Monday, January 16, 2006


As both a psychometrician and as a former Australian army psychologist, I suppose I should say something about the controversial Fred Kaplan article on lowered IQ standards for US Army recruits. I am not going to say much because I think Kaplan is spot-on -- though he does manage to write his whole article without using the term "IQ" once. As even Leftist commentators such as Kevin Drum have acknowledged, however, the "aptitude" test the U.S. Army uses to evaluate potential recruits is essentially an IQ test.

Kaplan does in fact do a useful job of summarizing the evidence for how important IQ is among soldiers. The idea that you can use any dummy as "cannon-fodder" is very much out of date. Putting a deadly weapon into the hands of a dummy is likely to make him more a danger to his fellow-soldiers than to the enemy. Modern soldiering in particular ideally requires a high level of intelligence. So the "validity" (usefulness, correctness, informativeness) of IQ tests is not confined to predicting educational achievement but also extends into fields very different from classroom performance -- to fields such as military efficiency. And that is why we have the term IQ -- because there IS a general factor of mental (or problem-solving) ability. There IS such a thing as a general factor of intelligence that shows up in a wide variety of situations.

So the fact that the US army is now recruiting less bright people to fill its ranks is a very bad thing indeed. It will tend to make the army less effective and more self destructive -- as if we did not have a big enough "friendly-fire" problem already! I think the US army should learn the ancient lesson of Gideon (Judges chapter 7) and stick with high standards no matter what.



Hate-filled homos -- they must be prosecuted: "The Gay and Lesbian Alliance (GLA) yesterday declared war on the South African National Blood Service (SANBS), as scores of its members turned up to donate blood under false pretences. And, a shocking 65 percent of the gay men who donated blood without disclosing their sexual preference are unsure whether they are HIV- positive. On Friday, about 300 men complied with a plea by the GLA to its claimed 100 000 male members to donate blood to SANBS centres across the country, but not to disclose their sexual orientation. The request is a part of an ongoing national campaign to protest the SANBS policy of excluding men who engage in sexual activity with other men from donating blood. David Baxter, media director for GLA, said on Friday that 65 percent of the members of GLA who had donated blood were unsure whether they were HIV-positive. He later said one of the donors had full-blown Aids". (HT Interested Participant).

Wal-Mart has become a political football: "UpWalMart. com and Wal-Mart Watch have at least two things in common : They criticize Wal-Mart, and they criticize each other. A few weeks ago, WakeUp-WalMart. com, financed by the grocery workers union, launched its latest TV ad campaign questioning whether Christians should shop at Wal-Mart, given its low wages and benefits. At the same time, the group sent a letter to Wal-Mart Store Inc. chief executive Lee Scott signed by 65 ministers. "Jesus would not embrace Wal-Mart's values of greed and profits at any cost, particularly when children suffer as a result of those misguided values," the letter said. Wal-Mart was upset. But so was Wal-Mart Watch, a group backed in part by the service workers union and formed to take on the world's largest retailer. Wal-Mart Watch declined to put its name on the ad, even though it earlier had helped cull names from its lists of religious leaders for the letter. "What would Jesus do, indeed," Tracy Sefl, Wal-Mart Watch communications director, said in an email to The Wall Street Journal. "I think he would say the ad was a mistake. We heard from numerous supporters who were offended."... The two organizations are top-heavy with former Democratic operatives from the 2004 presidential campaigns of John Kerry and Howard Dean. Both groups arose as Wal-Mart's rapid expansion made it a lightning rod in some corners of labor and the political left for a long list of grievances against big business.

Jack Wheeler has reproduced some of the cartoons mocking Islam that have caused such an uproar in Denmark. Should be more of it.

Jihad: The Year the Muslims Took Rome: "Few know about it, but it happened.... What happened is that in 846 some Muslim Arabs arrived in a fleet at the mouth of the Tiber, made their way to Rome, sacked the city, and carried away from the basilica of St. Peter all of the gold and silver it contained. And this was not just an incidental attack. In 827 the Arabs had conquered Sicily, which they kept under their dominion for two and a half centuries. Rome was under serious threat from nearby. In 847, the year after the assault, the newly elected pope Leo IV began the construction of walls around the entire perimeter of the Vatican, 12 meters high and equipped with 44 towers. He completed the project in six years. These are the "Leonine" walls, and significant traces of them still remain. But very few today know that these walls were erected to defend the see of Peter from an Islamic jihad. And many of those who do know this remain silent out of discretion. "Bridges, not walls" is the fashionable slogan today. (See The Legacy of Jihad. Islamic Holy War and the Fate of Non-Muslims by Andrew G. Bostom)

A marvellous article about China: "Renmin University, also known as the People's University of China, has an enrollment of almost 19,000 and is one of China's most respected schools. It was founded in 1950 by the Communist party. The children of many Chinese officials were educated there, and three generations of Chinese leaders, Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, and Jiang Zemin, have paid special attention to the school's development. So I was especially surprised by what I learned. It was about 8 P.M. on a Friday when I ventured onto Renmin's campus. In a courtyard near the school's east gate, I discovered some 200 students who were exchanging views about history, economics, politics, and culture. It was U.S. history, economics, politics, and culture that they were discussing - and they were speaking English.... Some students smiled and began to ask me questions. One asked where I was from and I said, "The United States, Washington, D.C." Immediately, he flashed two thumbs up and said "Very good. America is very good. America is our model." ... While thinking through U.S. policy toward China, the Congress and the administration should know that a surprising number of Chinese people embrace U.S. ideals and are fond of American culture. At a time when U.S. policies are reviled around the world, that is something to celebrate and promote. It strikes me as an investment in government of the people, by the people, for the people in China".

California Democrats protect sex offenders: "A state Senate committee on Tuesday killed a "Jessica's Law" proposal to punish sex offenders that was one of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's top priorities this year. Senate Bill 588 by Sen. George Runner, R-Lancaster, would have increased penalties for various sex crimes, required satellite monitoring of sex offense felons and forced sex offense registrants to live more than 2,000 feet from schools and parks. The legislation failed on a 5-2 party-line vote in the Democrat-dominated Senate Public Safety Committee".

For more postings, see EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE. Mirror sites here, here, here, here and here. On Social Security see Dick McDonald and for purely Australian news see Australian Politics (mirrored here).


Practically all policies advocated by the Left create poverty. Leftists get the government to waste vast slabs of the country's labour-force on bureaucracy and paperwork and so load the burden of providing most useful goods and services onto fewer and fewer people. So fewer useful goods and services are produced to go around. That is no accident. The Left love the poor. The Left need the poor so that they can feel good by patronizing and "helping" them. So they do their best to create as many poor people as possible.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch)

Comments? Email me here (Hotmail address). If there are no recent posts here blame and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Page is here or here.


No comments: