Affirmative Action, Baby!

Where's the evidence that Barak Obama is an intellectual? Granted, the President extemporaneously can string appropriate cliches together with the fluency of a street-corner evangelist reciting his catechism. Was the last person to hand you a copy of some religious tract an intellectual? In this case, absence of evidence is evidence of a vacuum. Beyond some wretched poetry about aquatic baboons and two apparently ghost-written books, where's the evidence? James Taranto has noticed.

Occam's razor suggests that Obama is a mere conformist--someone who absorbed every left-wing platitude he encountered in college and never seems to have seriously questioned any of them. Kloppenberg characterizes Obama as a skeptic, not a true believer. We're not sure he has an active enough mind to be either one.

Marxism Test

Take the test.

"Your score is 90%."

Josiah Gray would score 100% and he's no Marxist. This requires basic literacy.


Physics Test

Take the quiz.

"Your Total Score is 87.5%."


I've been on a Biology kick lately: Matt Ridley, The Agile Gene and Genome, M. J. Benton, When Life Nearly Died (the Permian mass extinction). I have two in the air: Stringer and McKie, African Exodus (human evolution) and Marc Van De Mieroop, A History of the Ancient Near East (c.a. 3000-323 bc). Next up: review basic Analytic Geometry (conic sections) and Calculus. Then I'll have time to review basic mechanics and thermodynamics. Why does the equilibrium temperature of a body (such as the Earth) in orbit around the Sun depend on anything other than residual kinetic energy of formation, heat from fission in the interior, solar output, and the radius of the Earth's orbit? I have questions but no answers. How can "greenhouse gasses" make any difference? The experts say so, so I'll believe, but, as the Marquis De Sade said "It is impossible for a man to believe in something he does not understand" (from memory, so it's not exact).

C'mon; my last Physics class was 40 years ago.

Another Poitical Quiz

Take the quiz.
You are a Social Liberal (60% permissive) and an Economic Conservative (81% permissive). You are best described as a Capitalist.

"Free Marketeer" or "19th Century Liberal", more like.


Public Sector Pensions

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser endorsed two of the most fiscally irresponsible candidates on the menu: Dan Inouye for US Senate and Neil Abercrombie for Governor.
Hawaii's public-sector pension system is under-funded. It appears that California is headed for bankruptcy. Hawaii to follow. We will return to this topic with updates and comments.


Political Quiz

Take the political quiz.

"You scored the following on the PoliticsMatch questions:
Personal Score 75%
Economic Score 81%

Where You Fit In

Where your Personal score meets your Economic score on the grid below is your political philosophy. Based on the above score, you are a Conservative-Leaning Libertarian."

Now, if population control and immigration had appeared among the questions the results would have differed from the above.

Why Study History?...

So you won't make an ass of yourself, like Gwen Ifil...


Lucky Guess

Civic Literacy
"You answered 32 out of 33 correctly — 96.97%."

Politicians are retarded.

Hat tip: Blond Sagacity.
(Update) My homeless house-sitter: "You answered 33 out of 33 correctly — 100.00 %".


Stepping into the Ring

Here, we tangle with a professional. This guy has credentials and, no doubt, citations up the Wazoo. I may wind up looking silly.
(Update) Something more here and here and here.
(Update) Elswhere, here (no professionals).


Dump the Incumbent

Kim Coco Iwamoto recommends a level of funding for the Hawaii DOE at the level (per pupil) of the Department of Defense schools: "The Feds and State should be mandated to follow the US Department of Defense funding formula for public education. The DOD applies Government Accountability Guidelines to compute how much it invests each year into the public education systems they operate abroad. In 2009, the DOD spent $23,496 –$25,968/ student."

This would support a two-to-one student:teacher ratio, if the DOE were so inclined. This expresses an utterly irresponsible attitude toward her fellow citizens, who pay the bill for unscrupulous pandering to the public-sector unions.

As Andrew Coulson observes, beyond a very low level, budget bears no relation to system performance.

Iwamoto cites membership on the Teacher Standards Board as "civic or community service". Unless she worked toward repeal of this destructive institution, her participation degraded system performance.