horseshoe crab.

So the evidence suggests that humans have somehow escaped (to some extent) the bone-crushing determinism of the universe. Events that don't follow the laws of nature are called miracles. How can Man ever transcend nature's machinery? The theological answer is that God touched him with just a bit of His own freedom.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Mexicans come in dead last in immigrant competition! This is the final installment in my mini-study of the highest versus the lowest quality immigrants. First, let's see who brings the greatest family stability to the country, measured as the percentage of people ages 25-60 who are married:

1. Indians 75.6
2. Filipinos 73.7
3. Chinese 72.7
4. Italians 71.9
5. Mexicans 65.5
6. English/Welsh 65.3
7. Spain 62.8
8. Germans 58.2
9. Africans 50.0

Below I have summed the standardized values of the five variables (unemployment, education, crime, political values, family stability) in order to get a ranking of immigrant groups from best to worst. Listen: can you hear the drum roll?

1. Filipinos (10.7)
2. English/Welsh (7.8)
3. Chinese (6.9)
4. Indians (6.1)
5. Germans (1.6)
6. Italians (-1.6)
7. Spain (-3.02)
8. Africans (-5.68)
9. Mexicans (-12.9)

Counting both legal and illegal immigrants, annual totals from the Philippines number in the tens of thousands while those from Mexico numbers in the hundreds of thousands. I'm sure that people around the world look at our immigration policy and say, "Damn, those Americans are clever."
The best and worst immigrants, Part II: Okay, humor me--I'm interested in this question about which ethnic groups make the best immigrants, and which the worst. In this post, let's look at two more variables: crime and American political values.

For crime, I list the percentage who have ever been arrested (to get adequately large samples, I have to include native-born people as well as immigrants, on the assumption that crime levels for the two groups are similar):

1. Chinese 0%
2. Filipinos 4.5
3. English/Welsh 8.8
4. Germans 10.2
5. Indians 11.8
6. Italians 14.2
7. Africans 16.4
8. Spain 17.2
9. Mexicans 17.4

Amazingly low rates among the Chinese.

For American political values, I looked for a free speech question. Respondents were asked if they agreed that a racist should have the right to give a speech in their community. The numbers (just for immigrants this time):

1. Filipinos 66.7%
2. English/Welsh 66.3
3. Germans 60.7
4. Africans 58.4
5. Italians 56.9
6. Chinese 50.7
7. Indians 50.0
8. Spain 43.9
9. Mexicans 40.8

Again, Filipinos are looking good while Mexicans fall to the bottom of the rankings. Next time, I look at families and calculate an overall index.
Let's practice "horizontal eugenics": Eugenics aims to improve society by reducing the birthrate of children with undesirable traits while encouraging the number of babies born with desirable characteristics. The problem with this idea is not only that it collides head-on with our Judeo-Christian values, but that you never know what kind of Frankensteins we might create.

Trying to improve the quality of child over parents could be called "vertical eugenics." "Horizonal eugenics," on the other hand, refers to improving the quality of society through controlling the entrance of already-born humans into membership in the community, something described more simply as selective immigration. This form of eugenics is preferable since there are fewer ethical concerns, plus we don't have to predict the future behavior of the individual: we already have an adult with a history of well-established behavior.

So, in your opinion, which immigrants are most eugenic--or most dysgenic--to American society? Let's begin to look at this question with a behavior that is a cornerstone of American culture--working. Below is a ranking of unemployment among immigrants by ethnicity (from best to worst--included are countries with at least 50 respondents):

1. Filipinos 1.3%
2. Indians 2.6
3. Spain 6.8
4. Mexicans 7.0
5. Germans 8.0
6. Africans 8.3
7. Chinese 9.1
8. English/Welsh 9.8
9. Italians 10.0

We value education as well. Here are the numbers of those with at least a bachelor's degree (ages 30-60):

1. Chinese 74.1%
2. Indians 71.6
3. English/Welsh 54.0
4. Filipinos 51.2
5. Africans 41.8
6. Spain 31.9
7. Germans 22.6
8. Italians 14.8
9. Mexicans 6.3

So, looking at employment and education together, Indians and Filipinos come out on top, Mexicans and Italians on the bottom. In later posts, I'll look at other important characteristics (e.g., crime, values, family life) and will construct what I could call an "index of quality."

Friday, April 21, 2006

The Mexican work ethic ain't so hot: If I hear one more time how you have to hire Mexicans if you want to get anything done in America, I'm going to curse, and I'll have to do it in Spanish so my neighbors understand me. Looking at my favorite little survey, 5.1% of working-age Americans of English descent are not working. From what the elites tell us, if only 5% of those fat, lazy WASPs aren't working, there must not be a single loafing Mexican north of the Rio Grande. Wrong amigo: try 7.1%.

And how about total hours? Sure, maybe a lot of Anglos work, but they're working banker's hours, right, while Mexicans build those houses (that nobody wants to build) from dawn until dusk. Zero for two: Mexicans average 41.5 hours a week while WASPs work 42.9 hours.
Are white southerners jus' plum ignurunt? I've lived in several regions of the country, and everywhere I go I hear people making fun of Southerners. And Texan George Bush, sadly, has not helped dispel the stereotype. I wonder if people think that something in the water down there lowered George's IQ ten points, along with everybody else.

I've seen a lot of highly educated people I wouldn't want as my partner if I had to survive on a desert island ("Professor" from Gilligan's Island notwithstanding) but let's look at how many whites (ages 25-40) graduate with at least a bachelor's degree in various regions of the country:

USA 27.0%
New England 34.2
Middle Atlantic 29.4
East North Central 22.7
West North Central 31.4
South Atlantic 26.4
East South Central 20.7
West South Central 24.0
Mountain 30.3
Pacific 28.4

First, the southern states running along the Atlantic are about average. The East South Central region (AL, KT, MS, TN) is the least educated, but is closely followed by a northern region (East North Central: IN, OH, IL, MI, WI). Where are the jokes about all the stupid Wisconsans? How smart can you be with a head made of cheese? Texans (and AK, LA, OK) are smarter than they are, with almost one-quarter getting at least 4 years of college.

(Source: General Social Survey)
Are conservatives all about the Benjamins? Now we all know that liberals are the ones who choose a career to benefit society while conservatives are after the money, right? Not so fast--survey respondents (GSS) were asked how important is was to them to have a job that helps society. Fifty-eight percent of really conservative people said very important. So it must close to 100% for really liberal folks right? Try 50%.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Educated liberals all agree: kill the cry-baby parasites! The General Social Survey asks whether you agree that a woman should be able to have an abortion at any time for any reason. I suspected that the people I am forced to work with (highly educated liberals) would favor this more than any other group. I was spot on. Ninety-three percent of very liberal people with 20 years of education said yes to partial-birth abortions. I like these people about as much as I like the wicked old witch in Hansel and Gretel:

She shook her head and said, "Oh, you dear children, where did you come from? Come inside with me, and you will be just fine." She took them by the hand and led them into her house. Then she served them a good meal: pancakes with sugar, apples, and nuts; and made two nice beds for them.
Hansel and Gretel went to bed, thinking it was though they were in heaven.
But the old woman was a wicked witch who was lying in wait there for children. She had built her house of bread in order to lure them to her, and if she captured one, she would kill him, cook him, and eat him; and for her that was a day to celebrate.
White guys do not fantasize about black women: I swore to myself that I would not mention the Duke Lacrosse Team controversy, but I changed my mind when Jesse Jackson said that white men love to fantasize about black women.

One more than one occasion a white guy has asked me, "Do you think black girls are attractive?" I am a statistics-minded guy, so as usual with that kind of question I responded, "It depends--some yes, some no." The guys had brought up the topic as an opportunity to tell me that they felt no attraction to black women whatsoever.

Let's broaden our sample. FHM magazine recently polled its (mostly white) readers concerning the 100 sexiest women in the world. Guys were only too eager to vote for their fantasy girls. So how many black women are white guys dreaming about? Three: Alicia Keys, Beyonce Knowles, and Halle Berry. And how many of these look like an authentic black woman? Beyonce, maybe.

Actresses and singers have a leg up over supermodels in this competition too because they are often better known, and are liked for things others than beauty. Models, on the other hand, are valued for beauty and sex appeal, so how many black supermodels make the grade? Zero.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Men are most sexually satisfied in Manistan: An article in the USA Today reports an international study showing that people are most satisfied with their sex lives in countries with the greatest equality. We are given little explanation, however, and are left to believe that equality is mysterious magic that fixes everything in life, even sex. I imagine what is happening in egalitarian countries is that men actually make an effort to please a woman (making her happier), and women are encouraged to be sexual (making him happier). But they're selling you a line of bull if they mean that men's wildest fantasies are finally realized in this age of unselfish sex. The survey missed the most instructive country: the nation of Manistan. Manistan ranks number one in male satisfaction. All the women there want to have sex with you all the time, they insist that you do with them whatever you want, they insist that you only think of your own desires during sex, and they don't expect you to call them the next day.
Are blacks the happiest race? If you were asked which race of people is the happiest, what would you say? In spite of being reminded on a daily basis how life has handed blacks a raw deal, this groups of folks has always seemed very happy--lots of laughing, and enthusiasm, low suicide rates. Surveys get right to the point and ask you how happy you are. The results:

