August 30, 2008

Mrs. Smith Goes to Washington

Scott McConnell at @TAC provides a helpful analogy:

"John McCain’s never seemed to me to merit his “maverick” moniker, but the Palin pick is clear evidence of an independent spirit. He met the women only in February, barely knows her, yet was clearly sufficiently smitten to disregard all professional party insider advice and the heavy neocon lobbying to choose Joe Lieberman, Bill Kristol’s pick to ensure Americans will be fighting Mideast wars in perpetuity. Watching McCain camp followers react to the choice is a bit like seeing the middle aged heirs of a very rich man feign pleasure when they learn Daddy has decided, very late in life, to marry a woman he just recently met, who happens to be forty years his junior."

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer

August 29, 2008

Palin as Obamaesque blank slate

Gov. Palin on her morning commute to the state capitol in Juneau.

Right now, Sarah Palin appears to have some of that Balanck Slate magic that propelled Obama to the nomination working for her, too (in contrast to the overly-familiar Joe Biden, who was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1954 when he was 11.) It's not just that he's from Hawaii and she's from Alaska. Here's somebody that nobody knows much about, but who has an interesting story, and everybody can seize on whatever bits and pieces they hear about her that they like and make up a little story about who she must be.

In particular, she appears to have completely won the hearts of the Nerd Vote with her Tina-Fey-in-the-NRA image -- pretty girls with big guns, just like in all the movies.

On the other hand, let me point out, she was a journalism major ...

The Ambler of British Columbia (from whom I stole the stock photo and caption above - where he got it, I can't say) has this to say about his neighbor to the Northwest.

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer

Palin v. Obama on reforming politics

Palin's record in turning out the corrupt, nepotistic old guard in Alaska will allow her to legitimately go after Obama's role as a facilitator of the Rezko-Blagojevich corruption in Illinois. With the whole world to choose from, Obama chose to become a Chicago politician, and not one of those Quixotic reformers who pop up there intermittently, such as the former junior senator from Illinois in 1999-2005, Republican Peter Fitzgerald. Obama's predecessor was dumped by the local GOP after one term because he insisted on bringing federal pitbull prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald (no relation) to town, who has since sent to prison Republican governor George Ryan, bipartisan fixer Tony Rezko, and, maybe someday, current Democratic governor Rod Blagojevich.

Obama sure hasn't made that mistake of using his federal power to help clean up Illinois.

When you understand Illinois politics, Obama's emphasis on "bipartisanship" takes on a sinister air, since in Illinois the central faultline undermining the commonweal is not Republican vs. Democrat but Politician vs. Public. As ex-Sen. Fitzgerald told John Kass of the Chicago Tribune:

“In the final analysis, The Combine’s allegiance is not to a party, but to their pocketbooks. They’re about making money off the taxpayers. And all these guys being mentioned, [in the Rezko trial] they’re part of it."

Obama's ostensible cause was not "fixing the broken politics" of Illinois, but getting a bigger cut of the boodle for his race. Obama's indoctrination in Saul Alinsky's cynical "Rules for Radicals" left him no room for Fitzgeraldian idealism. Alinsky taught that you must question people until you discover their self-interest, then you go from there. In reality, of course, Obama mostly just succeeded in promoting himself. The abstemious Obama appears to have been less interested in money than in the power he could garner as the clean face of the Combine, covering for allies like legislature godfather Emil Jones and Richie Daley (whom Michelle went to work for in the early 1990s). His most obvious slip-up was bringing Tony Rezko in on his mansion purchase, which I would guess was done for Michelle, who is far more materialistic.

Chicago politics is a combination of the boring (the scams are mostly nickel and dime stuff, just done over and over) and the seemingly bizarre (e.g., the brother of Richie Daley, the brother of Tony Rezko, and the son of Elijah Muhammad teaming up to fraudulently get a $10 million minority set-aside contract from Southwestern Bell for pay phones in Cook Couny jails). Illinois represents the triumph of post-everything politics: at the highest levels, race, religion, ideology, character, being a terrorist, endorsing the Manson murders, none of that means anything as long as you are an insider with clout and are willing to play ball.

Obama played ball. The media have paid little attention to it, but Chicago politics are a huge part of the Obama story.

