Saturday, July 25, 2009

Obama, Gates and racial paranoia

Heather Mac Donald points out that Barack Obama is recycling long-discredited anti-police fictions.

Violence in South Africa's townships has spread as residents protest about what they say is a lack of basic services, such as water and housing

Police have fired rubber bullets at demonstrators in Johannesburg, the Western Cape and the north-eastern region of Mpumalanga. In Mpumalanga, there were reports of foreign-owned businesses being looted as foreigners sought police protection. More than 100 people have been arrested. The rising tensions in the townships have revived memories of xenophobic attacks on foreigners in 2008 in which more than 60 people died.

Hate crime hypocrisy

Nation of Cowards shows the double standards involved when deciding if a criminal act is a hate crime.

Immigration and genocide in Celtic Britain

Research shows that Anglo-Saxon migrations into Britain led to the extinction of British Celtic men.

Money-laundering rabbis

For Solomon Dwek, being an FBI informant was a full-time job. His life as a high rolling real estate king crashed in 2006 when he bounced a $25 million check. From that day forward, he was the FBI’s newest informant. Telling them he could infiltrate a ring of prominent rabbis laundering hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, he worked overtime becoming their friends and partner in crime. Sometimes he had as many as three meetings a day while taking international phone calls and exchanging faxes. On any given day, he found himself passing dirty money to rabbis in their Brooklyn homes and synagogues, dealing with corrupt officials in greasy spoon diners or greasing development wheels at Atlantic City confabs. The probe eventually included a black market kidney broker and a rogues’ gallery of bribe-taking dirty politicians in New Jersey. In all, five rabbis and three Jersey mayors — from Hoboken, Secaucus and Ridgefield — were charged. Things grew really bizarre when he started meeting with Levy-Izhak Rosenbaum, who offered to sell him a kidney. His chain of deceit started when Dwek, the son of a rabbi, went to defendant Eliahu Ben Haim, rabbi of Congregation Ohel Yaacob in Deal, N.J., where Dwek lives. In June 2007 at Ben Haim’s house, he gave him $50,000 to launder through his charitable group, to be repaid at a later day minus a 10% fee. In August 2007 Dwek met with Rabbi Edmond Nahum at his office in Jersey to discuss the best way to launder $45,000, court papers say. Nahum recommended he turn to Rabbi Mordchai Fish of Brooklyn, because he “can do millions of dollars under the ground. Fish is good.” Fish was good for Dwek. Next, they started laundering more than a million dollars together. In January, 2008, Dwek met Fish in his car which was parked outside his house in Brooklyn, to trade cash and talk about deals. A day later, Dwek met with defendant Schmulik Cohen outside his home in Brooklyn to collect $300,000 in cash. Two days later, he met defendant Arye Weiss in his Brooklyn home and left with $50,000 cash.

Apparently expecting firemen to be intelligent is racial discrimination

From the Daily News:

The city used written exams that "unfairly excluded hundreds of qualified people of color" from serving as firefighters, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

The historic decision could recast the racial makeup of the predominantly white city Fire Department and cost taxpayers $20 million.

Brooklyn Federal Judge Nicholas Garaufis said the Justice Department and a group of black firefighters have proved, without the need for a trial, that the city discriminated against blacks and Hispanics on two exams from 1999 to 2007.

Black and Hispanic applicants failed the two exams in disproportionate numbers to whites.

"These unlawful practices barred over a thousand additional black and Hispanic applicants from consideration for appointment as FDNY firefighters," the judge wrote in his 93-page decision, "and unfairly delayed the appointment of hundreds of black and Hispanic firefighters."

"These examinations ... closed the doors of opportunity for public service to large segments of the city's population."

Of course, the exams did not discriminate against blacks and Hispanics. The exams did discriminate against the less intelligent job applicants which is actually a good thing if you happen to believe that a smart fireman is better than a dumb one.

African immigrant boys charged with raping child in Arizona

One of four Liberian boys charged with raping an eight-year-old girl in Arizona will be prosecuted as an adult, authorities said. The details of the case have shocked local officials and provoked outrage across the United States after the parents of the young victim disowned her on grounds she had "shamed" her family. Officers responding to screams from an empty shed in an apartment complex found the partially-clothed girl and four boys aged 9 to 14 running away. The four boys had lured the girl into the shed with chewing gum. They held her down and took turns raping her for about 10 to 15 minutes, according to Phoenix police. The girl's parents shocked officers when they said she had brought shame to the family and did not want her back. Both the girl and the boys are Liberian immigrants.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Study finds a protein often found in schizophrenics also contributes to greater artistic capacity

The experiential link between creativity and mental illness is well documented, but a new study out of Budapest, Hungary, has discovered what could be a genetic link between the two. Szabolcs Keri, a psychiatrist and researcher, says he hopes the link will show people with mild forms of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, and the rest of the world, that people with mental illness can be valuable, contributing members of society. Keri said although severe schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are highly self-destructive illnesses, milder forms of the conditions make those afflicted think more originally and creatively. Keri’s study looked at Neuregulin 1, a protein in the gene NRG1 often found in schizophrenics. It regulates the flow of information between neurons, easing them into the frontal lobe of the brain — the part responsible for many of the higher human functions including personality, intellect, creativity and long-term planning. Using widely recognized objective tests to measure the creativity and IQ of 200 “highly intellectual” Hungarians, he found that those who had the gene answered questions more creatively and “thought outside the box.” Keri asserts that the NRG1 gene — which is present in both highly intelligent, creative people and those with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder — has been maintained through evolution because it is useful for society to have members who can think creatively.


Intelligence: Nature outpaces nurture as kids get older

Diversity is Chaos is mentioned in Jewish newspaper

Joyce S. Anderson:

The Report does have a section of Hate Websites: 630 hate sites active in 2008 under group headings: Ku Klux Klan, Neo-Nazi, White Nationalist, Racist Skinheads, Christian Identity, Neo- Confederate, Black Separatist, Racist Music and General Hate. Here are a few at random if you wish to pull them up and sample their messages first hand: Jewish Treason, www.jewish, Bergen County Hooligans,, White Knights of America, www.whiteknights of, Aryan Union, Just reading the seven pages of names of the 630 Web sites is a sobering experience. Hatred distilled into the labels: "White Camelia Knights of the Ku Klux Klan," "Adolf the Great," "American Nazi Party," "Nuke Israel." "White Revolution," "Diversity is Chaos," "Jew Watch," "Supreme White Alliance' and "Yahweh's Truth."

Growth factor, hypertension and kidney failure in African-Americans

Physician-scientists from New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center believe that a heightened level a certain growth factor in the blood may explain why blacks have a greater prevalence of hypertension and kidney disease compared to whites. Results from a new study are the first to show that an elevated level of a protein, called transforming growth factor B1 (TGF-B1), raises the risk of hypertension and renal disease in humans. African Americans constitute about 32% of all patients treated for kidney failure in the United States and are four times more likely to develop renal disease than whites, according to the National Institutes of Health's U.S. Renal Data System. The researchers' findings may someday lead to the development of a new class of anti-hypertensive and kidney disease drugs that target the TGF-B1 protein. "I believe we may now understand a great puzzle: why the black population has a greater prevalence of hypertension and kidney disease," says Dr. Manikkam Suthanthiran, first author of the study and attending physician at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell, Stanton Griffis Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Professor of Biochemistry and Professor of Medicine in Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College. Results from the study revealed that the TGF-B1 protein was significantly higher in 186 black study participants compared with 147 white participants. After controlling for race, sex and age, TGF-B1 protein levels were highest in hypertensive blacks (46 ng/ml). Non-hypertensive blacks also had higher levels (42 ng/ml) compared to hypertensive whites (40 ng/ml) and non-hypertensive whites (39 ng/ml), demonstrating that even healthy black patients may be at higher risk for future hypertension and renal disease compared to healthy and hypertensive whites. "Many black patients may have a disadvantage from the start - having a higher baseline level of TGF-B1," says Dr. Phyllis August, senior author and attending physician in the division of hypertension at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, Ralph A. Baer Professor of Medical Research and professor of medicine atWeill Cornell Medical College.


Young Black Women Prone To Gain More Unhealthy Abdominal Fat Than Hispanics

Genetics of BP in African-Americans Identified

Circumcising men who already have HIV does not protect their female partners from the virus, a study in Uganda has found

Circumcision is known to protect men from acquiring HIV. But the research showed no benefit in those who already had the virus and was stopped early because of the continued risk to women. Experts say HIV-positive men should still be offered circumcision, but also warned to use condoms.

The future of the United States

Pat Buchanan:

One million to 2 million immigrants, legal and illegal, arrive every year. They come with fewer skills and less education than Americans, and consume more tax dollars than they contribute by three to one.

Wise Latina women have more babies north of the border than they do in Mexico and twice as many here as American women.

As almost all immigrants are now Third World people of color, they qualify for ethnic preferences in hiring and promotions and admissions to college over the children of Americans.