% blacks who are very happy: 22
% blacks who are unhappy: 21
% whites who are very happy: 34
% whites who are unhappy: 11

So my experience doesn't square with the numbers. How do we explain this?
Is it men that read the news? This blog intends to document all the sex differences that aren't supposed to exist. I was on a date with a girl and told her that one glance at a magazine rack shows we're different. All women ever read about is home, health, fashion, and tips to please their men. The guys seem to care about cars, guns, sports, porn, and the smarter ones, politics. I told her men like toys and have more of a macro-perspective. It's a big wide world of adventure and struggle. A women's world is all the relationships in her little village. Needless to say, my educated date did not care for my little pet idea.

Let's focus on just one important activity: reading the newspaper. Does one sex read more than the other? Here are the stats:

Men% Women%
Every day 55 49
Few times a week 21 22
Once a week 11 14
Less than once a week 8 10
Never 6 6

Okay, so there is not much going on here. Still, you know the guys are reading the sports section while women (and Wilmas) are reading style.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Is Jesus evil? Robert, a reader, made the claim that Jesus is evil because he advocated submission to others, worship of death, and rejection of earthly accomplishment. I'm fairly familiar with the Gospels and don't recall any of those things. Well, I don't have time tonight to read the whole New Testament, but time permits a review of what could be called "The Essential Jesus"--the Sermon on the Mount. Below all all of the verses I could find that in any way touch on Robert's claims. I will comment after each:

Matthew 3:3: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

"Poor in spirit" is a vague phrase, but the context suggests that Jesus is against the arrogance so often seen among elites. His theme here is that ordinary people often don't carry around a false pride, and they will be rewarded by God for that.

Matthew 3:5: "Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth."

Same as above.

Matthew 6:19:"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal."

This is a statement of anti-materialism; that true meaning in life is found in spirituality, not money-worship. This is not a condemnation of accomplishing worthwhile things in this life.

Matthew 6:25"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?"

This is a call to live for more than a full belly, and to take the (healthy) view that everything is going to work out. The most precious things in life are spiritual, not material.

Matthew 7:12: So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

Jesus is saying here that if you boil down all His teachings to their common denominator, you can sum it all up with the Golden Rule. In one sentence, this is what He is all about. Would any person want to be treated like a slave? Would any person want other people to convince him to commit suicide? Would any person want other people to stop him from achieving worthwhile things in this life?
Working-class Jews II: I wanted to explore this issue a little further since income is one thing, but it does not tell us what kind of work people are doing. So I found a question on the same survey asking if you have to lift heavy things at work. Here are the results (in percentages):

Protestants 48.6
Catholics 42.6
Jews 14.3
No religion 47.0

I suppose you can read these numbers either way: the stereotype is generally true, but 1 out of 7 Jews has to schlep heavy stuff on the job.
Working-class Jews? The Jews-are-out-to-get-us crowd laughs at the idea of a working-class Jew. And I must admit that I said "Interesting" when I was watching on program about separated identical twins and was told of two Jewish boys adopted away at birth who both turned out to be firemen. And I didn't say interesting because of the tremendous coincidence of their occupations.

On the one hand, if we look at the percentage of people who made a household income of more than $110,000 in 1998, it looks like this:

Protestant 7.2
Catholic 7.9
Jewish 28.9
Hindus 17.2

So, compared to Protestant, 4 times as many Jews are rich (this is the highest category in the survey). Not too shabby, but keep in mind that less than 1/3 of Jews have a lot of money. (And Hindus dispel the myth that brown people can't make it in America).

Now what about the other end? Let's choose less than $30,000 per household as a cutoff. It looks like this:

Protestant 41.4
Catholic 30.2
Jews 18.4
Hindus 25.8

The differences are large here, but the fact remains that nearly 1 in 5 Jewish households are not earning much (and keep in mind that this group lives disproportionately in high cost-of-living areas. Also--the survey does not include college students living in dorms who have little income).

(Source: General Social Survey)

Monday, April 17, 2006

Ya been hoodwinked! Did you catch this story on Lou Dobbs today? The Immigration and Reform Act of 1986 mandated employer fines for as much as $10,000 per illegal. Guess how many American employers were hit with any fine in 2004? Three. Three! What a joke.

The Social Security Administration was supposed to conduct a study on a card validation system. Twenty years later, and we're still waiting.

