Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Nutrition and IQ

One of the oldest claims about low IQ by Leftists is that it's all due to poverty.  Sound familiar?  More specifically, they say that low IQ just reflects poor nutrition.  Considering that African Americans are on the whole even more overweight than Caucasian Americans, that rather clearly flies in the face of the facts.  African Americans are on average 15 points behind white Americans but they aren't going hungry.

And in any case, if it were all due to nutrition, feeding up the children of poor people should make them all into Einsteins, should it not?  There is no known example of anything like that being achieved, however.

Aha!  But it's not the quantity alone that matters. It's quality too.  People need to eat "healthily" rather than eat more. And the prime candidate for a "healthy" diet is the Mediterranean diet.  We all know that, don't we? If we all ate like the Greeks with plenty of vegetables, plenty of garlic and plenty of olive oil we would be so much healthier -- and slimmer to boot.  The main reason the Mediterranean diet is lauded is that accords with Ancel Keys' famous demonstration that red meat it bad for you (high red meat consumption is correlated with shorter lifespan).

Pesky fact: Keys only looked at death from cardiovascular events (heart attacks and strokes).  He did not look at overall mortality.  When you include all causes of death in the correlation, the correlation with red meat consumption vanishes.

Pesky fact: The traditional Australian diet (beef, beef and more beef in various forms) is about as opposite to the Mediterranean diet as you can imagine yet Australians live longer than any people of any Mediterranean nation -- so scrub the Mediterranean diet idea once and for all.

Another pesky fact:  Eskimos eating a traditional diet eat little else than meat and blubber.  It's hard to grow vegetables near the North Pole.  Yet at any age point, Eskimos have LESS cardiovascular disease than  we do.

So: There may be such a thing as a healthy diet but nobody so far has been able to track it down convincingly.  Maybe some day somebody will find a magic vegetable that will make blacks as smart as whites but I wouldn't hold my breath.

Funnily enough, however, there is a SMALL element of truth in what Leftists say. In very nutritionally deprived people -- such as Africans whose dietary staple is "Mealie-pap" (corn-porridge) -- adding micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) to the diet of their children does bring about an IQ gain -- but only of about 5 points.  On better nourished people, there is no such gain, however.

Some reinforcement of that story can be found here.  The amount of red meat eaten by different nations is tabulated.  And amount of red meat is a pretty good proxy for a high quality food supply generally.

And we find, of course, that the nations of Africa all have a low per capita meat consumption.  They are too poor for anything else.  And they are also nations that show very low IQs, as tabulated by Lynn and VanHanen.  Compared to Africans, African Americans (who are about 20% white genetically) are an intellectual elite.  So a largely vegetarian diet has not  helped Africans much.

But there are some black countries that do have a high meat consumption.  Saint Lucia in the Caribbean lives well off the back of American tourism so has one of the highest meat consumptions per capita (though not nearly as high as the New Zealanders with their seven tasty sheep per person). Yet the average IQ in St Lucia is an abysmal 62, very similar to what we see in Africa.

So vegetables are not the magic cure for low IQ in blacks nor is a rich diet. What else is there? Can we concede that diet is essentially irrelevant to IQ?


Want to Know Why They Keep Calling You Racists?

Attorney General Eric Holder plans to push for a “new standard of proof for civil -rights offenses”. In an interview with Politico. he said that “he felt some of his own struggles with Republicans in Congress during his six years in office were driven partly by race.” Uh huh. Just not in the way he meant it.

The Democrat Party’s history with race is interesting. Andrew Jackson, 7th President of the United States, is generally considered the founder of the Democratic Party. He was one of the largest slaveholders in the South.

The Missouri Compromise of 1820 divided the nation into free states and slave states, the South seceded, and we fought a long and very bloody war to preserve the Union and end slavery.

The Republican Party was founded as the party of abolition. In 1863, Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation into law. Republicans passed the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, ending slavery, with 80% of Democrats voting against it. Republicans passed the 14th Amendment granting freed slaves the rights of citizenship—unanimously opposed by Democrats. Republicans passed the 15th Amendment giving freedmen the right to vote.

Republicans passed the Civil Rights Act of 1866 conferring U.S. citizenship on all African-Americans and according them the “free and equal benefit of all laws” unanimously supported by Republicans who had to override Democrat Andrew Johnson’s veto. Republicans passed the Reconstruction Act of 1867. Republicans sent federal troops to the Democratic South to enforce the constitutional rights of freed slaves. Republicans were the target of the Ku Klux Klan during the Reconstruction.

Republicans continued to try to pass federal civil rights laws in the next century — most were blocked by Democrats, including a bill banning racial discrimination in  public accommodations (1875), guaranteeing the right to vote in the South (1890), anti-lynching (1922, 1935, 1938), anti poll-tax bills (1942, 1944, 1946).

Republican President Teddy Roosevelt invited Booker T. Washington to dinner at the White House (1901), the first black to do so. Republican platforms starting in 1908 called for equal rights, equal justice, anti-lynching legislation, integration of the military (1940), endorsed Brown v. Board of Education, (1956), and Dwight Eisenhower sent the 101st Airborne to Little Rock to desegregate the schools.

By the sixties, the civil rights movement was gaining ground, and Democrats became aware of the trends. To succeed in  American politics, they would need black votes, and their record with matters of race was pretty bad, especially in the South. President John Kennedy sought a civil rights bill to outlaw discrimination, but then he was assassinated and Lyndon Johnson became president.

Johnson’s own record with civil rights wasn’t very good, and he pushed hard to pass the Civil Rights Bill of 1964, which outlawed discrimination by race, color, religion or national origin. equality in voter registration rights and outlawed racial segregation in the schools. Although Congress was controlled by Democrats, 61% of Democrats in the House voted for the bill, 29% against, 80% of Republicans voted for it, 20% against. In the Senate 69% of Democrats supported it with a long filibuster, and 31% against. 82% of Republicans voted for it and 18% against.

Well, the Sixties! Freedom Summer. Students came down south to march for civil rights, There was the Civil Rights Act of 1965 (voting rights ), 1968 (Fair Housing), and Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” which would end poverty and racial injustice, rebuild the entire urban United states, end boredom and restlessness, slake the hunger for community and enhance “the meaning of our lives” all by assembling “the best thought and broadest knowledge.”

When Johnson left office, 10 percent of Southern schools were desegregated. When Richard Nixon left office, the figure was 70 percent. But “the Southern Strategy” didn’t Nixon try to get Southern votes by appealing to the racist segregationists? Nixon helped to persuade the Senate to pass the Civil Rights act of 1957 and supported the civil rights acts of 1964, 1965, and 1968. In Nixon’s presidency , the civil rights enforcement budget rose by 800%, record numbers of blacks were appointed to federal office, an Office of Minority Business Enterprise was created, SBA loans to minorities soared by 1,000% and aid to black colleges doubled.

What happened was that Democrats, realizing that blacks were being registered to vote in big numbers, needed to disguise their past and become the party of civil rights and the war on poverty, the party that cared for minorities, and they did it by lying about history, their own and the Republicans’. Oddly enough, at the same time new terms like “Diversity” and  “Multiculturalism” not only initially entered the political lexicon, but became the guiding factor throughout education, business and human resources departments everywhere. Coincidence?

Suddenly, Republicans, the party of abolition since its founding, became the party of racism, segregation, the Ku Klux Klan, lynching, poll taxes, and every time that Republicans disagree with Democrats they are called “racists.” This is the communist perfected technique of the BIG LIE. You just tell a whopper, and keep telling it and keep telling it, and embroidering it until it is considered to be plain fact. Progressives are very good at this kind of political warfare, and Republicans, who assume that Democrats are just misguided, are not.

Neurosurgeon Ben Carson is exploring a run for the presidency, and the Southern Poverty Law Center put him on their list of “dangerous extremists.” (They had to apologize, and deleted the “dangerous.”) Economist Thomas Sowell is called an Uncle Tom. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Senator Tim Scott, Economist Walter Williams, Representative Mia Love — any black who has succeeded in this country in reaching high office and is a Republican, is called an Uncle Tom, and receives death threats and slanders to their reputations.

The plight of Detroit, which is 85% black, is a shining example of 50 years of Democrat governance. They have reduced Detroit from one of the richest cities in the country to an example of urban blight and human despair. Their plan for “social justice” turned the once great city into a cesspool of racial politics and antibusiness practices, and poverty.

The War on Poverty has encouraged single black women to refrain from marrying the father of their children. Incentives keep women from getting off welfare, for if they get a job they will lose their higher benefits. The Democrat sponsored Community Reinvestment Act was designed to get more poor black  people into their own homes, without regard to their ability to pay back the loans. Normal prudent banking rules were set aside and when the “Great Recession” hit, many middle class blacks lost their homes because they lost their jobs and couldn’t pay back their loans. The Obama administration swept into office on the wings of “the first black president,”promising help and caring for black Americans has, instead, devastated black families and returned race and racism to politics in new and troubling ways.

But why? The Progressives need blacks. If the Democratic  Party lost just 30% of the black vote, it would mean an end to the liberal agenda. Walter Williams said:

That means blacks must be kept in a perpetual state of grievance in order to keep them as a one-party people in a two-party system. When black Americans finally realize how much liberals have used them, I’m betting they will be the nation’s most conservative people.



Magna Carta lit the way

I add my comments on this article below it -- JR

For many, the Magna Carta is a beacon of liberty, protecting us from the arbitrary tyranny of our governments, even today.

Lord Denning, the celebrated English judge, once called the ancient peace treaty between King John and his barons - which is celebrating its 800th anniversary this year - "the greatest constitutional document of all time."

But how are those 800-year-old pieces of English calfskin still relevant to us?

After all, most of the charter was not filled with the sweeping rhetoric that we have come to expect of important political documents, but spoke of debtor's sureties, scutage, socage, burkage, paying money for castleward, and removing fish weirs from the Thames.

As a peace treaty, it lasted less than six weeks, ushering in a two-year civil war that devastated England, led to an attempted French invasion, and ended with King John dead, a 9-year-old boy on the throne, and the English significantly poorer, after paying off the French king to leave them alone.

Why then do we celebrate it?

Because the Magna Carta has come to stand for more than its provisions. Its impact has reverberated through the centuries.

No, it did not bring about democratic government in England. No, it did not end the venality of the English Crown. No, it did not guarantee trial by jury.

But it was cited by Henry VIII's Catholic opponents in the sixteenth century, by Sir Edward Coke, and other opponents of the grasping Stuart monarchy, in the seventeenth century, by the American Founding Fathers in the eighteenth century, and so on.

These reverberations are important.

Remembering the whole story of the Magna Carta might encourage us to play our own part in fostering liberty with greater humility. Rome was not built in a day, nor the rule of law established with one international human rights convention, or a UN General Assembly Resolution.


It's great to hear the bits of history that are not usually mentioned. And it is good to see that someone has actually read the document.

But the comments above go a bit too far in negativity.  For instance, the first provision of the document was very similar to America' treasured First Amendment -- though not as concisely expressed. The MC could be said to contain the very first First Amendment.  And it was first by a long way.

And the writer above complains that the MC is mainly concerned with minor matters like laws of inheritance.  It is.  It could be said in fact to be England's first systematic law of intestacy.  And that is important to many people. If someone close to you has died without leaving a will, you will know all about that.

And America's revered Declaration of Independence is also mainly concerned with minor details, as anyone who has actually read it will know. People remember the few grand bits and ignore the rest. Much the same can be asked of the MC.

There is also in it a lot about setting up courts of justice and specifying the rules they are to follow.  And the rules are surprisingly humane -- nothing like the atrocities Muslims perform in the name of justice to this day.

And how modern is this clause? "There shall be standard measures of wine, ale, and corn (the London quarter), throughout the kingdom. There shall also be a standard width of dyed cloth, russet, and haberject, namely two ells within the selvedges. Weights are to be standardised similarly"

I could go on but I think there is much to admire in the MC and I very much urge people to read it for themselves.  There is a modern English translation here


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