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer

Palin's husband: 1/8th "Inuit" or "Eskimo"?

McCain's choice for Veep of the young lady governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin, seems, initially, like a good way out of the box of Romney (who would make a decent President but a poor VP candidate) vs. Lieberman. As I always say, there are 300,000,000 million people in this country, more than a few of whom would do better than the usual suspects. Of course, I'm just trying to wave my hands around here without looking too idiotic, because I have only the dimmest idea who Sara Palin is.

Having now read her Wikipedia article, she certainly sounds energetic. Although, with five kids, she may have a little too much on her plate, even for somebody who appears to be a force of nature. She's definitely the anti-Cheney, the complete opposite of the Washington insider. Symbolically, she seems like an excellent choice -- a sterling representative of a young, healthy, energetic, honest grassroots conservative America, the living embodiment of the fact that Affordable Family Formation is the bulwark of the GOP.

The McCain strategy here appears to be to play to Us vs. Them feelings, with Republicans portrayed as the core of America -- the married couples, people with a life -- while portraying the Democrats as the marginals -- singles, elites, gays, underclass, etc -- with the Democrats as the Party of Dying Alone.

Whether Palin will actually turn out to be a good campaigner, much less a good President, is totally beyond me.

One thing I am competent to comment on is that I hear her husband, who works for the oil industry in the winter and is a fisherman in the summer (Alaska fishermen are staples on all those "America's Toughest Jobs" reality shows, so that will make killer visuals), is 1/8th Yu'pik , which offers you the chance to one-up the Stuff White People Like crowd in terms of minority sensitivity. They will want to correct your gaffe of calling him part-Eskimo and explain that nobody is allowed to say "Eskimo" anymore. Everybody who is anybody must say "Inuit."

Sorry, but that's just the majority imposing their cultural hegemony on the minority.

As I wrote in 2002, you can tell those Canadian-symps:

The official handbook of the 3-year-old Canadian Territory of Nunavut says, "A word of advice, please don't call Inuit here "Eskimos." They've always called themselves Inuit, or 'the people' in Inuktitut, their native tongue."

The confusion over "Eskimo" vs. "Inuit" illustrates the paradoxes that accompany the many attempts these days to change the names of ethnic groups.

According to the American Heritage Dictionary, "Many Americans today either avoid this term (Eskimo) or feel uneasy using it." For example, a Web site of the University of Wisconsin School of Education advises teachers, "There are no 'Eskimo' people."

That would come as a surprise, however, to thousands of Yup'ik-speaking Eskimos in Western Alaska who much prefer to be called "Eskimo" instead of "Inuit."

Why? They aren't Inuit.

Steven A. Jacobson, a professor at the Alaska Native Language Center (of the University of Alaska at Fairbanks), told United Press International, "Yup'ik speakers say, 'We're Yup'ik Eskimos; our relatives in northern Alaska, Canada and Greenland are Inuit Eskimos; they aren't Yup'ik, and we aren't Inuit, but we're all Eskimos.' Yup'ik speakers prefer to be called 'Yup'iks' ... and -- in contrast to Inuit in Canada -- don't mind the word 'Eskimo,' but they do not like to be called 'Inuit.'"

"Eskimo" remains the only word that describes all the physically and culturally quite homogenous groups that extend from the Siberian side of the Bering Strait to Greenland. The American Heritage Dictionary sums up, "While use of these terms ('Inuit' and 'Yup'ik') is often preferable when speaking of the appropriate linguistic group, none of them can be used of the Eskimoan peoples as a whole; the only inclusive term remains Eskimo."

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer

August 28, 2008

The Party of the Forever War

Robert Novak (who, I thought, was retired) is reporting that John McCain really, truly wants to pick Democratic Sen. Joe Lieberman as his vice president:

Reports of strong support within John McCain's presidential campaign for Independent Democratic Sen. Joseph Lieberman as the Republican candidate for vice president are not a fairy tale. Influential McCain backers, plus McCain himself, would pick the pro-choice liberal from Connecticut if they thought they could get away with it.

Meanwhile Karl Rove tries to get him to take boring old Mitt Romney, and tried to talk Lieberman into withdrawing his name. Fox News says:

"a well-placed Lieberman source told FOX News that Rove did call Lieberman toward the end of last week and said something to the effect of: I love you, but I think it would be a disaster if you were chosen as vice president. According to the source, Rove said, “You should call McCain and tell him that,” to which Lieberman laughed. Lieberman did not call McCain, the source said."

Come on, John, don't be a wimp and merely pick Lieberman. Go all the way! Follow your heart. Show the world that the Republican Party of the United States of America now stands for one thing and only one thing:

Pick Netanyahu.

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer

The Chicago Way

I moved to Chicago in 1982, not too long before Barack Obama did, but, unlike him, I can't recall that I ever once thought of getting involved in Chicago politics. To me, wanting to be a Chicago politician would be like wanting to be an Albanian politician, or dreaming of opening a shop that buys and sells pre-owned hubcaps.

This is not at all to say that the spider's web of Chicago political relationships is boring for the disinterested spectator.

For example, the Chicago Sun-Times reports:

Jabir Herbert Muhammad — son of Nation of Islam founder Elijah Muhammad and former manager of boxing great Muhammad Ali — died Monday afternoon at the University of Illinois at Chicago Medical Center...

The longtime South Side resident managed Ali's boxing career from 1966 till 1981 and continued to work for him after he left boxing, until 1991 — a relationship that led to legal battles between the two. ...

Mr. Muhammad was an adviser to his father, who was the leader of the Nation of Islam until his death in 1975, and was the organization's business manager.

Mr. Muhammad had been in the news last year because of a lawsuit he filed against convicted political fund-raiser Tony Rezko to stay in his South Side mansion, a home built by the late Elijah Muhammad.

In an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times last year, Mr. Muhammad said Rezko had “embezzled” him out of ownership of the home, even though he and his wife never moved out. They sued Rezko and Dr. Paul Ray [another sizable Obama donor], who currently owns the house. The suit is pending.

Rezko is a former campaign fund-raiser for Sen. Barack Obama, Gov. Blagojevich and others and was convicted in federal court in June of wide-ranging corruption involving state deals. Rezko and Mr. Muhammad had been longtime friends and business partners before their falling-out. ...

His survivors include his wife, Amenah Antonia Muhammad; 14 children, Elijah Muhammad III, Isa Muhammad Ali, Safiyya Rahmah, Alif Muhammad, Mourad Muhammad, Gina Driskell, Omar Muhammad, Jabir Muhammad, Samirah Muhammad, Saeedah Hamahouallah, Salimah Zahid, Samiha Muhammad, Saniyyah Sepanik and Zarinah Muhammad; 45 grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren.

Earlier, the Sun-Times reported:

The lawsuit comes about nine months after a Chicago Sun-Times story in which Muhammad first publicly claimed that Rezko "embezzled" him out of his mansion and seven other properties. At the time, Rezko called the allegation baseless and "extremely hurtful ... as I have given [Muhammad] and his family millions of dollars over the years."

The Muhammad suit involves only the mansion, in the 1100 block of East 49th Street. The Muhammads say Rezko persuaded them to put the home into a land trust when Jabir Muhammad was extremely ill in the 1990s. They say they had no idea Rezko intended to seize it from them.

Rezko's lawyers have produced a real estate contract that shows the Muhammads sold the mansion and three adjacent lots to Rezko in 1993 for $519,000. Under their contract with Rezko, the Muhammads were to leave the house by Dec. 31, 1995, but they still live there.

I guess it must be hard to buy or sell a South Side mansion without getting Tony Rezko involved.

Obama got about $250,000 in campaign contributions from Rezko and his 100 or so relatives that Fat Tony has brought over from Syria, plus a Rezko-assisted deal on his own South Side mansion that I'm guessing was worth about $70,000. Yet, the Black Muslim founding family got "millions of dollars over the years" from Rezko? Michelle Obama must have been peeved when she learned how they'd been gypped ...

Why were Rezko and Muhammad so close? For one thing, Muhammad was Rezko's affirmative action front.

What was so crucial about Crucial? Minority set-asides. The Sun-Times reported: "Crucial had a contract with the Chicago Park District to sell food on the beaches and in many South Side parks." Rezko claims that during the late 1980s he managed the business affairs of the most famous Black Muslim, Muhammad Ali. God only knows how much he stole from the punchdrunk pugilist.

Marathon Pundit reported in January:
In 1984, Rezko went to work for Crucial, Inc., which was owned by Jabir Herbert Muhammad, son of Nation of Islam founder Elijah Muhammad and a onetime manager for boxer Muhammad Ali.

Eventually Rezko was running Crucial.

In March, 2005 it was widely reported that the City of Chicago had discovered that Crucial, which operated two restaurants at O'Hare Airport under a minority business certification, but it was a front, since Rezko was at the helm of the firm.
The publicity about Jabir Muhammad fronting for Rezko's two Panda Expresses at O'Hare hit the local news three months before Obama had Rezko help him out with the purchase of his mansion.

This kind of thing happens all the time in Chicago (and elsewhere), with white guys like Rezko getting affirmative action contracts for firms with nominal minority or female figureheads. For example, Mayor Daley gave tens of millions of dollars in set-aside contracts reserved for women-owned firms in the 1990s to a maintenance company operated by his close friends and campaign contributors, the mobbed-up Duff Brothers. My favorite part was when Hizzoner announced he was commissioning an in-depth investigation to figure out whether the the Duff Brothers were female or not.

Indeed, the Daley Family was in on the fraud with Rezko and Jabir Muhammad on another Crucial minority set-aside fraud:

Rezko Watch
In addition to Crucial Inc, another company certified as a minority owned, Crucial Communications, was also found to be a Rezko front company. This firm was chosen as a subcontractor by SBC Communications. SBC won a no-bid $10 million contract in 2003, to handle the pay-phone system at the Cook County jail and other county facilities.

At the time the $1.3 million contract was awarded to Crucial, SBC was led by “Combine” member, Bill Daley, Mayor Daley's brother [and former Clinton Administration cabinet secretary], according to the April 4, 2005 Daily Southtown. Bill is now an Obama advisor and a member of his finance committee.

The Times found that Cook County was Crucial's lone customer, and the six employees listed included Rezko’s brother, Aboud Rezko, Jabir Muhammad, Mrs Muhammad, and Bernice Hatchett-Polk, none with expertise in maintaining pay phones. [Most of the "employees" gave donations to Obama, by the way.]

...Under the contract awarded by SBC, Crucial was supposed to be run by Wade. However, on March 26, 2005, the Tribune reported that Wade had died more than a year earlier on January 23, 2004, and Muhammad had been too ill to run the company for three years.

"In their recertification documents in September 2004, they did not indicate that there was any change in the ownership or management," a Cook County spokeswoman told the Daily Southtown.

But on May 5, 2005, the Times reported that the woman who notarized Crucial's latest recertification for minority-owned status, Gwendolyn Duncan, was John Stroger's secretary and was paid $72,000 to be his administrative assistant.

When county commissioners tried to find out exactly how this racket got set up, Stroger said SBC chose Crucial to be the subcontractor, and the SBC spokesman said SBC chose Crucial from a list of certified minority-owned companies provided by Cook County.

On March 15, 2005, the Times reported that there were six Rezkos on Cook County payrolls
It's important to understand that affirmative action is just another way for the bipartisan and multicultural cabal of Illinois insiders, what Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass, Mike Royko's successor, calls The Combine, to rip off the public. Thus, you get these hilarious combinations: the Irish Catholic Daley, the Black Muslim Muhammad, and the Syrian Christian Rezko, all united -- transcending race, as it were -- to steal money.

And Obama played ball with all of them in his pursuit of power.

For example, Rezko is going to prison in large part for packing the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board with five of his lackeys so they would approve hospital construction in which he had an interest. That Board used to have 15 members, making it hard for Rezko to corrupt it, but in 2003, a bill passed the Illinois legislature reducing the number of members from 15 to 9. And who was the chairman of the Illinois Senate Health and Human Services committee that recommended that bill? Why, Rezko's $250,000 friend, the Presidential nominee ...

By the way, something that's long bothered me is this. Obama wrote that the hero of his youth was Malcolm X. Now, Malcolm was assassinated in 1966 by Black Muslim hitmen working for Elijah Muhammad. The chief long term beneficiary of the murder was Louis Farrakhan, who earlier had written that Malcolm deserved death. Whether Farrakhan was directly involved in the killing is unknown -- a number of years ago, one of Malcolm's many daughters hired a hitman to rub out Farrakhan in revenge. Even if he wasn't involved in the conspiracy, Farrakhan's sentiments are clear: he gave Malcolm's old job to one of the murderers when he was finally released from prison.

Yet, where's the outrage against the Black Muslims on Obama's part? If somebody important was tied into the murder of a hero of my youth, like Jerry West or Fernando Valenzuela, I sure wouldn't treat him as evenhandedly, with a mixture of sympathy for his goals and sarcasm at the impracticality of his economics, as Obama treats Farrakhan in Dreams from My Father. Nor would I have chosen a minister who went with Farrakhan to visit Gadafi in Libya in 1984 and gave Farrakhan his Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007. Nor would I be happy about having a fairy godfather like Rezko who is up to his eyeballs in dealings with Elijah Muhammad's heirs.

Is that just the Chicago Way: what's a little murder among players like Obama, Rezko, the Daleys, Wright, Farrakhan, and the Muhammads compared to the political and financial benefits of scratching each other's backs? Is Obama really that coldblooded? Or does he believe that Malcolm was murdered by the FBI? Or is there something else going on?

P.S., Craptocracy watched Obama's speech so I don't have to.

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer

August 27, 2008

Saakashvili: The gun went off by itself while I was just holding it

The WSJ Op-Ed page explains things:

How the Georgian Conflict Really Started
August 28, 2008; Page A15
Tbilisi--'Anybody who thinks that Moscow didn't plan this invasion, that we in Georgia caused it gratuitously, is severely mistaken," President Mikheil Saakashvili told me during a late night chat in Georgia's presidential palace this weekend.

"Our decision to engage was made in the last second as the Russian tanks were rolling -- we had no choice," Mr. Saakashvili explained. "We took the initiative just to buy some time. We knew we were not going to win against the Russian army, but we had to do something to defend ourselves."

Everybody knows the best defensive tactic in tank warfare is a failed offensive, especially against Russia. For example, consider how well taking the initiative worked out for Hitler when he started the biggest tank battle ever, the Battle of Kursk, in the summer of 1943.

... "I got a call from the minister of defense [who, by the way, in case I haven't mentioned it before, is 29-years-old] that Russian tanks, some 200, were massing to enter Tskhinvali [capital of the Russian protectorate of South Ossetia] from North Ossetia," Mr. Saakashvili told me. "I ignored it at first, but reports kept coming in that they had begun to move forward. In fact, they had mobilized reserves several days ahead of time."

This was precisely the kind of information that the Russians have suppressed and the world press continues to ignore, despite decades of familiarity with Kremlin disinformation methods. "We subsequently found out from pilots we shot down," said Mr. Saakashvili, "that they'd been called up three days before from places like Moscow. We had intelligence coming in ahead of time but we just couldn't believe it. Also, in recent weeks, the separatists had intensified artillery barrages and were shooting our soldiers. I'd kept telling our guys to stay calm. Actually we had most of our troops down near Abkhazia where we expected the real trouble to start. I can tell you that if we'd intended to attack, we'd have withdrawn our best-trained forces from Iraq up front."

But, as you admitted above, you did attack. You say you "took the initiative" with your "decision to engage." Your tanks crossed the de facto boundary between Georgia and South Ossetia first.

Aren't you saying you hadn't "intended to attack" when you did, in fact, attack? I guess it was like what cops are always hearing, "I didn't mean to shoot him! The gun just went off by itself." Or are you just saying that you wish now you hadn't attacked, at least not in such a stupid manner?

In Saakashvili's defense, he had a legitimate interest in Russian tanks staying out of South Ossetia, since, by crossing the natural boundary of the Caucasus Mountains, they are then positioned to threaten his actual country.

They were especially threatening because he apparently hadn't devoted much of his considerable recent arms purchases to defense, as shown by the complete collapse of his army after its offensive, opening the way for Russia to roll as far into Georgia as it pleased. There are plenty of countries in the world that could advise Georgia on how to resist a tank invasion, but Georgia seemed to get most of its military training from the U.S. and Israel, two countries who have a "shoot first and ask questions later" tradition when it comes to initiating armored warfare.

His less legitimate motivation was apparently fear that if Russia sent 200 tanks into South Ossetia, then he wouldn't have a hope of invading that territory in the future because the Russians would be set up strongly for defense of it, so he had to attack now or forever hold his peace.

