Patterico's Pontifications

5/16/2011

Good Lord: Psychology Today Publishes Article Titled: “Why Are Black Women Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women?”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:33 pm

They have yanked the article, but they’re running a criticism of it that links the full original text — which is stunning in its cluelessness:

There are marked race differences in physical attractiveness among women, but not among men. Why?

Add Health measures the physical attractiveness of its respondents both objectively and subjectively. At the end of each interview, the interviewer rates the physical attractiveness of the respondent objectively on the following five-point scale: 1 = very unattractive, 2 = unattractive, 3 = about average, 4 = attractive, 5 = very attractive. The physical attractiveness of each Add Health respondent is measured three times by three different interviewers over seven years.

Many pretty little charts and graphs are presented, and then we get this:

It is very interesting to note that, even though black women are objectively less physically attractive than other women, black women (and men) subjectively consider themselves to be far more physically attractive than others.

“Objectively”?

Huh?

It gets even more amazing:

What accounts for the markedly lower average level of physical attractiveness among black women? Black women are on average much heavier than nonblack women. The mean body-mass index (BMI) at Wave III is 28.5 among black women and 26.1 among nonblack women. (Black and nonblack men do not differ in BMI: 27.0 vs. 26.9.) However, this is not the reason black women are less physically attractive than nonblack women. Black women have lower average level of physical attractiveness net of BMI. Nor can the race difference in intelligence (and the positive association between intelligence and physical attractiveness) account for the race difference in physical attractiveness among women. Black women are still less physically attractive than nonblack women net of BMI and intelligence. Net of intelligence, black men are significantly more physically attractive than nonblack men.

Woo-wee.

Are you starting to get the idea why they pulled it?

Click the link above for the criticism — but, in short, the problem is the word “objectively.” As if physical attractiveness is something “objective.”

It’s a real head-scratcher how this ever saw the light of day. As the critic says, the issue isn’t the data gathered in the study, it’s the interpretation of the data (together with some other rather stunning and unevidenced assumptions). The objection is not really that the article is racist, but that it’s just spectacularly wrongheaded in how it undertakes its analysis — to the point where, when you read the conclusions, you have to rub your eyes to wonder if you are really reading what you’re reading.

Thanks to Nathan Wurtzel on Twitter.

Google Reviewing Nitecruzr’s Forum Privileges; Falsely Denies He Deleted Posts; More People Found Who Were Locked Out of Gmail

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:17 pm

Angeleno directs us to a site called The Next Web, which not only reported on the Google/nitecruzr affair, but also got a response from a Google spokesperson:

Google has responded to these claims, and has sought to clarify some of the concerns raised. An official spokesperson told The Next Web:

“Top contributors’ only additional privileges are the ability to delete posts in the forums – which Nitecruzr did not do in this instance – and escalate posts of a technical nature for the Google team to investigate further; for instance, when Blogger was experiencing issues last week, top contributors could escalate posts from users who were experiencing related problems, which was the case for Prof. Althouse. We are looking into the issue of folks’ Google accounts being flagged, and again we’re very sorry for any inconvenience.”

(All emphasis in this post is mine.)

Let’s stop right there. nitecruzr didn’t delete posts? That’s not what the forum participants said. Go to the thread right now, where nitecruzr has cleverly restored some (but not all!) of the posts. Look at what you see! A reference to nitecruzr deleting posts:

Nitecruzer, having second thoughts about the abject unprofessionalism of your snark? When trying to disappear comments down the memory hole, you need to delete the ones that reference the flushed content. May I suggest contemplation of Wheaton’s Law?

And another:

Nitecruzer, thanks for deleting the joke at Ann’s expense. Always important to hide the evidence after the deed is done. However, it’s a sad fact that a coverup always looks really bad.

And another:

Are you now pretending that all the obnoxious comments you made throughout this thread (and then later deleted) never happened, nitecruzr?

But they haven’t restored everything. Look at the thread where I reconstructed the comments based on Ann’s e-mail to me. Remember those comments where nitecruzr is wasting time whining about how many people are calling his comments unhelpful?

