Thursday, December 24, 2015

Backward special needs kids are born that way, not the product of some misfortune (They're not "equal")

That's what the academic article below means.  Verbal IQ level was found to be 93% inherited.  The original title of the article was: "Longitudinal Analysis of the Genetic and Environmental Influences on Components of Cognitive Delay in Preschoolers"

By TC Eley et al


The etiology of verbal and performance delays were investigated in a large population sample of twins at 2 and 3 years (N = 2,449 pairs). These data replicate and extend earlier analyses at 2 years (T.C. Eley et al., 1999). Several ways of defining delay were compared, selecting from the lowest 5% of the sample on both verbal (V) and performance (P) measures.

V delay with or without P delay was highly heritable (.93 and .62, respectively), whereas P delay without V delay was less heritable (.29), with substantial shared environment influence (.48).

Longitudinal genetic analyses indicated substantial heritability of V delay from 2 to 3 years, especially in combination with P delay (.48 and .81, respectively). Similarly, genetic influence on continuity of P delay without V delay was much lower (.22). These results suggest that it is useful to consider the strong genetic contribution to verbal delay regardless of nonverbal impairment in preschoolers.

Journal of Educational Psychology, 2001. Vol. 93. No. 4. 698-707

Leftist racism again

The Leftist obsession with race never stops

A 19th century political poster

Sam's Club CEO Rosalind Brewer is being accused of discriminating against white men following a CNN interview where she discussed the importance of workforce diversity.

Brewer was asked by the interviewer how she promotes diversity within her company.

"It has to start with top leadership," Brewer said. "My executive team is very diverse and I make that a priority. I demand it within my team."

She said she mentors women inside and outside of her company, as well, and also encourages Sam's Club's partners to hire a more diverse workforce.

Now here's the comment that ignited the uproar. Brewer said:

Just today we met with a supplier and the entire other side of the table was all Caucasian males. That was interesting. I decided not to talk about it directly with [the supplier's] folks in the room because there were actually no female, like, levels down. So I'm going to place a call to him.

Critics are claiming that Brewer's remarks are evidence that she advocates against employing and hiring white men — even though four of the eight people on her executive team are white men. Some customers are now accusing Brewer of being "racist" toward white men and are threatening to boycott Sam's Club.


ID Cards: Solving a Problem that Dare not Speak its Name

by Sean Gabb

Writing in the Daily Telegraph on the 10th December 2015, two Members of Parliament – Frank Field and Nicholas Soames – regret the cancellation, in 2010, of the previous Labour Government’s identity card scheme. They argue that the threat of terrorism requires us to think again.

By all means, let us think again. However, since no material facts have changed, I see no reason for reaching any different opinion from the one I have always held. Identity cards are an astonishingly bad idea – so bad that it is hard to make a case for them with any semblance of good faith.

Undeniably, there are benefits to having a single and authoritative means of identification. We all need to identify ourselves several times a week, sometimes more often. There are times when the authorities have legitimate need to identify us. Fraud appears to be a growing problem – so too illegal immigration. A biometric identity card would simplify large parts of our lives. It would smooth many of our interactions with the authorities.

The problem is that these benefits are not as great as we are told. Those European countries that already have identity cards do not seem to have less crime than we have. Certainly, France, which has a comprehensive identity card system, has suffered much more terrorism in the past few years than we have – large scale terrorism that gets reported in our news, and a continuous round of intercommunal violence that is not reported. In most cases, identity cards are irrelevant to solving these crimes. The problem is less the identification of suspects once arrested than finding someone to arrest in the first place. For the rest, identity cards are no more secure than bank cards and passports and bank notes. Whatever document is issued and has value can and will be forged by the dishonest.

As for identifying ourselves, most of us already have passports and National Insurance cards and bank cards and driving licenses. The inconvenience we face is, at most, trivial.

Against these doubtful or minor benefits, there are the substantial costs of an identity card scheme. Some of these costs are financial. Issuing everyone with secure biometric identity cards will be expensive, and we do already have a large budget deficit. The main costs, though, will be to our traditional way of life.

Preventing Islamic terrorism is clearly not a main objective of the authorities. If it were, they would not have opened the borders after 1990, and kept them open. They would also not have done so much to cover up various kinds of wrongdoing in our Islamic communities. Fighting crime against life and property is equally not a main objective.

Far more important objectives of the British State, so far as I can tell, are to stop us from smoking and drinking and looking at pornography – and to keep us from organising against our increasingly Potemkin liberal democracy. There is already a vast database, filled with who we are and what we are doing. Identity cards would be a useful front end to this. It would allow us to be tracked as we went about our daily business. It could be used to see who was buying cigarettes or drink, and who was attending meetings of anti-corporate or identitarian pressure groups.

And the knowledge that we were being watched would change our behaviour. Raise even the potential costs of nonconformity, and there will be fewer nonconformists. Would you go to a gay strip club, or to a meeting of the British National Party, if there was a policeman outside with a pretext for checking the identity cards of everyone going in? How many cigarettes or bottles of gin would you buy, if you had to show an identity card at the checkout, and if you knew the records would be shared with the National Health Service and the child protection authorities?

In short, identity cards enable a soft totalitarian police state. To be watched is to be controlled. Without a single concentration camp or rubber cosh in sight, they will take us into a world that has become a stage on which we act at all times under the watchful eye of the authorities.

Look at the history of the debate over identity cards. Every real or alleged problem we have faced in the past quarter century – football hooliganism, bank and welfare fraud, personation in driving tests, selling stolen goods, being drunk in public, terrorism, illegal immigration – has been made into an argument for identity cards. If another Black Death were to wipe out a third of the population, the surviving officials in the Home Office would make this into an argument for identity cards. The problems change. The solution stays the same. The obvious reason is that the authorities really want to know what we are doing, and to scare us into stopping.

And so, my response to Messrs Field and Soames is: I will take my chance with the terrorists; you go back to Westminster and do the job we elected you to do. This is to protect our lives and property and traditional rights from a British State that is going, or has already gone, out of control.


Virulently anti-Israel programs on Australia's ABC

A series of programs on ABC Radio National, produced by a long-standing anti-Israel activist, has undermined the objectivity of the national broadcaster and exposed serious failings in its editorial process. The programs may also have put the ABC in breach of its statutory obligation of ‘maintaining independence and integrity’, and its Code of Practice requiring ‘impartiality’ in current affairs.

The programs, Jerusalem: a divine crime scene, and An unholy mix – Jerusalem, religion and archaeology, produced by former Greens Marrickville Councillor Cathy Peters, presented the views of a parade of veteran anti-Israel propagandists, whose unstated purpose was to discredit the historical connection between Jerusalem and the Jewish people, and to level an array of unchallenged and inaccurate accusations against Israel in the guise of expert analysis.

An editor’s note published online described Peters as a member of the NSW Greens, an executive member of the Coalition For Justice and Peace in Palestine and a member of Jews Against the Occupation. What the ABC failed to disclose is that Peters is also a fierce proponent of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel. She was the instigator of the 2010 Marrickville Council motion urging the Council to consider boycotting all goods made in any part of Israel, as well as Israeli artists, athletes and academics. The motion, which also called on state and federal governments to adopt BDS, provoked a surge of protest and derision, especially from ratepayers unimpressed that the Council was being used as a vehicle to prosecute a pet international cause of a few Councillors.

None of this background was disclosed by the ABC. The Code of Practice requires the ABC ‘to equip audiences to make up their own minds’ about news and current affairs issues, but Peters’ audience was not given vital information about her partisan record on the issues about which she was supposedly ‘reporting’.

Further, the requirement of ‘independence’ and ‘integrity’ in the ABC Act does not merely mean independence from the influence of the government of the day and political parties, as important as that is. It also means independence from the personal opinions, agendas and private activism of program producers and journalists contracted or employed by the ABC itself. Peters’ use of her position on Marrickville Council to push an anti-Israel agenda was rejected by rate-payers. The use of the national broadcaster for the same purpose is as objectionable.

Given her background in the anti-Israel movement, it was unsurprising that the two programs were as blatantly inaccurate and one-sided as they were, featuring a panel of speakers all coming from a relentlessly one-eyed anti-Israel perspective. One panellist, Ross Burns, the former Australian Ambassador to Israel, has previously served on the board of the Palestinian lobby group, Australia Palestine Advocacy Network.

Sara Irving, described as a historian and a writer, has filed over 200 stories for the virulently anti-Israel Electronic Intifada website.

Jeff Halper, the Israeli professor, ostensibly chosen to present an Israeli perspective, calls for the eradication of a Jewish national home through a ‘one-state solution’ to the conflict, and has made the bizarre claim that Israel has developed a ‘spectral dust’ it can spray over wide areas of land, every grain of which is a sensor, programmed with a person’s DNA to track, locate and kill that individual.

Shawan Jabarin was presented as a human rights activist from a Palestinian NGO. The audience was not told that he has also had a long association with a Palestinian terrorist organisation. In 2007, a court found that Jabarin is a ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ figure: ‘in part of his activities, he is the director of a human rights organization, and in another part he is an activist in a terrorist organization which does not shy away from acts of murder and attempted murder which… deny the most basic of all human rights – the right to life.’

The former Jerusalem city councillor, Meir Margalit, provided perhaps the most extreme turn of all, in likening archaeological digs which seek to understand, preserve and honour the history of Jerusalem, to the acts of wholesale archaeological destruction and grotesque vandalism committed by Isis.

The opinions of the panellists were punctuated by recordings supposedly presenting Israeli and Palestinian perspectives. The audience heard a gentle-sounding Palestinian poet reciting incantations of longing and pain. The ostensible Israeli perspective was presented in the form of thick American accents repeatedly speaking of God and King David. As if those are the only, or predominant, voices on either side.

Ignored was the vast body of historical, poetic and literary works from the empires of antiquity to Josephus to Amoz Oz, that capture the essence of the long and deep Jewish bond to Jerusalem. Instead of presenting Israel and Israelis in all their rich diversity and complexity, Peters portrayed them as a caricature, precisely as BDS leaders would have everyone see them – American interlopers, settlers with pistols and prayer shawls.

There were also straight-out factual errors. Listeners were told ‘if you’re not Jewish in Jerusalem you don’t have the right to vote.’ In fact, all citizens of Israel (Jewish and Arab) have the right to vote and enjoy identical civic rights. With the end of the Jordanian occupation of east Jerusalem following Israel’s military victory in the Six-Day War of 1967, Jerusalem’s Arab residents were granted permanent residency status entitling them to vote in municipal elections and were offered full Israeli citizenship. Some 12 per cent have taken up Israeli citizenship while the remainder are evidently deterred by nationalistic considerations and long-standing threats and accusations of treason by the Palestinian leadership.

While Peters is free to hold her views, no matter how offensive or misguided they may be, the ABC’s listeners are entitled to question why the broadcaster trusted an activist with a record of fanatical anti-Israel campaigning to produce current affairs content directly relating to Israel, and without disclosing the full extent of her biases to the audience.

At best, the ABC may have naively believed that Peters could set aside her extreme views and produce sensible, balanced content. At worst, those in charge of the ABC’s news and current affairs programming ignored their statutory and Code obligations and indulged Peters’ agenda by commissioning the programs knowing exactly what they would be getting, without requiring even a semblance of balance, impartiality or accuracy.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


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