Monday, October 13, 2008

Insane Rage

I don't know if you've been watching any of the talking-head shows lately, but there's been a lot of handwringing about how McCain and Palin are inciting mobs and stirring up hate and whatnot at their rallies. Yet, despite the terrible climate of "insane rage" that the Republicans have allegedly been fostering, no one who has made such allegations on any of these shows has been able to give a single example of anything either candidate has said that was inflammatory. In fact, as far as I'm aware, there was only one incident involving one person at one campaign event who shouted a single ugly remark, but this single episode has been amplified by the media to the point that a casual observer might think that Republican rallies are typically Nazi-like hate-fests.

Meanwhile, the media turns a completely blind eye to the "discourse" on the left which is frequently as vile and hateful, and far more common, than anything you would find coming out of a GOP rally. No Republican sounds anything remotely like Barack Obama's pastor, the racist hate-monger Jeremiah Wright. Nothing any Republican has said or done is remotely similar to the movies made about assassinating Bush or the ugly things said about Todd and Sarah Palin. The media ignores the threats, for instance, by Sandra Bernhard who describes the grisly fate that awaits Governor Palin if she shows up in Bernhard's city.

Michelle Malkin lays out many of the disgusting details of what has become an almost typically despicable discourse emanating from the American secular left.

The Democrats and their supporters in the blogosphere, of course, are trying to intimidate the Republicans into so softening their criticism of Obama that it does no damage. They want McCain to lob marshmallows at their candidate. By failing to give any balance or perspective to the reports of howling mobs of frenzied, spittle-spitting Republicans, the media is doing their part to help the cause.

The irony in this is that, if anything, McCain has been far too timid in his willingness to cast a probing eye on Obama's associations with Ayers, Rezko, Wright, Pfleger, et al. He seems willing to allow his opponents to dictate what is acceptable criticism and what isn't.

It reminds me of the time I watched a hawk swoop down and seize a chipmunk. Once the chipmunk was caught it didn't even struggle, it just acquiesced in its fate. McCain has been acting like the chipmunk caught in Obama's talons. If he's not going to fight he ought never to have run for the nomination.



Ramirez captures the plight of the American taxpayer:

If taxpayers feel squashed by free-falling corporate CEOs just wait until Obama gets into the White House. His promise that no one making under $250,000 will see a tax increase is very hard to believe.

If the Obama plan is implemented taxes will go up on almost every business in the country which means that employees will be laid off and prices will rise. Being unemployed and having to pay more for goods is just as much a tax increase as is having to pay the tax directly to the government.


Tackling a Taboo

ESPN's Jemele Hill dares to rush in where more timorous observers fear to tread. In a column at ESPN's Page 2 she wonders about something that everyone knows, but few are willing to talk about - the dearth of white running backs in major college and pro football.

Hill considers both the possibility that the disparity between white and black at some positions is due to a kind of discrimination as well as the possibility that it's due to genetic advantage, but, though she doesn't seem persuaded of the former possibility, she seems shy about drawing the full conclusions from her speculations about the latter explanation.

The idea that white football players are excluded from playing running back (or corner back) because of discrimination is silly. If whites had the talent to play these positions they'd be in them. It seems obvious to anyone who has ever been involved in sports that the ratio of whites to blacks at positions requiring speed is due to a difference in physical endowment that is racially linked. Blacks of West African ancestry are simply better suited, by virtue of their genetic gifts, for sports that require running and jumping.

Hill's article quotes a researcher who draws the right conclusion but then moonwalks away from it by asserting that genetic endowment is not a matter of race but a matter of one's ancestral environment. For example, people who come from high altitude regions, this researcher opines, are better suited for sports involving endurance. This, however, is flummery. It's like arguing that the lack of melanin in whites is not due to their race but due to having descended from people living in northern Europe. Regardless of how a race of people came to have the genetic characteristics they do it's simply nonsense to think those traits are not linked to their race.

Indeed, we've become so fearful of talking about race in this country that we are loath, like the people called out to gaze upon the emperor's new clothes, to note obvious truths even when no one doubts them. This seems absurd, perhaps, but there's a reason for it, maybe even a good reason.

Hill doesn't push her speculations this far, but it seems likely that we shrink from talking about the physical advantages that blacks have in sports like football and basketball because there's a very distasteful inference lying just down the road. If the success of blacks in certain sports is due to physical superiority then the inability of whites to compete with them is due to physical (i.e. genetic) inferiority. If we're intrepid enough to follow this inquiry further we find ourselves forced by consistency to acknowledge that the paucity of blacks in other areas of endeavor, like the technical fields and sciences, suggests a general inability to compete intellectually that must also be genetic. If the physical inferiority of whites is genetic then there's no reason to think that intellectual inferiority is not also genetic.

This is such an unwelcome conclusion, fraught as it is with so many unpleasant sociological implications and so vulnerable to abuse, that most people think it's safer to just not bring the matter up, which is why so few people ever remark out loud on the complete absence of white running backs in the NFL.

Hill's article makes a couple of bows to political correctitude but is overall an interesting read. It's certainly unusual that someone would be willing to take on this topic. I wonder what the reaction to her article would be had it not been written by an African-American woman.