The Final Night

— Thank God for the hurricane; I don’t think I could have taken four nights of this.

— Off to a weak start tonight with Connie Mack mouthing platitudes and the Gingriches not adding much.

— Jeb Bush should have been the nominee. In fact, he should have been the nominee back in 2000. He was great tonight.

— It is heartening to see Bush, Condi Rice and others pushing education to the forefront. Rice called it the civil rights issue of our time. Me, I’d rank it second after immigration.

— Too damned many musical interludes.

— I feel like it’s my job to be cynical about the tearjerker stories, but I have to admit they were very effective.

All the personal stuff — the tearjerkers, the business stories, the Olympians — were, I think, extremely effective.

— It does seem to me that the Olympics stuff plays right into the Obama narrative of Romney as a man who’s devoted his life to unhealthy competition, but the average voter is unlikely to make that connection.

— Clint Eastwood is a man of awesome talent, and the crowd seemed to like him, but I can’t imagine there was anything in this speech to win over an undecided voter, and they sure squandered a lot of prime time on it.

— Marco Rubio proved, as expected, to be a fabulous orator, not that he always made a lot of sense. (The stimulus created “more debt than jobs”? In what common unit is he measuring debt and jobs?)

— And here comes the main event. I’ll record a few reactions at more or less random moments:

— Romney says that now, for the first time, the majority of Americans doubt that their children’s lives will be better than their own. If that’s true, I’m pretty confident the majority of Americans is wrong, no matter who wins this election. And I’m pretty sure Romney knows that too. (Added later: Later in the speech, he explicitly denies knowing it.)

— “When the realtor told you that to sell your house you’d have to take a loss, you knew this just wasn’t right”. So — it’s intrinsically wrong for a price to change? You might want to run that by someone who’s currently shopping for a house.

— “When the world needs someone to do really big stuff, you need an American”. No, what you need is someone who’s good at doing what you need done, and it really doesn’t matter where he was born. The failure to grasp this is a major failure in a leader. Would the Mitt Romney of 1980 prefer to have been governed by Jimmy Carter or by Margaret Thatcher?

— He actually just argued against defense cuts because they would “cost jobs” — effectively repudiating everything he claims to believe about the folly of spending for the sake of spending.

— He’s certainly more animated than I expected. He’s clearly been practicing.

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59 Responses to “The Final Night”


  1. 1 1 James Knight

    Hmm .. we know that Mormons used to be an officially racist cult. Any time before 1978 black people were not permitted to receive the priesthood. Well judging by Mitt Romney’s latest Republican nomination speech you can take the Mormon out of Utah but you can’t always take the racism out of the Mormon.

    Mitt Romney declares (to a room full of cheers) “When the world needs someone to do really big stuff, you need an American,”

    No, when the world needs someone to do really big stuff, it needs someone with intelligence, ingenuity and knowledge of the ‘stuff’ that needs doing. The arbitrarily demarcated geographical border isn’t relevant to whether the person can do big stuff. The statement “When the world needs someone to do really big stuff, you need an American,” underlies a feeling that sounds a lot like racism to me. There isn’t much difference between what Romney said and any of the following:

    1) “When the world needs someone to do really big stuff, you need a male”
    2) “When the world needs someone to do really big stuff, you need a white person”
    3) “When the world needs someone to do really big stuff, you need a young person”
    4) “When the world needs someone to do really big stuff, you need a straight person”

    and Romney’s:

    5) “When the world needs someone to do really big stuff, you need an American”

    There’s not really that much difference in the implications related to each of these statements. They all have an underlying hint of discrimination. 1 discriminates on the grounds of gender, 2 discriminates on the grounds of race, 3 discriminates on the grounds of age, 4 discriminates on the grounds of sexual orientation – and 5 (Mitt Romey’s) discriminates on the grounds of the arbitrarily demarcated geographical border discrimination known as nationalism.