But, considering how badly beaten he was, it was, in any case, absurd.

So, this is the NATO partner to whom we are going to hand over decisions about war and peace?

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer

The latest Kinsley gaffe

An excerpt from "No Apology from Gwinnett Superintendent" in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

During a discussion two weeks ago, an administrator said the disproportionate discipline of minorities is a problem for school districts nationwide except in Idaho, according to a study.

[Gwinnett County Schools Superintendent J. Alvin] Wilbanks then asked: "Do they have any blacks in Idaho? They don't have many."

Wilbanks has said his statements were not meant to be "racist" or "insensitive."

However, the NAACP has asked for Wilbanks to apologize.

Wilbanks simply doesn't understand professional protocol. The appropriate, time-honored way for educrats to respond to learning about the exceptionality of Idaho is to stroke their chins thoughtfully, remark, "Clearly, we all have much to learn from Idaho," then debate whether the official fact-finding mission to Idaho to study its racial sensitivity should go to Sun Valley in February or Coeur D'Alene in August.

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer

August 26, 2008

Olympic basketball

Commenters ask why I haven't had anything to say about the U.S. gold medal in men's basketball. I haven't had anything new to say because I said it all in my American Conservative article right after the 2004 Athens Olympics:

Perhaps the most important event of the [2004] Olympics will turn out to be the failure of the once untouchable U.S. Olympic basketball team, an all-black squad of physically gifted NBA stars that was beaten by better-shooting and more collaborative teams from Argentina, Lithuania, and even Puerto Rico.

In the 1970s stereotype, white American players were the dogged defenders, while blacks were the flashy scorers. Then, the John Thompson-Patrick Ewing teams at Georgetown U. made defense fashionable among blacks, leading to a great leap forward in the quality of NBA play that culminated with the incomparable 1992 Olympic Dream Team. Unfortunately, the trend went too far and many blacks lost interest in working on their outside shooting, which proved disastrous in Athens.

Darryl Dawkins, the former NBA center who called himself "Chocolate Thunder," has become an insightful minor league coach. "Black basketball is much more individualistic," he told Charlie Rosen of FoxSports. "With so many other opportunities closed to young black kids, … if somebody makes you look bad with a shake-and-bake move, then you've got to come right back at him with something better, something more stylish… It's all about honor, pride, and establishing yourself as a man."

Dawkins, whose showboating Philadelphia 76ers lost to Bill Walton's Portland Trailblazers in an epic 1977 NBA Finals confrontation between the black and white games, now says, "The black game by itself is too chaotic and much too selfish… White culture places more of a premium on winning, and less on self-indulgent preening and chest-beating."

Arguing that the best teams combine both styles, Dawkins pointed out, "In basketball and in civilian life, freedom without structure winds up being chaotic and destructive."

With luck, this Olympic embarrassment will serve as a wake-up call to African-American males that gangsta rap attitudes are needlessly undermining not just black basketball, but also the race as a whole.

The NBA got the message that the Americans had to stop playing like rap stars and start playing again like a basketball team.

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer

The Marriage Gap rolls on

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer

Track data: the last post! (I promise ... I think)

Before everybody gets completely bored with track again for the next 3 years and 11.5 months, I'm putting out in public my Excel spreadsheet [LINK FIXED] listing the 200 fastest times ever for the ten main lengths with the race of each runner denoted. This database provided the basis for the graphs in last night's VDARE column on running and the Olympics.

I put in some hours looking up photos of runners on Google Images, so the racial identifications are pretty accurate, but I invite anybody interested to put corrections in the comments here. Generally speaking, there are fewer ambiguous cases than you'd expect: African-American 100 meter men, for example, tend to be very black. Perhaps the most ambiguous cases came right where my theory predicts -- with the 1980s Brazilian 800m man Joaquin Cruz (I'm guessing he's half white and half black) and with the 1970s Cuban champion at 400m and 800m Alberto Juantorena (I put him down as all white, but I could be wrong).

Most of the top runners representing Persian Gulf states are hired Kenyans or Moroccans (although Saudi Arabia has one native born runner make the list).