The Comptroller General was supposed to investigate the possibility of counterfeit-proof Social Security cards, using holograms and magnetic strips. Today, fake cards are all over the place.

The government never has provided a system to check the legal status of employees.

The Act also contained anti-discrimination provisions that prohibited employers from asking for other more reliable forms of ID.

And as Steve Sailer informs us, officials told agents to back off on finding illegals after campaign-contributing employers complained.

Denzel Washington's Malcolm X speech comes to mind: "I tell ya, you been had. Ya been hoodwinked. Bamboozled. Led astray. Run amok!”
Red States are great places to live(#1): To many of the country's elites, America's heartland is just a nuisance that makes their coast-to-coast flights much longer. And it's understandable why Bill Maher doesn't like Salt Lake City--it's not so easy to find a hooker and some blow there. But then again, as much a Bill goes in for mindless sex with strangers, he might want to think about Utah because almost nobody there is HIV positive.

According to data from (thanks to Steve Sailer for bringing this rich source of data to my attention) the correlation between the percent of the state voting for Bush in 2004 and the rate of new HIV cases was -.49. In plain langauge, living in a Red State lowers your risk of contracting the disease considerably. For example, 63% of North Dakotans voted for Bush. And how many people's HIV tests came back positive in the state in 2001? One whole person.
Liberals love porn: How often have you heard the claim that conservatives are huge hypocrites because they are all pious in public, but are the real perverts behind closed doors? Typical liberal maliciousness. In the past year, 42% of really liberal guys admitted to watching porn, compared to 24% of really conservative guys (General Social Survey). All you Catherine MacKinnon feminists better think twice before going on a date with a guy like Dennis Kucinich--chances are you're just a piece of tail to him.
Are uneducated whites more like blacks or educated whites? (#1--Crime): When talking about neighborhoods, people in my town change their tone of their voice and say, "Oh, you don't want to go over there," when the conversation turns to the black or poor white parts of town. But is this accurate to view these two communities as equally troubled? Once again, the Inductivist loves to see what the facts have to say. Using the General Social Survey to examine the question, 14% of white men with bachelor's degrees have ever been arrested. The number for white men who never finished high school--21%. For all black guys, it was 28%. So uneducated whites are right in the middle.

This will surprise all those people who assume that you see more crime in black neighborhoods because of poverty. But poor white men are less criminal than the general population of black men. In fact, the survey tells us that, in terms of crime, the group that matches whites with no high school diploma exactly is blacks with bachelor's degrees. So the moral of the story is that the poor white neighborhood is as dangerous as a neighborhood of black college grads.
Gay men are not so hot for marriage: We're told that gay men all sit around dreaming about their wedding day: "Should I go with the ball-style gown or the sleek mini-dress so I can cut loose at the reception?" According to the General Social Survey (you'd think I'd find some other survey to use once in a while) 22% of gay men feel that personal freedom is more important than marriage. Another 25% can't decide which is more important. That is double the number of straight men who prefer independence, and keep in mind that many of these heteros are married. Nobody values freedom like the inmate!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

The Democratic Party lost its manliness: Shortly before he was assassinated, President Kennedy gave a speech in Dallas where he boasted about how much the military had been built up in three years of his administration. I watched a clip of his speech, and as a child of the 80s, it still surprises me to see a Democrat who sends out a John Wayne vibe. While the Dems who have opposed the Iraq War happen to be on the right side of the issue, up against Kennedy, one cannot help but conclude that the Democratic Party lost its manliness somewhere along the way.
David Brooks is wrong: On the Chris Matthew's Show today, David Brooks of the New York Times said that the reason why it is increasingly difficult to get into an elite university is because talented girls (and minorities) who were until recently oppressed have finally been freed to pursue elite educations. Let's take a break from pundit bloviation, and look at the facts. I did a Google search, and the first stats I came across were for Cornell. Back in the dark days of the 198os, only one-half of undergraduates there were female (44% in 1988). After almost 2 decades of female liberation, by 2005 that figure had risen by a gargantuan 4 percentage points. What an outpouring of previously imprisoned talent.
Reason to believe in Jesus (#1): Today is Easter, so I have been thinking a lot about Jesus. I thought I'd pass along a insightful point made by C.S. Lewis. The story of Jesus is very different than other religious figures. The other founders of world religions--Mohammed, Siddhartha Guatama, Abraham--all claimed that they knew the way to God. If you can't accept their claims, you at least can respect them as being sane and serious men. Jesus is the only one to ever claim, not that he knew the way to God, but that he was God. History shows that people who go around saying they are God are nuts. Some will say they are Napoleon, while others are a bit more ambitious and choose The Almighty for their hallucination. Why not--if you're living completely outside reality, go for it, kid.

But the Gospels do not present a picture of a man who is one taco short of a combo plate. I find his words and behavior to be saintly and sublime. If he had just not said he was God, he could viewed as an inspiring moralist and philosopher--a Jewish Socrates. His life gives him general credibility, so why in the world would he say he was God? Perhaps because He was.
Wicked WASPs: Now that we have all done our tax returns (well most of us, anyway) let me ask how many of you cheated on them? Come on now, be honest. The General Social Survey tells us that groups of people differ on whether it is acceptable to falsify returns. Here is the percentage who say it is okay (listed from worst to best):

Puerto Ricans 32.1
Blacks 26.4
Italians 23.4
Jews 22.9
Irish 18.1
Germans 16.4
Mexicans 14.6
Scots 13.1
English 9.7

Amazing how these numbers match up perfectly with Hollywood's perennial storyline of the wicked WASP and the angelic minority.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Mexicans are not assimilating: My friends tell me to not worry about illegal immigration because, while we see certain problems now, they are temporary because America has always successfully assimilated new people.

Well, one good indicator of assimilation is less and less involvement in crime. But the General Social Survey tells us that recent cohorts of immigrants from Mexico have been differentiating away from mainstream America. Eleven percent of first generation male immigrants admitted that they had been arrested before. Fine, that rate is not high. (They may be underreporting for fear of being deported). But the percent of men of Mexican descent born in this country who say they have been arrested is 35 percent--a huge increase! Studies put the country's number of Hispanic gang members at close to half a million, and most of them were born here.
Reason to believe in God (#1): When I was a boy, I had many powerful spiritual experiences that convinced me there was a God. As my education made more scientifically-minded, I started to think that the source of these feelings was psychological: like with good fiction, imaginary ideas and images can produce very strong feelings.

There are a couple problems with this line of thinking. First, images in, say, a good movie may be imaginary, but they are so powerful because they reflect something real--heroism, sacrifice, redemption, love, etc. I often feel something very special when I am outdoors or stare at the night sky, and nature is of course real. Santa Claus or the Bogey Man may inspire some feeling, but what emotions they do inspire come from real things that the characters bring to mind: abundant gifts under the tree or child predator. You might say that God is imaginary, but He inspires strong feelings because he reminds us of our fathers or other real heroic figures. This does not square with my experience at all: my feelings for my dad or for George Washington are simply in a very different, inferior class.

This brings me to my second point that the class of emotion I have felt when contemplating God simply cannot be touched by any other kind of feeling I have had. Relationships, struggles, imagination, and nature generate a rich supply of feelings, but experiencing God is categorically different. It seems unlikely to me that a lifetime of experiences this profound would come from something purely made up.
Employers who hire illegals are like drug dealers: When debating illegal immigration, folks on both sides of the political aisle focus on the immigrants. Conservatives argue that aliens are lawbreakers. Moderates and liberals contend that undocumented workers are just that--workers who are vital to the economy. Radicals claim that Mexican immigrants coming to western states are not really immigrants because those states rightly belong to Mexico. They just moved, and the only difference is that instead of driving the U-Haul, they rode in back.

So, everyone argues about the whether the immigrants are a good or bad thing, but all this talk is about the little fish. All to often the big fish get off the hook. This is a big mistake since, in this immigration drama, the employer is the drug dealer and the illegal is only a junkie. The drug dealer gets fat while the neighborhood goes to hell. The politicians are the cops who close their eyes to the transaction in exchange for a dirty money payoff. And the ACLU who sues the employer for investigating the legal status of his workers is the fellow gangbanger who threatens you if you are even thinking about leaving the gang and going straight. Now, none of us likes a junkie, but he is just the little guy. American save their rage for the guy peddling the dope. He is the one who needs to serve some serious time.

Yes, illegal immigration is a serous problem, but so is illegal hiring. We need to shine the light on this issue.

For one thing, focusing on the employers can help us around one major difficulty. In a debate between Bill O’Reilly and Ann Coulter, O’Reilly asked if it was possible to invade the neighborhoods of illegals with paddy wagons, round up 11 million people, and dump them at the border. She insisted that the issue is about what it right, not what is realistic. But any reasonable person will agree that it’s always about what is realistic. And the only realistic way to send 11 million people packing is to dry up the damn jobs. Dry up the jobs, and illegals will deport themselves. The solution here is simple: we need legislation to go after the real felons--the employers.

Are gun owners mentally ill?

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