Go look for those comments now. You won’t find them.

As for the theory that someone else deleted the comments . . . nonsense. Go back to my recreation of the thread and watch as Nitecruzr mocks Ann; then she responds; then the comments disappear; then nitecruzr pretends like he hadn’t been mocking her.

Yeah, he didn’t delete comments. Whatever.

So Google just has their facts wrong. And it’s nice to hear that they are looking into the flagging of the accounts. Right now, we’re up to 8 critics of nitecruzr who were locked out their accounts (really 9, but the ninth had previously given her cell phone months earlier, so she wasn’t locked out but was asked to confirm the information). That’s out of 15 nitecruzr critics we know of from that thread, or the one I commented on. We keep running across more people from that thread to whom this happened. I have yet to meet any critic who left an anti-nitecruzr comment in that thread whose account was *not* flagged.

And if Google can’t admit nitecruzr deleted posts, then I’m sorry, but I’m not buying that they’re really looking into the flagged accounts. They’re hoping it will go away.

More from The Next Web:

With further direct reference to Professor Althouse, the Google spokesperson said:

“We’re deeply sorry for the inconvenience to Prof. Althouse. As we have said on our blog and communicated directly to Prof. Althouse, last week during scheduled maintenance we experienced data corruption that impacted Blogger’s behavior. We’ve been working as fast as we can and making progress restoring all remaining posts. As of yesterday evening we have restored all posts for the vast majority of Blogger users, with the exception of some blogs with a lot of content that are taking a little longer. We’ll provide an update and full incident report as soon as everything is back to normal for everyone.”

It’s worth noting that Ann Althouse did have over twenty thousand blog posts dating back 7 years, so it seems that her blog is taking slightly longer to restore than other blogs that were down. And Google also confirmed that it was “reviewing nitecruzr’s privileges on the forums following this incident.”

It’s worth noting as well that nitecruzr remains in the forums even today. And as far as Althouse’s blog being part of the general outage, as opposed to having been marked as spam . . . not if you believe nitecruzr. Althouse described her error message as follows:

Sorry, the blog at althouse.blogspot.com has been removed. This address is not available for new blogs.

And nitecruzr has said (with respect to the same language being used to refer to another blog):

Sorry, the blog at pokeypokeyh.blogspot.com has been removed. This address is not·available for new blogs.

That symptom indicates a (righteous or spurious) deletion for spam hosting – the technological issues Google has had over the past few days are coincidental.

Thanks to Dustin for these links.

Maybe he’s right, maybe he’s wrong. But, based on identical error language from Althouse, he treated Althouse’s blog deletion as resulting from its having been marked as spam. What that means, I don’t know — but I do know her blog is not spam.

So there’s a lot of explaining Google still needs to do.

UPDATE: JPSobel notes that nitecruzr aka Chuck Croll admitted removing posts from that forum on his own blog.

Untangling The Shirley Sherrod Story: Intro

Filed under: General — Stranahan @ 8:02 pm

[Guest post by Lee Stranahan]

BET is reporting that Shirley Sherrod is back to working with the USDA…

This week, Sherrod has decided to attack racism herself, and she’s going back to the USDA to do it. Following the release of a new report last week that found the USDA continues to be poisoned by an ugly vein of racism and prejudice, Sherrod announced Saturday that she is going to be an Agriculture contract employee tasked with improving the relationship with the USDA and minority farmer and ranchers.

The typically laudatory piece about Mrs. Sherrod ties this directly into PigfordShrrodVilsack

In December, President Obama signed into law a multibillion dollar Pigford case settlement, a lawsuit settlement decades in the making that finally gave some satisfaction to Black farmers, who had for years suffered poor treatment at the hands of the USDA. With Sherrod now back at Agriculture, the hope is that a lawsuit like Pigford will never be filed again. It’s hard enough to be a farmer anymore, regardless of what color you are. That Sherrod is well aware of the racism alive and well in this country bodes well for the forgotten farmers under her purview.

With this turn of events, I think it’s time for me to start writing about Shirley Sherrod in some depth.

Of course, a tremendous amount has already been written about Shirley Sherrod and the circumstances that brought her to national prominence. Much of it is incorrect and some of that is wrong intentionally. Fables have sprung up about her and her story, often to forward a certain political narrative.

In the past few months, I have interviewed a number of people who know Mrs. Sherrod directly – farmers, attorneys and other people who have worked for or with her. I’m not planning to do a “definitive portrait” of her and I’d be crazy if I thought I could end all the controversy once and for all.

What I do believe I can do is to untangle some of the myths and inaccuracies that have come up in the story of Mrs. Sherrod. I’m not interesting in jumping to conclusions; I’m interested in uncovering facts. I’m going to lay out details about Mrs. Sherrod and the controversy about her forced resignation, especially as it relates to the Pigford settlement, in a clear, linear format. You won’t be getting sound bites. In many cases, I’ll be posting links or video clips that you should investigate yourself. I think you’ll find that much of the Sherrod story is much more complex than the media narrative that’s sprung up around her.

I think you’ll also see that much of the story about Mrs. Sherrod has served to further the cover-up of the Pigford scandal. As you’ll see, there’s evidence that Mrs. Sherrod has been told about the fraud in Pigford by a number of people. I’ve found no indication that she’s done anything about it. I find the fact that she’s now working with the USDA on ‘outreach’ to be ominous and bad news for the legitimate black farmers who were wronged in the Pigford settlement.

Thanks in advance for your participation and comments as I roll this story out over the next few weeks.

– Lee Stranahan

Trump’s Out

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 9:53 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.  Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]

Just got a breaking news email from Cnn:

Donald Trump says he will not run for president in 2012.

Ah, if only he had stayed in long enough to force Obama to release the Osama bin Laden death photos…

I’ll try to update it with a link to a good article soon.

Update: Here’s a link to a CBS news story on this.

And the best snark so far?

I respect that #Trump didn’t make the decision lightly. Took the time to comb over the facts.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

Debt Limit Reached

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 8:37 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.  Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]

So we learn that the debt limit is going to be reached will be reached sometime today, maybe it has been already:

The U.S. government is expected to hit the $14.294 trillion debt ceiling Monday, setting in motion an uncertain, 11-week political scramble to avoid a default.

The Treasury Department plans to announce Monday it will stop issuing and reinvesting government securities in certain government pension plans, part of a series of steps designed to delay a default until Aug. 2.

The Treasury’s moves buy time for the White House and congressional leaders to reach a deficit-reduction agreement that could clear the way for enough lawmakers to vote to raise the amount of money Congress allows the nation to borrow.

Gene Sperling, director of the National Economic Council, said reaching the debt ceiling “should be a warning bell to the political system that it’s time to get serious about preserving our full faith and credit.” The Obama administration says a default would tip the U.S. back into a financial crisis.

And then  of course he could blame Republicans for refusing to go along with the ever-spiraling debt.  And that is the fear, here.  Recently it was shown that the American people don’t want to see the debt limit increased by a 2 to 1 margin.  But what the GOP is scared of is that the economic disaster will come and the same people encouraging them now will blame them when the s___ hits the fan.  That’s why they are hesitating.

Meanwhile, over the weekend the indispensible Mark Steyn wrote on the subject:

The current debate on the “debt ceiling” testifies to how thoroughly public discourse has flown the coop of reality. Sure, Congress can vote to raise the debt ceiling – just as you and your spouse can reach a bipartisan agreement on raising your own debt ceiling. Go on, try it: Hold a vote in your rec room, come up with a number, and then let MasterCard know what you’ve decided on.

In the real world, debt ceilings are determined by the lenders, not the borrowers. In March, Pimco (which manages the world’s largest mutual fund) calculated that 70 percent of U.S. Treasury debt is being bought by the Federal Reserve.

So under the 2011 budget, every hour of every day, the United States government spends $188 million it doesn’t have, $130 million of which is “borrowed” from itself. There’s nobody else out there.

In other words, however Congress votes, we’re rubbing up against the real debt ceiling – the willingness of the world to continue bankrolling American debauchery.

Read the whole thing.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

Fail of the Day!

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 8:04 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.  Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]

So Vladamir Putin decided to visit a Russian car factory, and fail! ensued.  The fun comes at the 40 second mark…

Here’s a news article on the incident, for those who can’t watch videos right now.  My favorite part was when they mentioned it would be the cheapest car in Europe.  You don’t say

Then again, I remember Dennis Miller lamenting the horrors in the former Yugoslavia, saying (paraphrase): “it makes you wonder if we could have avoided this whole mess if we just bought a few more of those crappy cars.”

H/t: Daily Caller.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

A Second Accuser for the Managing Director of the IMF (Update: TSG Complaint)

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 7:33 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.  Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]

Update: This just in via Cnn’s breaking news email service: “Judge denies bail to International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn in sexual assault case.”  Which given his resources seems like a very obvious outcome–he is obviously a serious flight risk even if he wasn’t trying to flee the scene of the crime when he got on that plane.

Update (II): The Smoking Gun has the criminal complaint. It doesn’t add much.

So over the weekend Dominique Strauss-Kahn (who is a man), who was described by the New York Times as Managing Director of the IMF was arrested in NYC for sexual assault and related charges.  Basically a maid accused him of fairly brutally trying to rape her and judging by this account he might have succeeded to a degree:

According to the law enforcement official, the woman entered Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s suite early Saturday afternoon by saying “housekeeping.” She heard no answer and believed that the suite was unoccupied. She left the door open behind her, as is hotel policy.

She went to the bedroom and a naked man rushed from the bathroom to the bedroom. She apologized, the law enforcement official said, and tried to leave.

But according to the official, the man chased her, grabbed her and shut the door, locking it. He then pulled her toward the bedroom, the official said, and tried to attack her there.

He dragged her to the bathroom, the official added, and forced her to perform oral sex. The police said the woman eventually escaped from the suite and reported the attack to other hotel personnel, who called 911.

The accounts suggest a very hasty exit from the hotel and it is pretty much verified that he was literally on a flight out of the country a few hours later when the police took him off the plane and arrested him.

I admit I resisted talking about the story because of a combination of factors.  First by that account they were just accusations.  While it is good to see the NYPD take these allegations very seriously, we can’t go overboard and reverse the presumption of innocence.  Just because some men get away with rape—particularly if they are “important”—doesn’t’ mean all men accused of rape are guilty, even if they are “important.”  And second, I didn’t see it has having significance beyond him.  I did not think this necessarily reflected the IMF as a whole.

But then we learned a few other things.

(more…)

Even SNL Thinks Obama is Taking a Victory Lap (Update: The Bounce is Gone!)

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 6:05 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.  Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]

Update: I agree with just about everything Andrew Malcolm writes here, except my focus has always been the international, rather than national audience and their doubts. Otherwise, I could have just about written this piece.

Update (II): And Obama has already lost his “bounce.” But then the more significant long term effect is that this gives Obama limited immunity on national security. Anyone who accuses him of being weak on defense will be greeted with the retort of “I got bin Laden, didn’t I?”

Now let me start by saying, I don’t begrudge Obama a victory lap and no, he hasn’t done anything quite as crass as the skit imagines.  It’s obvious exaggeration for comedic purposes.  What annoys me, however, is that he is denying our request that he prove bin Laden is dead to the satisfaction of the world—I mean I thought liberals cared about world opinion to the point that they thought that before we could act in our national security interests, we had to pass a “global test” (quoting Sen. Kerry)—and as he denies this reasonable request scolds us like children for wanting to “spike the football.”

Anyway, so for once SNL pulls the knives out of Sarah Palin’s back and sets them on Obama and the result is something they don’t normally achieve these days… good satire:

Also, off topic, but the Ambiguously Gay Duo went live action:

Which is all kinds of wrong and NSFW, but pretty damn funny, too.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]


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