Positive selection and non-Africans

New research shows significant genetic differences between and Africans and non-Africans.

Divorce, intermarriage and cultural differences

New research shows that divorce is more common in mixed marriages where the cultural differences are greatest.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Race and special needs pupils in England

Around 20 in every 1,000 black pupils in primary schools have special needs, the figures show. The proportion is 17 in every 1,000 for white pupils and 14 in every 1,000 for Asian pupils. In state secondary schools, 20 in every 1,000 white pupils have special needs. The figure is the same for black pupils, but lower for Asian pupils, at 15 in every 1,000 pupils.

Children taught in segregated schools do not suffer in their exam results, according to the first research of its kind to be carried out in Britain

A report published by researchers from Bristol University showed that the gap in performance between pupils of different ethnic groups at GCSE remained largely unaffected regardless of whether they were taught in well-integrated schools or those dominated by a particular ethnic minority group. Whether they were brought up in a segregated neighborhood or not does not make a difference, either. The results from the British study of 1.6 million pupils show - on average - white pupils scored 41 points at GCSE. Chinese and Indian pupils score higher at 55 and 48 points respectively - while Bangladeshi (40 points), Pakistani and black African (38) and Black Caribbean (33) do worse. The gap, however, between the performance remains largely unaffected no matter the circumstances in which they are taught. The only difference is - where the gap widens - in London amongst black Caribbean pupils.

Education Department: the gap between black and white students remains frustratingly wide

Despite unprecedented efforts to improve minority achievement in the past decade, the gap between black and white students remains frustratingly wide, according to an Education Department report. There is good news in the report: Reading and math scores are improving for black students across the country. But because white students are also improving, the disparity between blacks and whites has lessened only slightly. On average, the gap narrowed by about 7 points from 1992 to 2007, so that black students scored about 28 points behind white students on a 500-point scale. The divide between minority and white students is considered one of the most pressing challenges in public education. Closing the achievement gap was a central element of the 2002 No Child Left Behind law, which holds schools accountable for progress among every group of kids — including minorities, those who have disabilities and those who are learning English. The gap between black and white students shrank by 2 points after 2003, when accountability measures under No Child Left Behind took effect. The implications of the disparity reach far beyond school walls. Minority students are also much more likely to drop out of high school — half of minorities drop out, compared to about 30% of students overall. The future is bleak for dropouts; they are the only segment of the workforce whose income levels shrank over the past 30 years, according to the children's advocacy group America's Promise Alliance. Only about half of black and Hispanic fourth graders perform at or above "basic" in reading on the tests used in the study, the National Assessment of Educational Progress.


Reading scores of black Wis. students worst in US

Experts believe women are naturally programed to be the weaker sex when it comes to fighting off HIV

It is well known that HIV progresses faster in women than in men with similar levels of HIV in the blood. Now a research team has found that a receptor molecule involved in the first-line recognition of HIV responds differently in women. The findings might provide new ways to treat HIV and slow or stop the progression to AIDS.

Racial bias and the menstrual cycle

Apparently racial bias in women increases when they are at the most fertile point in their cycle.



Monday, July 13, 2009

Several Sudanese women have been flogged as a punishment for dressing in pants

Lubna Ahmed al-Hussein, who says she is facing 40 lashes, said she and 12 other women wearing trousers were arrested in a restaurant in the capital, Khartoum. She said several of the women had pleaded guilty to the charges and had 10 lashes immediately. Khartoum, unlike South Sudan, is governed by Sharia law. Several of those punished were from the mainly Christian and animist south, Ms Hussein said. Non-Muslims are not supposed to be subject to Islamic law, even in Khartoum and other parts of the mainly Muslim north. She said that a group of about 20 or 30 police officers entered the popular Khartoum restaurant and arrested all the women wearing trousers. "I was wearing trousers and a blouse and the 10 girls who were lashed were wearing like me, there was no difference," she said. Ms Hussein said some women pleaded guilty to "get it over with" but others, including herself, chose to speak to their lawyers and are awaiting their fates. Under Sharia law in Khartoum, the normal punishment for "indecent" dressing is 40 lashes.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Ricci and the skills gap: What leads to unequal results between blacks and whites isn't racism

Heather Mac Donald on differences in racial ability:
As Stuart Taylor pointed out in his National Journal blog, the average black high school senior possesses the academic skills and knowledge of an average white eighth-grader. For decades, blacks have scored 200 points below whites and Asians on the verbal and math SATs. This skills gap means that it is virtually impossible to devise any job test that measures mastery of a body of knowledge and cognitive expertise that will not have a disparate racial result. To discuss black underperformance on any given task without mentioning the skills deficit is like having a discussion about rain and drought without mentioning cloud formation. As long as black underachievement remains unacknowledged, the old standby—racism—will always rush into the vacuum as an explanation for disparate impact.

The continuing conflict in Pakistan has left more than a million children at risk of contracting polio

Vaccination programs earlier in 2009 were compromised by opposition from militants and by violence, which has made many areas inaccessible. Pakistan is one of four countries which still see annual outbreaks of polio. The first few months of the year are crucial for vaccination teams who try to reach children before the polio virus starts to circulate. In 2009, their campaigns have been badly disrupted. In some places, Taliban extremists have intervened and stopped programs, calling them un-Islamic. Some militants have opposed the vaccine, describing it as dangerous and part of a Western plot to harm Muslim children.

A family in Saudi Arabia is taking a "genie" to court, accusing it of theft and harassment, reports say

They accuse the spirit of threatening them, throwing stones and stealing mobile phones, Al Watan newspaper said. The family have lived in the same house near the city of Medina for 15 years but say they only recently became aware of the spirit. They have now moved out. A local court is investigating. In Islamic theology, genies are spirits that can harass or possess humans. A local court says it is trying to verify the truthfulness of the claims "despite the difficulty" of doing so. Genies, or jinn, in Islamic theology can be very sinister. They are believed to be normally invisible but with the ability to assume human or animal form, and are often said to be motivated by revenge or jealousy. There is a lingering belief in genies in the Muslim world that predates Islam.

White parents in Britain are pulling their children out of schools where they are outnumbered by ethnic-minority pupils

The Institute of Community Cohesion (iCoCo) studied 13 areas, including Bristol, Bolton, Sunderland and Blackburn, and questioned parents. Middle-class parents — who are usually white — were removing children from schools with growing populations of ethnic minorities because they didn't want them to stand out, the authors of the report said. “We heard strong evidence of ‘white flight’ in some areas,” the report said. It concluded: “Despite the fact that most people we spoke to in focus groups wanted their children to have a mixed education, parental choice tended to push people to what they saw as the safe option, where children with similar backgrounds went.” The report also found that in areas where schools were monocultural, parents sent their child to the school dominated by pupils from their own ethnic background. Nick Johnston, one of the authors and a policy director at the iCoCo, said that parents did not want their child to be odd ones out. “People don’t mind a diverse school but what they do mind is their kid being in a visible minority. This trend has increased in the last few years,” he said. In one school in Blackburn, once the number of non-white pupils rose above 60%, white parents started saying that they did not want their children to feel different.

Friday, July 10, 2009

The threshold for being overweight and obese should be lowered for Asians in Britain, international experts say

People of South Asian origin are more likely than white people to develop heart disease and type 2 diabetes. To reflect this, Indian health chiefs have changed their measuring system and said other countries should follow suit for people of South Asian origin. Standards used around the world to tell when someone is overweight or obese are based on data from Caucasians. These state that people with a body mass index (BMI) - calculated using weight and height - of 25 or more are overweight. They are obese if it goes above 30. In India those limits have been lowered to 23 and 25, to reflect the risks for their own population. They also have lower thresholds for waist circumference measurements. The move has in effect led to an extra 70 million people being re-classified as overweight or obese. This means that doctors in India are encouraged to intervene earlier, sometimes with drugs or surgery. Dr Anoop Misra, who helped to draw up India's guidelines, said the new measures should be applied for people with a South Asian background wherever they live. "They should be followed for South Asians - Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Nepalis - they are almost similar. So for the time being, until guidelines for other population groups are available, I think this should be applicable for all south Asians - not only in the UK, but in any country of the world."

Blacks are more likely to die of ovarian and breast cancer when receiving the same treatment as whites

Blacks receiving treatment equal to whites are more likely to die of breast, prostate and ovarian cancers but not many other types of cancer, according to a study published online Wednesday in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, the Washington Post reports. The new study offers provocative evidence to suggest that biological factors play a role. For the study, Kathy Albain of Loyola University and colleagues examined data collected on nearly 20,000 patients between 1974 and 2001 by the Southwest Oncology Group, a national cooperative of NCI-funded clinical trials. Because all participants received the same care, if socioeconomic factors were affecting survival rates, then differences in those rates would remain constant across all forms of cancer, the researchers reasoned. An analysis of the data found no statistically significant association between race and survival for lung cancer, colon cancer, leukemia, lymphoma or myeloma. However, blacks were 49% more likely than whites to die from early stage postmenopausal breast cancer, 41% more likely to die from early stage premenopausal breast cancer, 61% more likely to die from advanced ovarian cancer and 21% more likely to die from advanced prostate cancer.

Unshakable self belief is more than a state of mind - it is in the genes, according to new research

Scientists believe that many people are born winners with a rock solid self-confidence as much to do with nature as it is with nurture. The new belief that this is something people are born with conflicts with previous theories that confidence is based on upbringing and other environmental factors. Psychiatrists now say that the ability to perform under pressure may be something some people are born with. They have also shown that children with a greater belief in their own abilities often perform better at school, even if they are actually less intelligent. Professor Robert Plomin, of the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College, London, said: "Everyone has assumed self confidence is a matter of environment. Our research shows that it is certainly genetically influenced and that self confidence predicts achievement at school." Prof Plomin and his colleague, Corina Greven, carried out research which showed that children's self-perceptions of their abilities have a clear genetic basis. A team led by Prof Plomin and Ms Greven, also of King's College, asked over 3,700 twin pairs to rate their abilities in a number of core school subjects. By studying both identical and non-identical twins, from the age of seven to ten, they were able to assess the relative contributions of genes and environment. Twins studies are useful because identical twins have the same genes and the same environment whereas non-identical have different genes but the same environment. Therefore by comparing the two, many "nature versus nurture" questions can be answered. Contrary to accepted wisdom, they found that confidence is heavily influenced by genetics, at least as much as IQ is. These genes would appear to influence school performance independent of IQ genes, with shared environment having only a negligible influence. Indeed, it was easier to predict the children's school results by youngsters' perception of their own abilities than by an objective assessment of their academic talents.

Gays don't like black men

New research hints that the social and sexual networks of black gay men, constrained by the preferences and attitudes of non-black gay men, may explain the risk of more rapid spread of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, and higher sustained prevalence of HIV infection in black gay men. While black Americans are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS, most studies have found that black gay men don't engage in higher risk sexual activity any more frequently than other gay men, H. Fisher Raymond and Willi McFarland of the San Francisco Department of Public Health point out in a report in the journal AIDS and Behavior. To study the influence of social and sexual mixing between racial and ethnic groups of gay men in San Francisco, Raymond and McFarland interviewed 1,142 gay men. Fifty-six percent were white, 22% Latino, 14% Asian and 9% black. The men reported on a total of 3,532 sexual partnerships. They found that black gay men were three times more likely to have sexual partners that were also black, than would be expected by chance alone. In addition, black gay men were the least preferred of sexual partners by other races and were believed to be riskier to have sex with, which can lead to men of other races avoiding black men as sexual partners. Black gay men were also counted less often among friends and were perceived as less welcome at the common venues that cater to gay men in San Francisco by other gay men. These influences, Raymond claims, push black gay men closer together in smaller social and sexual networks - "networks that are already at higher risk for HIV infection merely because the background prevalence of HIV is higher than in other groups."

Europeans are among the most sugar-sensitive people in the world, a new genetic analysis concludes

The vast majority of people in Britain, France, Italy and Russia boast a tandem of genetic variations in a sugar-sensing gene that allows them to detect trace levels of sweetness. Around the world, populations that live at northern latitudes carry these genetic variations at far higher frequencies than tropical-living peoples, says Dennis Drayna, a geneticist at the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders in Bethesda, Maryland. His team presented 144 Europeans, Asians and Africans with nine solutions containing varying amounts of table sugar – sucrose – in amounts varying from 0% to 4%. Volunteers arranged the solutions in order of their perceived sweetness numerous times, and from these, Drayna's team calculated a sucrose sensitivity score for each person. When the researchers correlated the scores with variations in two sugar-sensing genes, TAS1R3 and TAS1R2, they found two variants just outside of the TAS1R3 gene that seemed to predict their volunteer's scores. This puzzled Drayna because TAS1R2 is chock-full of single DNA letter differences between people, and research on bitter taste genes suggested that such mutations – which change the shape of the receptor – underlie these differences. Instead, the two variations near TAS1R3 probably determine how much of a receptor protein is produced by the taste buds, Drayna says. Tests showed that the variations most common in Europeans crank up the expression of TAS1R3. Although the gene variants were commonest in Europeans, they were also widespread in Japanese, Palestinian, Han Chinese and other Middle Eastern and Asian populations. Low-sensitivity variations were most prevalent among the several different African populations that the team examined.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Buchanan and Darwin

Kevin MacDonald comments on Pat Buchanan's views on evolution.