I did the same analysis back in 1997, although just for the 100 at each length. You can download it from this page. Not too much has changed over 11 years. Mostly the patterns have intensified as the Kenyans and other Africans have become even more dominant.

One thing that caught my eye in 1997 was that the domination of the 400m by men of West African descent seemed unnaturally excessive. In 1997, there was too steep a falloff in West African black domination from 400m, where West African blacks were then overwhelming, to 800m, where blacks were merely competitive. The subsequent emergence of a white Texan, Jeremy Wariner, who won gold in 2004 and silver in 2008 (and ran a very fast anchor leg on the Olympic record setting mile relay team), as one of the greatest 400m men ever suggests that my skepticism in 1997 was correct: American whites were being kept out of some degree of 400m success due to stereotypes that weren't quite as valid as they had appeared.

I think what was going on with the 400m was this: the 400m has traditionally been an event dominated by Americans. The U.S. has won the gold medal in 19 of the 26 Olympics, and over half the total medals. (The U.S. swept the men's 400m in Beijing.) I'm not sure why this is. The mile relay (4x400 meters) was traditionally the final event at American high school and college track meets, so perhaps Americans put more emphasis on it. Or perhaps the typical admixture of black and white genes found in African-Americans is about right for the 400m.

In any case, the event remained integrated at the U.S. Olympic team level up through 1964 when a 30-year-old white math teacher from LA named Michael Larrabee won the 400m in Tokyo. In 1968 at the Mexico City Olympics, however, the U.S. swept the 400m with three blacks running amazing times (two of them under 44 seconds). Lee Evans set a world record that lasted until the mid-1980s, and the 4x400 relay mark wasn't even equaled until 1988.

In reality, the many famous Mexico City records (such as Bob Beamon's 29'-2" long jump and Jimmy Hines's 9.95 100m) weren't as great as they seemed in the 1970s: less air resistance at 7300 feet altitude met faster times at events shorter than, say, 1500 meters. But 1968 set a cultural template in the U.S.: the 400m was a black event.

After all, people reasoned, it's a sprint, so it's black. Actually, it's a "long sprint," four times the distance of the 100m, just as the 800m is a short middle distance event, but people like to put things in boxes, so Americans saw the 400 as a black sprint while they saw the 800 as Dave Wottle's mostly white event. The reality is a quantitative continuum, but people don't like to think numerically, they like to think in terms of Platonic essences. Similarly, when Jeremy Wariner won the gold in the 400m in 2004, lots of pundits announced that that "shattered the stereotype" that whites can't sprint.

Meanwhile, other countries that didn't put as much emphasis on the 400m continued to have a moderate amount of success with white 400m men, whether they were an all-white country like Australia (whose Darren Clark finished 4th in the 400 in 1984 and 1988) or even if they had black 100m sprinters, such as Cuba with Juantorena and Britain with Roger Black and Iwan Thomas in more recent years.

So, it wasn't surprising when Wariner emerged (and, to a lesser extent Andrew Rock, who finished sixth in the 2004 Olympics and second to Wariner at the 2005 world championships). I suspect that the U.S., with its abundance of African-American 400m talent, overlooked a few really good 400m white runners in the decades between Larrabee and Wariner. Rock, for example, who won a relay gold medal in 2004, had had to walk on at a Div. III school because no college in America would give him a track scholarship, in contrast to all the West Indian 400m runners who got scholarships at American colleges. Probably, some good white 400m runners were channeled into being mediocre 800m runners, and others quit track and went and did something else.

Of course, a superstar like Wariner got a scholarship, so don't exaggerate the impact of prejudice -- the impact is mostly on the marginal who probably wouldn't have amounted to all that much in any case. Wariner is much like the fellow whose look and affect he emulates, white rapper Eminem. To be accepted in a black dominated field, a white guy has to be better than the blacks.

Conversely, there is probably a black guy out there struggling to make the mile relay team who could be a terrific 1500m man if anybody could wrap his head around that. On the other hand, though, society usually makes a huge effort to drag blacks into anything perceived as too white, while it's hard for anything prestigious in our society, such as the 400m Olympic team to be considered "too black."

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer

August 25, 2008

Georgia's government: The Davos Man Junior Varsity Team

Because older Georgian politicians are mostly corrupt ex-Communist mediocrities, Georgia, since the "Rose Revolution," has had one of the youngest sets of political leaders in the world.

