Adam Gopnik's New Yorker article on America's high rates of incarceration is a great read. Gopnik argues that mass incarceration is unjust, destructive and does not actually account for the steep decline in crime rates since the 1970s. Gopnik makes a compelling case that both liberals and conservatives are wrong about why crime rates have fallen and how to keep crime rates low without mass incarceration. This is far and away the best article I've read on America's incarceration policies in a long time.
There's no gentle way to put it: People who give in to racism and prejudice may simply be dumb, according to a new study that is bound to stir public controversy.
The research finds that children with low intelligence are more likely to hold prejudiced attitudes as adults. These findings point to a vicious cycle, according to lead researcher Gordon Hodson, a psychologist at Brock University in Ontario. Low-intelligence adults tend to gravitate toward socially conservative ideologies, the study found. Those ideologies, in turn, stress hierarchy and resistance to change, attitudes that can contribute to prejudice, Hodson wrote in an email to LiveScience.
"Prejudice is extremely complex and multifaceted, making it critical that any factors contributing to bias are uncovered and understood," he said.
Here is what I find interesting: many conservatives will huff and puff resentfully about these findings, which do not represent the first time lower IQ has been linked to conservativism. What's interesting, though, is that conservatives tend to embrace IQ comparisons when the lower IQ discussion addresses black people rather than conservatives. And more than a few liberals who reject the racial angle on IQ will probably gloat about findings that liberals have IQs that are, on average, 6-11 points higher than conservatives.
Hillary says she won't continue as Secretary of State if Obama is reelected. Hillary has no reason to make this announcement unless...
Out on a limb:
Hillary runs as Obama's VP candidate and Biden replaces her as Secretary of State. I'm not the first to say it, but I think this move would energize the party base and brings out the voters Obama needs to win later this year.
And Hillary gets one last shot at the presidency in 2016.
The best examples come from a famous floor statement Gingrich made on March 21, 1986. This was right in the middle of the fight over funding for the Nicaraguan contras; the money had been cut off by Congress in 1985, though Reagan got $100 million for this cause in 1986. Here is Gingrich: “Measured against the scale and momentum of the Soviet empire’s challenge, the Reagan administration has failed, is failing, and without a dramatic change in strategy will continue to fail. . . . President Reagan is clearly failing.” Why? This was due partly to “his administration’s weak policies, which are inadequate and will ultimately fail”; partly to CIA, State, and Defense, which “have no strategies to defeat the empire.” But of course “the burden of this failure frankly must be placed first on President Reagan.” Our efforts against the Communists in the Third World were “pathetically incompetent,” so those anti-Communist members of Congress who questioned the $100 million Reagan sought for the Nicaraguan “contra” rebels “are fundamentally right.” Such was Gingrich’s faith in President Reagan that in 1985, he called Reagan’s meeting with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev “the most dangerous summit for the West since Adolf Hitler met with Neville Chamberlain in 1938 in Munich.”
The U.S. military is at risk of losing its "military superiority" because "our Navy is smaller than it's been since 1917. Our Air Force is smaller and older than any time since 1947-- Mitt Romney on Monday, January 16th, 2012 in a Republican presidential debate in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
True, only if you count the number of craft, and ignore what would have been, in 1947, the unimaginable superiority of today's missile-armed gunships, the stealth and high-speed aircraft that can take out targets with pinpoint accuracy, and the unmanned drones that can assassinate a terrorist in Pakistan while being flown by a pilot at a video console in Florida. Kill Omar at 4:30pm and meet the hubby and kids for dinner at Applebee's an hour later.
As for the Navy, one modern US submarine armed with nuclear missiles could have ended World War II in an afternoon.
How dumb would a voter have to be to be taken in by Romney's nonsense? In every imaginable respect, the US military, on the ground, in the air and at sea, is vastly superior to the military of 1947. And 1917 might as well be the stone age in military terms.
Today's US military can, in short order, destroy anything it chooses to destroy. What the military can't do is magically transform cultures, turning them into modern democracies where people have a modernist sense of individual rights by blowing up everything that moves. Our military problems today are political problems and people problems, not weapons problems.
I expect politicians to shade the truth, but Mitt Romney makes Pinocchio look like Michael Jackson after his tenth nose job.