  2. 2 2 James Knight

    Erratum correction: 2 discriminates on the grounds of skin colour

  3. 3 3 Mike H
  4. 4 4 Steve Landsburg

    James Knight:

    Amen.

  5. 5 5 Bill Drissel

    Steve,
    My reservoir of sympathy for self-inflicted wounds is less than an eighth of an inch deep.

    I believe you could have taken your TV remote and began vigorously punching the on-off switch and the channel selector until you got a better result.

    Regards,
    Bill Drissel
    Grand Prairie, TX

  6. 6 6 David R. Henderson

    I liked Rubio’s speech except for the things you caught–and one other. When he made that one comment about God, I went on FB and said, “I’m loving Rubio’s speech but his line that all we have comes from God sounds a lot like “You didn’t build that.’”
    I agree with you that the whole Romney “you need an American thing” was stupid and offensive. My wife and I looked at each other with a “huh?” I didn’t suddenly get good at teaching economics when, in April 1986, I became an American. What claptrap.
    Re Clint, I found it very effective. I hated the Gitmo part, though.

  7. 7 7 Ken B

    I think I know what Steve meant, but considering we just had a huge thread on the topic of interpretation let me juxtapose the parts that irk me and the pass the microphone to Steve

    James Knight: ” you can take the Mormon out of Utah but you can’t always take the racism out of the Mormon.”

    Steven Landsburg: “James Knight: Amen.”

  8. 8 8 Ken B

    Re #1
    Well as a Canadian, I boggle at Romney’s absurd comment just as David did. But I still think James Knight’s comments, and especially his tying it to Romney’s religion, and everyone else in Utah ironically enough, is unfair and prejudiced.

    I also think JK’s points 1 to 4 are a bit unfair, or perhaps ‘overblown’ is a better word, since Romney can say — and I think did mean — he meant people committed to the American ideal as adumbrated by Condi Rice (and living under ‘this great American system’ as remarked by Barack Obama!). Jingoism perhaps but that’s not really quite the same as racism. David R Henderson, to take the example cloasest to hand, successfully *became* an American. I doubt he could successfully become a black man or an Asian. That distinction does matter.

  9. 9 9 iceman

    Ken B: Amen.

  10. 10 10 David R. Henderson

    @Ken B,
    All good points.
    I see what you mean about people committed to the American ideal. If that’s all he meant, then sure, great. But remember how anti-immigrant the Republicans have become. So Mitt might have been playing it both ways.

  11. 11 11 Ken B

    @David R Henderson: “Mitt might have been playing it both ways.”

    This puts me in mind of one of the better arguments for Mitt. If you would prefer to see a libertarian, a conservative, or a moderate president you should vote for Mitt. He’s that on three out of four days.

  12. 12 12 Floccina

    — It is heartening to see Bush, Condi Rice and others pushing education to the forefront. Rice called it the civil rights issue of our time. Me, I’d rank it second after immigration.

    Education is practically free these days, what we are talking about here is schooling. As far as I can see the only improvement that can be made in the area of schooling is to waste less money in providing it (and maybe allow more moral instruction) but these where not message. Schooling has been grossly oversold as a cure to social ills.

    Now, I would like to see us charge full cost directly to all families with above median income who choose to send there children to Government schools. This I think would lower spending on schooling with not educational losses or gains. It might also lead to more rational school hours. Also it might be good to teach more practical useful information to the students as signaling is squeezing out education.

    But that is not what they are talking about. They seem to think that more money or vouchers can make the simple intelligent. They want more people to math that almost no one uses.

  13. 13 13 Ken B

    “They want more people to math that almost no one uses.”

    No, they want more people to grammar that almost no-one uses.

  14. 14 14 Rowan

    I also saw some negative reactions to Mitt’s statements that the ancestors of all Americans came here looking for freedom, when the truth is that many ancestors of Americans were brought here involuntarily, in chains, so that others could use their hands to build those businesses he talked about.

  15. 15 15 iceman

    Me-thinks next week’s convention will have its share of jingoism as well…”Buy American”, anyone?

    David Henderson – me-also-thinks “anti-immigrant” is a bit harsh. I get how it seems arbitrary to care more about a stranger who happens to live a little north of some line in the sand. I think the key for most people is that they welcome others who share this “American ideal” we’re talking about, i.e. hope to be net contributors vs. attracted by the prospect of being a net drain. Of course there may be people already here who don’t fit that description, but it doesn’t seem unreasonable for voters to prefer not to add to that pool.

    BTW your Fortune Encyclopedia of Economics is on my shelf…I’ve even used it a few times.

  16. 16 16 Floccina

    See all those years of schooling and I still left the a word out. :-) It should have read:

    They want more people to know math that almost no one uses.

  17. 17 17 Steve Landsburg

    Rowan: Excellent point.

  18. 18 18 Steve Landsburg

    David R. Henderson:

    “I’m loving Rubio’s speech but his line that all we have comes from God sounds a lot like “You didn’t build that.’”

    Oh man I wish I had said that!

  19. 19 19 Jimbino

    Right Rowan,

    While Black Americans, like the Buffalo Soldiers, built and guarded our national parks and forests, you will see very few (about 0.1%)Black faces in any of them today. Ironically, Asian non-citizens, who did not build them, make up over 50-80% of the visitors to Yosemite.

    Our public lands and public universities are the most racist institutions in Amerika, after the KKK.

  20. 20 20 David Wallin

    Re: 16 “They want more people to know math that almost no one uses.”
    This is quite interesting. This is the first time that I have heard anyone suggest a problem with our schools rests in teaching too much math. When one looks at “hot” careers (those with low numbers of applicants to available positions), one finds math might be pretty useful.

  21. 21 21 Ken

    James Knight,

    Hmm .. we know that Mormons used to be an officially racist cult.

    We know that the democrats used to be an officially racist party (now just implicitly by assuming that without government intervention blacks cannot succeed, that blacks would just fail to stand on their own), with their support of slavery, creation of separate but equal, creation of Jim Crow, and the violent attacks on blacks for decades.

  22. 22 22 Ken

    David Henderson,

    But remember how anti-immigrant the Republicans have become.

    At the same time don’t forget how anti-immigrant democrats have become. Both parties trip over themselves to say they are keeping more people out of the country than the other guy.

  23. 23 23 David Wallin

    Re; 19 Jimbino,

    So, what is it that those running Yosemite are doing to discourage blacks from the park (and apparently encouraging Asian visitors)? Having taught at public universities for my entire adult life (short 5 years at a private college), I am rather curious how we at public universities have managed to surpass the KKK in racsim. Any details you’d like to share?

  24. 24 24 Ken B

    This is a good day for me because I get to disagree with 2 of my favourite bloggers in one fell swoop.

    David R. Henderson:

    “Rubio’s … line that all we have comes from God sounds a lot like “’You didn’t build that.’”

    Oh man I wish I had said that!

    It’s cute and clever. But it’s not really true is it? If you really believe in god this is just an anodyne truism. It’s like saying grace. Rubio is not making a substantive point about which groups of people should have power or be able to make claims against which other groups. He is not revealing a disdain for an economic system he seeks to partly control. He is not presenting this relevant for policy decisions at all. He is uttering shibboleths to foster group feeling.

  25. 25 25 Ken B

    David Wallin: “This is the first time that I have heard anyone suggest a problem with our schools rests in teaching too much math. ”

    Spend a year as a math teacher and get back to me! I heard it every class.

  26. 26 26 Rowan

    David Wallin: Assuming you’re talking about IT jobs, most of them — even the programming ones — don’t require math as such anymore. What they require is a foundation in computational and logical thinking (and then learning specific programming languages and techniques, of course). Some of that might get imparted as a side effect of learning math, but I think there is a case to be made to give it its own curriculum.

  27. 27 27 Jimbino

    That’s an easy assignment, David Wallin:

    First of all, I did NOT say that our public lands and universities were more racist than the KKK, just more racist than almost anything but the KKK.

    As far as UT Austin goes, the ethnicity stats are found at:

    http://bealonghorn.utexas.edu/whyut/profile/ethnicity

    You will see that Whites and Asians make up 66% of the student body, Blacks 5-8% and Hispanics 21%. If it weren’t for Affirmative Action and the 10% Rule, the figures would be worse, as they were when I, an Hispanic, attended UT Law School.

    According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Texas:

    As of the 2010 US Census, the racial distribution in Texas was as follows:

    11.8%, were African American;
    3.8% were Asian American;
    0.7% were American Indian.
    37.6% were Hispanics (of any race);
    45.3% were Non-Hispanic Whites

    making all ethnic minorites under-represented except for Asian Americans, who of course are richer than the Whites. Not to mention Jews, who have always been both richer and way over-represented in higher education.

    The situation is far worse in our national parks and forests and in the state parks and beaches of CA, for example. I just completed a Winter tour of some 20+ of them and counted, among some 4000 visitors only 4 Blacks, who may not have been citizens or residents. fully 80% of the visitors at Yosemite were Asians, most of whom probably were no doubt aliens.

    I have no problem with whatever ethnic makeup is experienced, or even encouraged, at Walmart or Disney World, because our disadvantaged minorities don’t pay to support them and they are not part patrimony of our disadvantaged citizens. Furthermore, Walmart does not let in rich White folks free, as do our national parks.

    The usual White Country Club response to this travesty is that our gummint is not prohibiting them or discouraging them. That is no answer: if the gummint took tax dollars to support the Mormon Church, nobody would offer the justification that we all have a right to become Mormon!

    You and many others who feed at the public trough need to open your eyes and realize the extent to which you are White Country Club members who participate, however indirectly, in the rampant racism and other forms of discrimination, such as sexism, ageism, religionism and all the other ills so well fostered by socialists in general and the current Obama regime in particular.

    Only Amerikan socialism can manage to tax the poorest and most disadvantaged to sustain the lifestyles of the rich and privileged.

  28. 28 28 Ken B

    26 offers a pretext for posting this. I don’t know who wrote it; a friend sent it to me, and I made a few minor typo fixes.

    —–

    Ashok, a fresh computer graduate from a world-class University, goes for an interview in a software company.

    The interviewer is Sunder, a grubby old man. And the first question he asks Ashok is, `Are you good at logic?’

    `Of course,’ replies Ashok.

    `Let me test you,’ replies Sunder. `Two men come down a chimney. One comes
    with a clean face and …
    the other comes out with a dirty face. Which one would wash his face?’

    Ashok stares at Sunder. `Is that a test in Logic?’ Sunder nods.

    `The one with the dirty face washes his face’, Ashok answers wearily.

    `Wrong. The one with the clean face washes his face. Examine the simple logic. The one with the dirty face looks at the one with the clean face and thinks his face is clean. The one with the clean face looks at the one with the dirty face and thinks his face is dirty. So, the one with the clean face washes his face.’

    `Hmm. I never thought of that,” says Ashok. `Give me another test.’

    Sunder holds up two fingers, `Two men come down a chimney. One comes out with
    a clean face and the other comes out with a dirty face. Which one washes his face?’

    `We have already established that. The one with the clean face washes his face.’

    `Wrong. Each one washes his face. Examine the simple logic. The one with the dirty face looks at the one with the clean face and thinks his face is clean. The one with the clean face looks at the one with the dirty face and thinks his face is dirty. So, the one with the clean face washes his face.
    When the one with the dirty face sees the one with the clean face washing his face, he also washes his face. So each one washes his face.’

    `I didn’t think of that!’ says Ashok. `It’s shocking to me that I could make an error in logic. Test me again!’

    Sunder holds up two fingers, `Two men come down a chimney. One comes out with a
    clean face and the other comes out with a dirty face. Which one washes his face?’

    `Each one washes his face.’

    `Wrong. Neither one washes his face. Examine the simple logic. The one with the dirty face looks at the one with the clean face and thinks his face is clean. The one with the clean face looks at the one with the dirty face and thinks his face is dirty. But when the one with clean face sees that the one with the dirty face doesn’t wash his face, he also doesn’t wash his face. So neither one washes his face.’

    Ashok is desperate. `I am qualified for this job. Please give me one more test!’

    He groans when Sunder lifts his two fingers, `Two men come down a chimney. One
    comes out with a clean face and the other comes out with a dirty face. Which one washes his face?’

    `Neither one washes his face’, Ashok replies, `I have learnt this logic.’

    `Wrong, again. Do you now see, Ashok, why programming knowledge is insufficient for this job? Tell me, how is it possible for two men to come down the same chimney, and for one to come out with a clean face and the other with a dirty face? Don’t you see the flaw in the premise?’”

  29. 29 29 David Wallin

    re 25: Ken B,
    I have heard it from my students all the time. They will get ticked when I use calculus next week (after all this is an accounting class….). But, I really don’t hear the “adults” discussing what we should do in K-12 making the argument for less of that “R.”

  30. 30 30 David Wallin

    Re 28: Ken B: great post
    Re 27: Jimbino:
    My sincere apologies for getting the order wrong. We in public higher education are (in your mind) just below the KKK.
    I agree with the premise that we can find numerous examples where the better off (financially) in this country do take advantage of the “system” (and, implicitly the worse off). I have noted frequently with my friends that state subsidies for higher education often transfer monies from the lower economic half to support future earnings of the children of the upper half.

    Beyond that, I can’t imagine we’d agree on much. So, I won’t comment further.

  31. 31 31 Ken B

    David Wallin: “My sincere apologies [Jimbino] for getting the order wrong. We in public higher education are (in your mind) just below the KKK.”

    Like they say David, it’s an honor just to be nominated! :)

  32. 32 32 Floccina

    David Wallin it is not so much math or no math but useful math verses math that almost no one uses which is used mostly to test intelligence and diligence.

  33. 33 33 Todd

    Re 27: Jimbino

    “making all ethnic minorites under-represented except for Asian Americans, who of course are richer than the Whites”

    1. Under-representation of minorities does not imply racism. Whites are under-represented in the NBA, are NBA executives all racist against whites? Or is it possible that all racial demographic anomalies do not boil down to racism?

    2. A thoughtful person might conclude, seeing that one minority (Asians) is drastically over-represented, that there is something other than racism at play. But these thoughtful people are hard to find.

    That’s not to say that racism plays no role at all, it very well may. I don’t know. I do know that we don’t make good decisions when we jump to favored conclusions and can’t be bothered to consider alternative explanations (Tide comes in, tide goes out. You can’t explain that!).

  34. 34 34 Ken B

    So I broke down and watched Eastwood. I think he was very effective. Did some people miss that is was a comedy act? A funny one.
    A lot of commenters seem outraged at the forthright mockery too. My own view is that mockery is deadly to a man and a campaign of so many pretensions as Obama, with his receding seas, his healing planets, and so I don’t think they ‘squandered’ that time at all.

  35. 35 35 Steve Landsburg

    Floccina: Do you feel the same way about teaching, say, Thomas Hardy?

  36. 36 36 Floccina

    BTW here are a couple of links:
    http://centerforcollegeaffordability.org/archives/8474
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/29/opinion/sunday/is-algebra-necessary.html?pagewanted=all

    Unlike the author I believe that even for most people some algebra is useful but it is not taught in such a way as to educate but to test.

  37. 37 37 Matthew

    I was hoping Clint Eastwood would sing over the closing credits of the convention like he did at the end of Gran Torino. Shit woulda been epic.

  38. 38 38 Jimbino

    David Wallin and Todd:

    You misunderstand completely. The racism is not in discouraging disadvantaged minorities from participating in bratwurst festivals or anything else. The racism is that of a system that supports with public funds enterprises that are shunned by minorities.