It's important to realize that they aren't some random grab bag of provincial hotheads. Instead, they are the cream of Georgia's new generation of globalized elite, almost all educated abroad and plugged into the most influential global networks of finance, law, media, trade, and NGOs. Thus, they've enjoyed tremendous press coverage from similar folks in the prestige media.

These are the kind of people who will be running the world for the next generation, making Georgia a harbinger of what's in store for all of us.

And what did these exemplars of the globalized Best and Brightest do when they got power?

They started a tank war with Russia.

By the way, judging from how fast Russia struck back, I would guess that Russia has plenty of spies within Georgia. Indeed, I wouldn't be surprised if one of those Georgian B&Bs was privately supplementing his official pay as Putin's personal agent provocateur within the Georgian government:
Hey, guys, let's go invade that Russian-occupied territory with our tanks! C'mon, what's the worst that could happen?

Perhaps that sounds excessively paranoid and convoluted, but, after all as they say in those parts (or at least should say):

"Forget it, Jake, it's Caucasustown."

For a profile of perhaps the most brilliant of all the dangerous operators who have emerged from that part of the world, see here.

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer

Joe Biden: The "Mr. Show" Candidate

Mickey Kaus points to a 1988 NY Times article by E.J. Dionne on Joe Biden that reads like a transcript from the old "Mr. Show" comedy series, which was a sort of American Monty Python. Bob Odenkirk and David Cross often appeared as characters uncomfortably apologizing for not being totally accurate in their previous statements:

The tape, which was made available by C-SPAN in response to a reporter's request, showed a testy exchange in response to a question about his law school record from a man identified only as ''Frank.'' Mr. Biden looked at his questioner and said: ''I think I have a much higher I.Q. than you do.''

He then went on to say that he ''went to law school on a full academic scholarship - the only one in my class to have a full academic scholarship,'' Mr. Biden said. He also said that he ''ended up in the top half'' of his class and won a prize in an international moot court competition. In college, Mr. Biden said in the appearance, he was ''the outstanding student in the political science department'' and ''graduated with three degrees from college.''

In his statement today, Mr. Biden, who attended the Syracuse College of Law and graduated 76th in a class of 85, acknowledged: ''I did not graduate in the top half of my class at law school and my recollection of this was inacurate.''

As for receiving three degrees, Mr. Biden said: ''I graduated from the University of Delaware with a double major in history and political science. My reference to degrees at the Claremont event was intended to refer to these majors - I said 'three' and should have said 'two.' '' Mr. Biden received a single B.A. in history and political science.

''With regard to my being the outstanding student in the political science department,'' the statement went on. ''My name was put up for that award by David Ingersoll, who is still at the University of Delaware.''

In the Sunday interview, Mr. Biden said of his claim that he went to school on full academic scholarship: ''My recollection is - and I'd have to confirm this - but I don't recall paying any money to go to law school.'' Newsweek said Mr. Biden had gone to Syracuse ''on half scholarship based on financial need.'' ...

As for the moot court competition, Mr. Biden said he had won such a competition, with a partner, in Kingston, Ontario, on Dec. 12, 1967.

To clear up the remaining issue, we can only hope that "Frank" will now emerge from his 20 years of obscurity to challenge the VP nominee to see who gets the highest score on a free Tickle online IQ test.

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer

How Japan won the Olympic marathon

It's conventional to complain about the ethnocentrism of American television coverage of the Olympics, but northeast Asian countries are much more monomaniacal about focusing on their own nationals. Japanese television, for example, devoted hours of coverage to Japanese athletes washing out in the preliminary rounds of obscure events. My man in Japan writes:

"You may be thinking that Sam Wanjiru's victory in the marathon was due to his genetics. Wrong. If you had been listening to Japanese TV you would know the truth. He went to school in Japan and it was the training and techniques he acquired in Japan that allowed him to win.

"Fortunately, he speaks Japanese so he was interviewed on TV, the only non-Japanese athlete honored in that way during the last two weeks."

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer

August 24, 2008

My 2008 Olympics Wrap-Up

On tonight, I discuss the implications of the track and field results, including graphs of brand new data, up through yesterday's marathon, on the racial make-up of the top performances ever in each running event.

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer