Saturday Links

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

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61 Responses to “Saturday Links”

  1. #1 |  RomanCandle | 

    My goodness…125 isn’t even freakishly for an IQ. I’d bet most of your regular readers are in that range.

    That’s like barring tall players from the NBA.

  2. #2 |  BamBam | 

    Radley, are you out to get Ron Paul? It seems you are posting an inordinate amount of links to him using wording that is questionable when compared to all other candidates.

    “Ron Paul touted conspiracy” … many people have been saying the same thing about the CIA and drug running, which is true based on overwhelming evidence. So why do you attribute it to Ron Paul?

  3. #3 |  BamBam | 

    “Ron Paul is vilified for missing a few paragraphs out of hundreds of newsletters by people who pass 2,000-page bills without reading a single word.” — Hosanna Myers

  4. #4 |  the innominate one | 

    Radley, that article on cops and IQ is from 2006.

    BamBam – because he does tout it, obviously.

    RomanCandle – it is over 1 SD above the mean.

  5. #5 |  Marty | 

    the most admired list is pretty depressing.

  6. #6 |  MikeS | 

    Regarding the list of most-admired people: it is a completely useless BS study. It’s an unconstrained plurality. So if Barack Obama, by dint of being the most famous person in America, gets 17%, he wins. It’s completely useless and Gallup should be forced to take remedial stats for running this piece of shit every year. I mean. what use is a poll where the #5 choice gets 2%?!

    Maybe if they had a list of people and asked “do you admire this person yes/no” that would be useful. I’m reminded of the poll of greatest Russians which listed Stalin in the top, almost certainly he was one of the few people whose name everyone knew.

  7. #7 |  (B)oscoH | 

    Oh, so you kicked me in the nuts. Your karma is going to be a whole lot worse than that.

  8. #8 |  Henry Bowman | 

    Well, it’s not clear when the Ron Paul newsletter to which you link was published, but if it was in the mid-1980s, then referring to AIDS as a homosexual plague was pretty darned accurate.

  9. #9 |  Radley Balko | 

    Radley, are you out to get Ron Paul?

    The article I linked to explains why Paul was right. I attributed the quote to him because he’s getting attacked (sometimes justly) for promoting crank conspiracy theories. I was pointing out that in this particular case, the conspiracy was true. So he was vindicated on this point. I was defending him.

  10. #10 |  David | 

    Gotta love the Beltway Libertarians:

    They claim to be for small government, but their biggest targets are inane food laws in New York City or stupid pot busts in California.

    They claim to be skeptical of the government, but whenever anybody is dubious of the government and mainstream media’s claims, they call them “conspiracy theorists” to bully them into trusting the government.

    They claim to believe that people should be left free from the federal government, but defenseless foreigners are being massacred in Iraq and Afghanistan and they are “divided” on the issue of how good that is.

    They claim that people should be able to control the fruits of their labor, but they demand that Americans continue to prostrate themselves to the Communist, non-Christian (in fact, ANTI-Christian – foreign country of Israel. (Founded by the same people who brought us the Soviet Union – Marx, Lenin, Trotsky, etc., etc., etc. and their massacre of 12m gentile Russians.)

    In short, Beltway Libertarians aren’t libertarians at all: they’re neocons. Single issue voters whose single issue is war. Their libertarian rhetoric is merely a loss-leader to get sincere libertarians’ trust so that they can later agree with them on further Christian and American submission before Israel.

    The fact that so many supposed libertarians are attacking rather than rejoicing about the success of the most successful libertarian candidate of the century exposes them as the phonies they are.

    Please vote for Ron Paul, be honest, and don’t allow yourself to be bullied by the murderous neocons.

  11. #11 |  Radley Balko | 

    “Ron Paul is vilified for missing a few paragraphs out of hundreds of newsletters by people who pass 2,000-page bills without reading a single word.” — Hosanna Myers

    It’s a hell of a lot more than “a few paragraphs.” Whatever your opinion of the newsletters and their importance now, at least portray the controversy accurately.

    See here and here.

  12. #12 |  Johnny | 

    Too bad about the Pinellas Co. Sherriff’s Dept. being involved in that stupid karma story. They’re the guys who actually are training their officers to not shoot dogs:'s-deputies-are-learning-to-use-a-catch-pole-to-restrain-dogs

  13. #13 |  Judas Peckerwood | 

    @#8 –– Um, Henry, might want to have the ol’ snark meter recalibratd for the New Year. Just sayin’!

  14. #14 |  Radley Balko | 


    In addition to sounding like a complete crank, you’re pretty much wrong on every position/priority you attribute to “Beltway Libertarians.”

    “Single issue voters whose single issue is war” is wrong on every level. Nearly every D.C. libertarian I know thinks we should leave Afghanistan. There was some dissent in support of the Iraq war when it began, but most at Cato and Reason opposed it, and nearly all of the D.C. libertarians who originally supported it have now admitted they were wrong.

    And no one is “attacking” Ron Paul. The overwhelming number of posts over at Reason support/defend him. Ed Crane, the president of Cato, just defended him in a Wall Street Journal op-ed.

    Yes, some of us are disappointed in how Paul has handled the newsletters. And more disappointed that they were written in the first place. Even as Paul is having some success, the stain of the newsletters comes with it. And yes, that’s a problem.

    Most libertarians I know are pleased that Paul is doing well, myself included. That doesn’t mean he is immune to criticism. And it sure as hell doesn’t mean anyone who does criticize him should be assumed to be secretly pining for “further Christian and American submission before Israel.” That’s batshit crazy. I’ve criticized Paul for the newsletters, and I think we should end all foreign aid to Israel (and everyone else).

    You die-hard Paul people insist on 100 percent support for everything he does, with no criticism, ever. I know of pro-Paul journalists who were swarmed by the Paul hordes because of a couple minor caveats they put in otherwise positive Paul articles. You come off like creepy cultists. And you’re hurting your own cause.

  15. #15 |  nospam | 

    Gotta love the Beltway Libertarians:

    Maybe you can point out a few for us. I’ll go out on a limb and say there are maybe, on a good day, three or four people inside the beltway who don’t say the word “Libertarian” without a sneer or chortle, let alone claim to be one.

  16. #16 |  Tim in Ohio | 

    “You die-hard Paul people insist on 100 percent support for everything he does, with no criticism, ever.”

    And that is hardly libertarian.

  17. #17 |  RomanCandle | 

    One standard deviation above the mean is high, to be sure…but a 125 IQ is probably in something like the 95th percentile, right? That’s high, but not freakishly high.

  18. #18 |  Difster | 

    A lot of the stuff on the TNR Exclusive page you linked to isn’t really controversial at all. For example: The newsletters also warns readers to “do your very best to keep your family away from inner cities. If you can’t, have a haven remote from the metropolitan areas.” What’s wrong with that advice? It’s still true today.

    I’d say only about 20% of the stuff on the page warrants any real consideration as being problematic. I’d also have to read the entire article in context to see how much of the controversial stuff isn’t so controversial either.

  19. #19 |  SJE | 

    I live and work, literally, inside the beltway. I am happy to call myself libertarian, and do so without a sneer or a chortle. There are plenty who share my views.

    That said, many are wary of the term libertarian because of its connotations to some of the more bat-shit crazy antics done in its name. Most people who live inside the Beltway identify with the democrats, and think that libertarians are just the crazy wing of the GOP, just another term for the Southern moral majority types.

  20. #20 |  Difster | 

    And let’s just say for the sake of argument that Ron Paul is a bigoted, gay hating, misogynist. So? As long as he doesn’t try to use the force of government to implement his biases, that’s none of my concern.

    It would make me uncomfortable if he was those things, but if there was gay, Jewish, black guy who had a past history of making disparaging remarks about white, straight Christian men yet fully supported the cause of individual liberty and economic sanity and had a very long track record of acting on those beliefs, I could still vote for such a man for President.

  21. #21 |  Aresen | 

    Though the story is old, that “Headline of the Day” does explain a lot.

  22. #22 |  SJE | 

    NoSpam: I also object to using Washington DC as a handy bashing point for all the country’s ills. Yes, things are messed up. And the politicians and the political system is dysfunctional, and needs to change. But

    1. Washington DC is far more than the dysfunctional federal government. There are a lot of hard working, talented people doing all sorts of things.

    2. There is a lot of dysfunction in the rest of the country. So much of what gets people pissed off are local issues: zoning, cops, courts, corrupt local governments, bad schools. Then they blame Washington. WTF? If your local county is messed up, fix it, and don’t ask the Feds. If you are asking the Feds to get involved, don’t complain about overreaching Federal power.

    Radley calls out corruption, ineptude etc, whereever he sees it, and there is plenty to go around, Federal, State, local. He does not engage in the lazy shorthand of blaming Washington.

  23. #23 |  David | 

    You wrote disappointment in how Ron Paul “handled the newsletters”, but who cares about them – even if he’d actually written them, when you have two decades of voting records to go on? So he makes politically incorrect statements about gays, blacks, or Jews – which basically every working man does when joking with buddies while playing their PS3 or planning out their fantasy football team. (Again, Ron Paul didn’t write them, but hypothetically, if he did.) They are ENTIRELY immaterial to his public work, as every public action he’s ever undertaken respects the individual. He has nothing to apologize or account for as political incorrectness is legal and meaningless to his work.

    (Ron Paul’s no-nonsense, cranky old face when being pressed on this “newsletter” inanity by some useless mainstream media nothing is epic:

    (Incidentally, I don’t intend to come across as a “crank”, but, to be totally honest, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and Walt Disney were some of history’s most cranky men.)

    Let’s look at it in terms of the best investment of our intellectual resources: the number of Arabs the U.S. has murdered in Iraq and Afghanistan is about a million – give or take 100k.

    On the other hand, you have a guy who associated with people who wrote black jokes and gay jokes (which, again, all working people outside the Beltway/Manhattan/L.A. regions do).

    Which of these is relevant to the U.S., and which is not? It’s so stupid it doesn’t even warrant discussion – let alone to become the primary focus!

    I thank you and am flattered by your long response and I am REALLY surprised and happy to see your clear, unequivocal statement that American capital should stay in American hands rather than being sent to Israel (or, as you say, any other foreign country). I’ll bet that your adrenaline spiked a bit when you typed that because I believe you know how forbidden such statements are. (And I’m sure you’ll get a nice spike in testosterone as a reward for your courage!)

    Still, I continue to be awakened to the true nature of supposed “libertarians” by the attacks they have on Ron Paul. When Reason had their neocon Weigel control all their coverage of him in 2007 and he created the “libertarian” excuse to not like Paul (his political incorrectness), it was a splash of cold water to my face and I stopped going to the site (except for your “Monday nut-punch”) because they were revealed as phonies. My sporadic returns continuously demonstrate how fraudulent their libertarianism is, and where their true loyalties lie. (Ronald Bailey’s work being the diamond in the rough.)

    (NOTE: The great Karen De Coster linked to this hilarious video of an Australian comedian unraveling the hypocrisy of modern political correctness, and it’s apropo of the newsletter “issue”.

  24. #24 |  CharlesWT | 

    “RomanCandle – it is over 1 SD above the mean.”

    Apparently they just want their cops to be mean.

  25. #25 |  EH | 

    so, we start the drug war to save the children, just like we’ll have to end it for the same reason.

  26. #26 |  Highway | 

    I think it’s pretty remarkable that police forces are so bent on making their jobs boring and stupid that they would rather run off people who have higher intelligence based on a perception that ‘they will just leave because they get bored’ rather than examine why police work is so boring and apparently so uninteresting that an intelligent person can’t gain enough mental stimulation from it?

    I think a lot of the people reading The Agitator would probably agree with the idea that perhaps the part of police work that’s so boring and stifling to intelligent people is dealing with other police. Not the part where you deal with people out in the world, but having your creativity stifled by people who are powerful in the police organization not because they achieved things by showing they were more deserving, but because they kept out of notice and put in their time. And because people who have a propensity for keeping out of notice make the policy, their policies are designed to keep other people from noticing things about them or the police.

  27. #27 |  picachu | 

    Why don’t cops want people with higher IQ’s to join the force? simple-people with higher IQ’s are more likely to question the staus quo.

  28. #28 |  CharlesWT | 

    “My goodness…125 isn’t even freakishly for an IQ.”

    Freakishly High IQs

  29. #29 |  Dave Krueger | 

    I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but I sympathize with them. I don’t believe most of the 9/11 conspiracies simply because I don’t think the government could pull it off without fucking it up. But I, like the conspiracy theorists, don’t dismiss that government is capable of outrageously bizarre, cruel, and destructive behavior to promote it’s own agenda. If you want proof of that, read some history.

    For that reason, I’m just not all that bothered by Paul’s position on some of these conspiracies. Besides, he’s the only candidate (including Johnson) that I feel confident would avoid getting involved in a war with Iran. If you watch CNN, it’s that very antiwar position that makes him a nut case.

  30. #30 |  Juice | 

    I’ll be damned if I’m going to let the homosexuals taint the once noble art of antiquing!

  31. #31 |  Juice | 

    The twitter feed with Ron Paul newsletter snips has this one:

    RP_Newsletter Ron Paul Newsletter

    If ALL of our power were generated by nuclear energy, the total wastes would equal the size of an aspirin tablet for each person per year.

    That racist scumbag. Well, maybe it’s not racist, but it’s kooky, right? Oh, it’s most likely factually accurate? Well, just tweet it anyway. Some people will think it’s funny or something.

  32. #32 |  that guy | 

    Mr. Balko,

    What exactly offended you in the newsletters? You, not what you think would offend other people. What did you find offensive. Please be exact. Thanks. Happy New Year!

  33. #33 |  JOR | 

    #10, Well, if you want to pose as a practical person, what do you think would happen if every libertarian critical of Chairman Ron’s Great Libertarian Electoral Revolution changed their minds, gave him their votes and full support, etc.

    Would he win? Would he even have a chance? Are you that naive?

    And if you aren’t that naive, and you understand full well that he’d still lose (just ever so slightly badly), then the only grounds to object to criticism of Ron Paul are grounds of principle. And, well, saying that he’s marginally better than the modal Democrat or Republican is no defense against criticism.

    Full disclosure: I’m an anarchist. I’m not interested in investing myself in work towards a minarchist regime. Not just in the sense that I see the good as the enemy of the perfect. I really don’t think minarchy would necessarily be an improvement. The minarchist utopias of the 18th-19th Centuries that all the libertoids fawn over were every bit as horrific as today’s bloated mega-states, if not more so.

  34. #34 |  FloO | 

    RE: DEA Funny how you can take a fairly dumpy average person, not particularly honest or intelligent, just average, but really really good at kissing ass, dress him or her up in a suit, add a lapel pin, and a fancy bureaucratic seal, probably featuring a star or an eagle, and suddenly they are just so special, they know so much, and have all the answers.

  35. #35 |  Aresen | 

    As for freakishly high IQs: You gotta admit, someone who could count to 125 on their fingers and toes would be a bit of a freak.

  36. #36 |  Cynical in New York | 


    Many called it a conspiracy because the theory was primarily made popular back then by militant liberal black organizations. So in turn drug warriors “countered” that it was just “whinnying by minorities trying to get over on the law”

  37. #37 |  Don't comment much | 

    As for freakishly high IQs: You gotta admit, someone who could count to 125 on their fingers and toes would be a bit of a freak.

    I have the normal complement of 10 fingers and 10 toes. I can count to 1023 on my fingers or on my toes. I can count to 1,048,575 using both fingers and toes.

    So can you.

  38. #38 |  the innominate one | 

    From the Intertel/ High-IQ link:

    “The percentile is the important criteria [sic].”

    I think you mean “criterion”, Mr. Smarty-pants.

  39. #39 |  Robert | 

    Beat me to it #31. Only takes 6 fingers to count to 125.

  40. #40 |  (B)oscoH | 

    #32: There is a difference between an insensitive/offensive joke collection and a political newsletter. Understanding this difference is a good test for whether one should represent oneself as a mainstream libertarian or should just crawl back under one’s rock.

  41. #41 |  zendingo | 

    Ok, so the ron paul news letter with the 14 tips wasn’t a joke? are we sure it’s not parody? i laughed out loud more than once, am i a bad person?

  42. #42 |  Dave Krueger | 

    #41 zendingo

    Ok, so the ron paul news letter with the 14 tips wasn’t a joke? are we sure it’s not parody? i laughed out loud more than once, am i a bad person?

    Well, your comment probably forever disqualifies you from being President. While you may bankrupt the country, squander the prosperity of future generations, send thousands of young men to die or be maimed for your own political gain, and imprison thousands of people for consensual “crimes”, ruining their lives forever, the one thing you may not do is say something that will be considered evil twenty years from now.

    And that is why we will wind up with a president who will bankrupt the country, squander the prosperity of future generations, send thousands of young men to die or be maimed for the president’s own political gain, and imprison thousands of people for consensual “crimes”, ruining their lives forever.

    America is such a magical place.

  43. #43 |  Mark | 

    @41 It was clearly a parody.

  44. #44 |  JOR | 

    #42, Ron Paul is unelectable largely because of his stances on various issues. If everyone who criticizes his handling of the newsletters etc. voted for him and campaigned their hearts out for him it would make no difference. If anything most of his fans are the sort of “politically incorrect” contrarian dumbshits that find the idiotic racist rants from the newsletters endearing.

    Like it or not, most people who oppose Ron Paul oppose him because of what he’s good on (wars, debt, drug war) and most people who support him support him because of what he’s bad or cranky on (constitution worship, border statism, AGW).

  45. #45 |  furpo | 

    Yes, 125 is in the 95th percentile.

    Ive been tested twice in my younger adult life with a meager
    126, 128, respectively. Im far to intelligent to be a cop, that`s funny, u`d
    think they would want the brighest and best out there, instead they want average idiots with no more qualifications than brute force jarhead mentalities.

    I quess their job is just arrest em and let the smart people figure out the
    details. Duh, my name is Goober and I passed the police exam, Yeee-Hawwww, time to legally bust some heads.

    All my life I thought most everyone was an idiot, turned out I was right.

  46. #46 |  Pi Guy | 

    RomanCandle – it is over 1 SD above the mean.

    It’s actually more than 2 SDs above the mean. But, is that really the point?

  47. #47 |  nigmalg | 

    “…did not discriminate against Robert Jordan because the same standards were applied to everyone who took the test”

    So if the “same” test included questions that only a middle-aged white christian man could answer correctly, it wouldn’t be discriminatory as long as it applied to everyone? Wasn’t there recently a finding against a fire department for just the same accusation? This goes back to show how silly protected classes are in discrimination cases.

    Another note, several studies indicate that IQs between 90 and 100 are more predisposed to violence. Scientifically speaking, it appears police violence is easily explained.

  48. #48 |  Pi Guy | 

    blockquote>@#4 One standard deviation above the mean is high, to be sure…but a 125 IQ is probably in something like the 95th percentile, right? That’s high, but not freakishly high.

    Wow. No doubt, the guy’s really intelligent, as measured by IQ. But I think we should be careful with the stat jargon here because, the words… I don’t think they mean what you think they mean.

    Standard deviations and percentiles are both measures of distribution about a central tendency but differ in that they’re expressed in terms of different treatments of the data.

    Standared Deviation is measured from a computed. An IQ of 125 falls in the middle of the 2nd SD above the norm (or mean, or more commonly, average) a data region occupied by only ~2.1% of the population. Perhaps the definition of freakish depends on your definition of rare, ie: how rare you feel 2% of group is, but the dude’s not too far from freakishly smart by my own personal standard.

    Percentile measures distribution, that is, deviation>, from the median, the number that falls exactly in the middle of an ordered list of data. Being in the 95th %ile indicates that only 5% of a population would have a higher IQ.

    Note here that, in the interest of avoiding comparing apples to kumquats, a person’s IQ is extrapolated from where their score on a standardized test falls within the Normal Distribution curve. Identifying a person’s IQ by referencing a percentile is misleading, unintentionally I’m pretty certain. For the sake of clarity, using the old SAT analogy notation >> Stan Dev:Mean::Inner Quartile Range (IQR):Median. Just saying that using %-ile verbiage while talking about IQ muddles comparisons.

    Anywho, the real point is that, again, why this should disqualify him for the job is beyond me. It’s almost a tacit admission that we don’t want cops on the beat who can think and stuff. Why THAT is not more the story here should be, IMO, the puzzling part.

  49. #49 |  Pi Guy | 

    first paragraph failed attempt to capture quote at comment #4.

    Damn HTML tags…

  50. #50 |  Delta | 

    #46 — IQ has mean 100 and standard deviation 15. A score wouldn’t be “more than 2 SDs above the mean” unless it was above 130.

  51. #51 |  c andrew | 

    #24 | CharlesWT | December 31st, 2011 at 5:09 pm
    “RomanCandle – it is over 1 SD above the mean.”

    Apparently they just want their cops to be mean.

    Will I get in trouble at school if I give you plus karma on this one?

  52. #52 |  Dan | 

    Ron Paul is the only politician in my life time who is not afraid to speak the truth and accurately prophesy our present enslavement to the corporate/police state/dictatorship. On economic issues he is the only candidate who saw the 2nd Great Depression coming and has a thorough grasp of the economics and the corruption that has brought us to this point. Above all, he is committed to liberty and the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The man is far from perfect and has written and said things that violates current liberal pieties but I see no other viable alternate out there who is worth a damn in comparison. Can he get elected? It could happen if there is a complete economic collapse in the next 8 months or so. The mantra that he is not electable has brain washed some who otherwise would have taken him more seriously. The more desperate people become the better his chances are.

  53. #53 |  Chad Olsen | is a parody/joke/shock site. You might want to reflect that on your link.

  54. #54 |  Dan | 

    I read an article on 9/11 by J. Raimondo a couple years back. He didn’t buy the more absurd theories but he did provide some info. on Israeli intelligence folks who had prior knowledge of the event[s], and were happy that the attacks would put us in lockstep with them.

  55. #55 |  SJE | 

    Dan: the US already had significant intel before the 9/11 attacks, but failed to pay enough attention. Part of that is ex post rationalization, but part of it is that the US govt gets too big and does too much that things are more likely to get lost.

  56. #56 |  John C. Randolph | 

    I know several honest-to-god geniuses, and none of them place any weight at all on IQ scores.


  57. #57 |  CharlesWT | 

    Yeah, high IQ allows you be wrong in so much bigger ways. To build truly humongous fairy castles in the air.

  58. #58 |  SJE | 

    Re IQ:

    Perhaps we should consider the British system, modelled on the army. The smarter ones, or those with college educations, are the “officers,” while the beat cops are the less educated and less intelligent “troops.” There is some suggestion that this structure has limited the growth of thuggishness among the beat cops.

  59. #59 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Israeli intelligence folks who had prior knowledge of the event[s], and were happy that the attacks would put us in lockstep with them.

    Not hard to list a few thousand people who have benefited immensely from 9/11…and they were never even remotely in danger. But, they do an awesome job at stopping pain patients.

  60. #60 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Radley wrote:

    The article I linked to explains why Paul was right.

    You mean this, right?

    “Cat ownership: a quicker path to AIDS than sleeping with Rock Hudson on a bed covered with infected needles and Klaus Nomi’s sheets.”

    God damn cats.

  61. #61 |  La Rana | 

    The IQ story was covered by michael Moore on his old show the awful truth, over 10 years ago.