Archive for March, 2006

Securing the borders since 1513

March 31, 2006

I have heard some consternation about the news that the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde are supporting Republican Ron Saxton for governor.

Is their support of a Republican really a surprise, though? Don’t forget: Native Americans do have a consistent 500-year record of opposition to illegal immigration.

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A green and pleasant land, indeed

March 30, 2006

From an article in the once-august Times of London:

Professor Lynn, who caused controversy last year by claiming that men were more intelligent than women by about five IQ points on average, said that populations in the colder, more challenging environments of Northern Europe had developed larger brains than those in warmer climates further south. The average brain size in Northern and Central Europe is 1,320cc and in southeast Europe it is 1,312cc. “The early human beings in northerly areas had to survive during cold winters when there were no plant foods and they were forced to hunt big game,” he said. “The main environmental influence on IQ is diet, and people in southeast Europe would have had less of the proteins, minerals and vitamins provided by meat which are essential for brain development.”

He added that differences in intelligence across Britain could be attributed to bright people moving to London over hundreds of years. Adults in England and Wales have an IQ of 100.5, higher than Ireland and Scotland, both with 97. People living in London and the South East average 102. “Once in the capital they have settled and reared children, and these children have inherited their high intelligence and transmitted it to further generations.”

Let me see if I understand this…

In Europe, living in the relatively mild climate of the southeast retards IQ.

But in Britain, living in the relatively mild climate of the southeast enhances IQ.

The good old ALA

March 28, 2006

At the post office today, I mailed off my ballot for the 2006 American Library Association elections. Among my votes was one against the proposed increase in member dues.

While at the post office, I picked up my mail, which included a packet from the ALA. And what did that packet contain? A lengthy advertisement favoring the proposed increase in member dues. That vaunted ALA efficiency at work!

Besides which: They say they need more money, but they have enough already to pay for a nice packet (six pages, color printing) and the postage to send it to tens of thousands of ALA members.

Californians in Oregon, Part 2

March 28, 2006

When walking around Southeast, I see many, many more Michigan and Ohio license plates than ones from California, even though the Golden State is much closer and (I presume) sends more emigrants to Oregon.

Why?

Because native Californians are taught and taught well: If you ever move to Oregon, the first thing you do — the…very…first…thing…you…do — is to get your license plates changed.

Replacing a windshield is expensive.

Californians in Oregon, Part 1

March 28, 2006

To paraphrase something a friend recently wrote:

A group of geese is a flock. A group of wolves is a pack. A group of cows is a herd. A group of Californians is a calamity.

Things I’m still getting used to

March 28, 2006

In Portland, “OSU” means Beavers instead of Buckeyes, and “the Coogs” are still red but they’re way too white.

Picture of Portland #3

March 27, 2006

Interstate 84 heading into downtown, seen from the 12th Avenue overpass.

Iraqi death rate, in perspective

March 27, 2006

California has had two major riots in the last 50 years:

  • The Los Angeles riots of 1992, when 53 people died, 26 of them in a single day.
  • The Watts riots of 1965, when 34 people died.

In Iraq, death tolls larger than these have been happening almost every single day. What in California is a memorable trauma is in Iraq everyday life.

 
Look at it another way:

Iraq has about 26.1 million people. The state of California has about 35.9 million people.

In the state of California, an average of about seven murders are committed each day.

In the country of Iraq, with only three-quarters as many people as California, massacres of 20-30 people are common, and those are on top of any single or double murders that are not notable enough to make the foreign news.

Just today, 40 Iraqis were killed in a single suicide bombing. Have 40 people ever been murdered on the same day in California? In Iraq, it will probably happen again before the week is out.

As a conquering nation, the United States has the duty to provide security and order in Iraq. The Bush administration has failed to do that, and thousands of people are dead because of that failure.

The emaciation of conservatism

March 25, 2006

RedState is a prominent Republican group blog. On consecutive days this week, it featured:

  1. A post interpreting the graying of the conservative movement as an opportunity for the young’uns of RedState to advance in that movement.
  2. A post conditionally supporting Ben Domenech on the occasion of his resignation under pressure from the Washington Post.

Ben Domenech is a hollow man, notable for glorifying the military without serving and marriage without wedding. His writings (the parts that were not plagiarized) are exemplars of a style of punditry that treats the different as inferior, the exotic as risible, and the uncomfortable as perverse; a style suited for the immature, the inbred, and the inexperienced.

I started to leave the conservative movement in the mid-’90s because so much of what passed for thought and discussion within it was done in this style. Almost everyone cited the same canon and came to the same narrow range of conclusions. Few were willing to engage (as opposed to mock) non-conservatives and their ideas.

And that’s the fatal flaw of the conservatives of my generation: They talk only amongst themselves. The graying conservatives who built the movement had to appeal to all kinds of people in order to build it. Conservatives in their 20s and 30s — the Jonah Goldbergs and Ben Domenechs — simply can’t do that, and I would guess that they don’t see the need to do that because they take for granted the power and permanence of the conservative movement.

RedStaters are not going to inherit the conservative movement. RedStaters are going to watch helplessly as the movement recedes back to the fringe from whence it came.

Dahmus bait

March 22, 2006

Yo, M13K!

On this book cover, please to be reading the title of the book, then look at the person pictured in the upper right.

And before commenting, please remember that this is a family blog, so be careful when you knock stuff off the shelves. Be careful…for the children.