    Indeed, Augusta National has every right to exclude women, but if it were a government enterprise supported by taxpayer dollars, it would not. Socialism and the gummint trough offer minorities things they do not have time or money for, seeing that they are struggling to put food on the table and get their kids a decent education.

    Racist throughout, just as skateboard parks are totally sexist, representing expenditure of public funds for a boy’s activity. It is no excuse that girls could skateboard, too, if they wanted to.

  39. 39 39 Silas Barta

    (The stimulus created “more debt than jobs”? In what common unit is he measuring debt and jobs?)

    I don’t know … maybe … money?

    This kinda reminds me of how much trouble you had applying the concept of Komogorov complexity outside of its exact original domain.

  40. 40 40 Ken B

    So Jimbino, tastes are racial?

  41. 41 41 Jimbino

    Yes Ken B,

    It is comptemptible whenever the gummint taxes those with the wrong tastes (chitlins) to subsidize the lifestyle of those with the right tastes (country clubs), especially when the wealth and income transfer, as usual, is from the poor and disadvantaged to the rich and privileged.

  42. 42 42 Matthew

    Silas Barta should be a character on the Big Bang Theory.

  43. 43 43 Paul T

    Jimbino: “Our public lands and public universities are the most
    racist institutions in Amerika, after the KKK.”

    Preach it, Jimbo!

    Thankfully, we have private universities, as a light in the
    darkness, setting a moral example, fighting the good fight –
    Minimum SAT score for Ivy League admission:
    black: 1100
    white: 1410
    yellow: 1520

    And, KKK is an “institution”? ok, thanks for the update! So,
    where does Nation of Islam sit on your institution list?

  44. 44 44 Jimbino

    Yo Paul R,

    Yes, in·sti·tu·tion is a Noun:
    A society or organization founded for a religious, educational, social, or similar purpose.

    The Nation of Islam and the KKK are institutions:they,along with the Mormons, the RC Church, Walmart and Disney World do NOT tax disadvantaged minorities in order to support the privileged rich. It is only the socialist gummint that does that, through its national parks and forests and public universities, for example.

    Yes, I agree: Thank Darwin for private parks, universities, schools and package delivery. None of them charge the disadvantaged to subsidize the privileged, except to the extent that private universities have found ways to suck at the gummint tit.

  45. 45 45 Ken

    Jimbino,

    The racism is that of a system that supports with public funds enterprises that are shunned by minorities.

    The American system, by and large, supports the freedom to live your life as you see fit. The system is mostly meritocratic, rewarding hard work, frugality, and plannig for the future. Are claiming that minorities don’t work hard, are not frugal, and don’t plan for the future?

    It is no excuse that girls could skateboard, too, if they wanted to.

    False. That girls don’t want to skateboard does not make skateboarding sexist. Preventing girls from skateboarding because they’re girls would be sexist.

  46. 46 46 Ken

    Jimbino,

    the wealth and income transfer, as usual, is from the poor and disadvantaged to the rich and privileged.

    Naturally, this is false. See Table 3 to see what a stupid statement you’ve made.

  47. 47 47 Steve Landsburg

    Ken:

    Re #45: That girls don’t want to skateboard does not make skateboarding sexist.

    Of course Jimbino never said that skateboarding is sexist. If you want to respond to him, it would probably be a good idea to stick to things he’s actually said.

    For example, he actually said

    the wealth and income transfer, as usual, is from the poor and disadvantaged to the rich and privileged.

    and your link (in #46) is a helpful, on-topic response. But even if you believe this proves him wrong, it doesn’t prove him stupid. So I’d encourage a little more care with the adjectives too.

  48. 48 48 Steve Landsburg

    Ken:

    Also, going back to #45 for a moment, you wrote:

    The American system, by and large, supports the freedom to live your life as you see fit. The system is mostly meritocratic, rewarding hard work, frugality, and plannig for the future.

    Would you consider this an on-topic response to a commenter who claimed that the American tax system often discourages hard work, frugality and planning for the future?

    Jimbino might or might not be right about public institutions tending to cater to the tastes of the white and rich at the expense of the non-white and poor. But it’s not, I think, an adequate response to note (correctly) that the American system has a lot to offer everyone.

  49. 49 49 Ken B

    41 is non responsive to my question. Are tastes racially determined?

  50. 50 50 Ken

    Steve,

    Of course Jimbino never said that skateboarding is sexist.

    Fair enough. But the actual statement I was responding to was about public funds for skateboarding is sexist, which I took to mean skateboarding.

    But even if you believe this proves him wrong, it doesn’t prove him stupid.

    Speaking of what a person actually said, I said “See Table 3 to see what a stupid statement you’ve made.” The statement was stupid, not him.

    Would you consider this an on-topic response to a commenter who claimed that the American tax system often discourages hard work, frugality and planning for the future?

    Yes.

  51. 51 51 Jimbino

    Ken B,

    You have a strange obsession with the question of whether or not tastes are racial. I assume the question is “Do people’s tastes in religion, recreation, food, reading, etc., generally vary according to race?”

    The definition of race is problematic, of course. It can refer to ethnicity, as in “Jews belong to the Semitic Race” or to a grouping of widely disparate genetic races, as in the “Hispanic Race,” or metaphorically to any grouping of people, as in the “race of Romantic poets.”

    It is obvious that the Semitic Race has unique tastes and that the Hispanic Race doesn’t read books in public, except for the Argentine Race that favors bookstores, nosejobs and psychiatrists.

    Indeed, here in Amerika, in considering public policy, it is useful, actually, to treat the races as defined by their tastes:

    The Hispanic Race votes Democrat, is Roman Catholic, maintains strong family ties, and shows little interest in higher education.

    The Jewish Race votes Democrat and places great value on higher education.

    The Mormon Race loves large families, etc.
    The Black Race never goes camping in national forests, etc.
    The Japanese Race get sick on a couple of drinks, etc.
    The Irish Race can drink to oblivion without getting sick, etc.

    These are nothing more than useful generalizations, but generalization is absolutely essential to the progress of science.

    There are exceptions to the generalizations: I myself am an over-educated, atheist, Irish-English White Hispanic, with loose family ties who loves to camp and read books when traveling on a bus or airplane. The only thing that makes me “Hispanic,” perhaps, is the fact of my “accidental” birth in Paraguay, but that was enough (similar to the case of Elisabeth Warren) to gain me the Affirmative Action Hispanic Scholarship of my UT Austin Law School class. After all, what serves “diversity” more than giving the scholarship to a 99% non-Latino Hispanic or a 99% White, Native-Amerikan woman?

    Our socialist, nanny state gummint is expert at making policy that illicitly discriminates among persons based on race and sex. Walmart and Disney World do so only because the gummint requires it of them.

    Only our socialist gummint can be so hypocritical as to force discrimination or affirmative action rules on private enterprises while maintaining the White Country Clubs represented by our national parks & forests, beaches and public universities. It takes our socialist gummint to make rules that favor some folks based on their race, sex, religion or marital status, none of which distinctions (anymore) are Constitutional.

    I can envision a Constitutional amendment that prohibited any mention of race, sex, religion or marital status of a person in any law of the land; that would not solve the problem, however, because our public lands and public universities are de facto, as opposed to de jure, discriminatory.

    What would solve the problem of illicit discrimination would be to privatize: arrange for Walmart or Ted Turner, for example, to own or at least manage all those illicitly discriminating institutions.

  52. 52 52 Ken B

    Actually I have a ‘strange obsession’ with logic and clear use of language. Your use of ‘race’ is so vague, confused, and freighted with emotion as to be useless and meaningless at best. I’m afraid I don’t give you credit for best here. Something about ‘chitlins’ and ‘the Jewish race’ I suppose.

  53. 53 53 Jimbino

    Ken B,

    I am reluctant to use the term “Jewish Race,” fraught as it is with the Nazi baggage. I placed Jews in the “Semitic Race,” which actually is made up mostly of non-Jews.

    cf. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semitic

    While I am also interested in the “clear use of language,” I acknowledge that there are words like “race” and “gender” that are nowadays ill-defined. Gender, for example, does not equate to “sex,” though you wouldn’t know that by listening to National Socialist Media. It would be better to say that women are of the female sex and a nurturing gender, for example.

    Likewise in the case of “race.” There are cultural Jews, ethnic Jews, religious Jews, Christian Jews and lots of Unitarian and Atheist Jews. But I find it convenient to consider them of a “race” that generally values education and tradition.

    You are a person who is apparently obsessed with “magic” words. I am not: I would never consider stoning to death a young (or old) woman who innocently (or intentionally) burned a Koran. On the contrary, I would favor hunting down and condemning anyone who persecuted a person on the basis of “magic” words, whether those of the Koran or “G*d.”

  54. 54 54 Jimbino

    Yo Ken,

    Your “Table 3″ has nothing to do with the price of cheese. It does not mention or deal with the wealth and income transfer from the poor to the rich represented by our White Country Club public lands and universities, which I thought was the topic at hand.

  55. 55 55 Paul T

    SL: “‘When the realtor told you that to sell your house you’d
    have to take a loss, you knew this just wasn’t right’. So — it’s
    intrinsically wrong for a price to change? You might want to run
    that by someone who’s currently shopping for a house.

    — He actually just argued against defense cuts because they
    would “cost jobs” — effectively repudiating everything he claims
    to believe about the folly of spending for the sake of spending.”

    This is something we see commonly – a successful businessman, woefully ignorant of economic theory. Witness Warren Buffett, as a
    another recent example. There was a chapter in your book, to this
    same point. (was that retained in the new edition?) And let’s not
    overlook the current emperor, who openly channels the sainted Ned Ludd.

    There appears to be a substantial intellectual gap between micro- and macro-economics. Hayek remarked similarly, that many aspects of
    the subject are too counter-untuitive for Joe Sixpack to grasp; like
    the idea that two people can trade, and both profit, it’s not zero sum.

    SL: “’When the world needs someone to do really big stuff, you need
    an American’. No, what you need is someone who’s good at doing what
    you need done, and it really doesn’t matter where he was born. The
    failure to grasp this is a major failure in a leader.”

    So Emperor Romney would be protectionist. How did Romney the
    Capitalist operate, when one of his investments needed foreign born
    employees?

  56. 56 56 Bill Drissel

    @ floccina 12/8/31:
    We don’t teach math because people WILL need it. We teach math so people CAN need it.

    Regards,
    Bill Drissel
    Grand Prairie, TX

  57. 57 57 Jimbino

    You don’t need math.

    All but Breyer on SCOTUS is ignorant of math and science.

    The last POTUS who showed any sophistication in math or science was Jimmy Carter.

    There are fewer than 10 of 535 of COTUS who claim sophistication in math or science. If you are a total failure at math, you have a secured future in politics.

    Darwin save us!

  58. 58 58 Ken B

    “SCOTUS is ignorant of math”

    By that standard we dont need to teach enumerated powers either.

    ;)

  59. 59 59 Ken

    Jimbo,

    It does not mention or deal with the wealth and income transfer from the poor to the rich represented by our White Country Club public lands and universities, which I thought was the topic at hand.

    Actually it does. The rich white country club crowd pays most of the taxes in this country, including the public lands and universities. I am all for selling off public lands to private hands and for eliminating subsidies for universities and generally reducing the size and scope of government at all levels, but let’s not be confused about who actually pays the taxes: it’s the rich, and they pay a disproportionate amount in taxes”, with the top 1% paying taking on an ever increasing tax burden.

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