SIO46: AHCA – The Scandal Hiding in Plain Sight

After a few small points about the last couple episodes on the hoax paper, we’re back to normal here on commentary Thursday! Today’s main topic is the CBO score on the new incarnation of the evil AHCA bill. AHCA is, in my opinion, the most important political scandal currently happening. After that is a very difficult voicemail segment, in that there are 3 tough questions with no easy answers. But those are the most important kind!


CBO Score on AHCA 2; NPR Breakdown on CBO ScoreIn Depth Uproxx Article on the Burrito Truck; Google Doc on Portland Appropriation; Academic Paper on Cultural Appropriation

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11 Replies to “SIO46: AHCA – The Scandal Hiding in Plain Sight”

  1. Work carried out from 2002 to 2006 by Richard Lynn, a British Professor of Psychology, and Tatu Vanhanen, a Finnish Professor of Political Science, who conducted IQ studies in more than 80 countries produced some interesting results. When the average IQ by country is looked at relative to the average IQ in the world as a whole, which is by definition 100, some of the results were:

    1 Hong Kong 108
    2 Singapore 108
    3 South Korea 106
    4 Japan 105
    5 China 105
    6 Taiwan 104

    Notice anything about the top six? I think it’s glaringly obvious that nobody but East Asians are represented. This shows an outrageous racial bias on the part of Lynn and Vanhanen.

    7 Italy 102
    8 Iceland 101
    9 Mongolia 101
    10 Switzerland 101
    11 Austria 100
    12 Luxembourg 100
    13 Netherlands 100
    14 Norway 100
    15 United Kingdom 100
    16 Belgium 99
    17 Canada 99
    18 Estonia 99
    19 Finland 99
    20 Germany 99
    21 Poland 99
    22 Sweden 99
    23 Andorra 98
    24 Australia 98
    25 Czech Republic 98
    26 Denmark 98
    27 France 98
    28 Hungary 98
    29 Latvia 98
    30 Spain 98

    Notice anything about the top thirty? The United States doesn’t make it onto the list until slot 31. Blatant cultural bias. Lynn and Vanhanen obviously hate us for our freedom.

    We in the United States, each of us having done far more extensive and academically valid research into this topic, know these results to be false because we want them to be. Our outrage speaks for itself!

    And it’s about time we empowered the PC Police to comb every city in America and yank the business license of anyone selling pizza or pasta who cannot sufficiently document their Italian heritage. Cultural appropriation must come to an end our lifetime, goddammit! Get down, get mad and FEEL the outrage!

  2. The Bell Curve is not worth reading. Regardless of racial bias as a motivating factor on the part of the researchers, it’s just bad science based on outdated conceptualizations (about intelligence, race, and standards of cultural competency in testing that would more accurately account for biases) that fails to support the author’s conclusions.

    He’s not the first person to suggest that certain races are genetically inferior as it relates to certain traits, and again, this assertion has been thoroughly studied and debunked by reputable scientists conducting more nuanced and relevant research in multiple applicable fields.

    The book is essentially the equivalent of Sam Harris citing statistical analysis on reports of officer involved shootings (provided on a discretionary basis by some police departments, which are under no obligation to collect, maintain, and disseminate this information to any standard of accuracy), and claiming that because “the numbers don’t lie,” there’s no reason to believe that police treat black people any differently than white people.

    Also, I just wanted to say I agree with Felicia. Whether the authors meant to or not, this hoax and their dismissive response to feedback sends a clear message to, and about, women.

  3. Are east asians a race. What exactly is a race. Were these tests done on a random sample of Chinese children including poor farmers or just more affluent city dwellers( China is a big place after all). Perhaps the style of schooling favoured in that region of the world applies better to the IQ test being used. Has the study been repeated and do the same nations come out on top. But the philosophical bedrock under all these questions of, what is race an what is intelligence are never well defined(particularly race). Are a Sudanese man and a Kenyan the same race, they are to Murray. How about a Pygmy and an Ethiopian, all the same to Murray it seems. A Filipino and Mongolian seem pretty different to me but some would group them all under asian. With concepts as slippery and maleable as these I bet you could reinforce any subtle prejudice you like.

  4. I was being sarcastic and I knew the sarcasm would be lost on the SJW set who take themselves so deadly seriously at all times. I was feigning outrage at the fact that in this study (, the the United States is ranked 31st in the world, which we know cannot be true because we are the smartest and the best and, doggone it, people like us. This study, random and old as it now seems, was by country, period. Given who did it and when, they were probably not playing to an SJW audience.

    My sarcasm (if you have to explain a joke, it’s not a joke, but SJWs aren’t going to understand it otherwise) was aimed at the way the SJW crowd assume Murray’s results are racially motivated because they are not what an SJW would like to hear, and thus must not only be rejected, but derided. SJWs are one of the least unbiased groups on the planet, thought they see themselves as just the opposite. I was suggesting sarcastically that Lynn and Vanhanen’s ranking of the the United States’ at Number 31 could, similarly, only be the result of bias, since it’s not what we in the US want to hear.

    As is often the case, Sam Harris is the adult in the room who is willing to look at data and circumstances for what they are as opposed to what we want them to be. Personally, I think IQ ought to be ignored simply because it is so politically charged and, in my experience, has so little to do with actual job performance or social aptitude.

    Sometimes IQ data does say what we want to hear: “Liberals” trend higher on the IQ scale than Republicans; atheists and “Nones” higher than deeply religious; gay-trans-nontraditional folks higher than average, etc., etc. So we might not want to throw it out entirely.

  5. I assume Murray’s conclusions are bullshit because the studies he cites were methodologically flawed and have been repeatedly disproven by more rigorous and pointed research conducted by more competent investigators in more applicable fields.

    The guy’s basically claiming the Earth is flat, and Sam Harris just can’t get over how even the bubble is in Murray’s level. Just because data is quantified does not mean it is objective, and if Sam Harris can not see the glaring inadequacies in Murray’s collection methods, he can hardly be considered the “adult in the room who is willing to look at data and circumstances.”

  6. I had trouble identifying the joke more because you seem to be going after the American Exceptionalist right-wing more than SJWs. They’re the ones who think white people, particularly Americans, are the smartest people who live on the greatest country on Earth. Plus, they’re the ones who actually approve of blacklisting people during the Cold War due to their parents or other family being from a communist country. Though, to be fair, at least you put the PC police on the correct side.

    Most people seem to forget about which side of the political spectrum actually used to jail people for sending information about birth control through the mail, or forced Ricky and Lucy to sleep in different beds on TV, who tried to get Married with Children shut down, or who goes around trying to ban books like Huckleberry Finn and Harry Potter. Are students allowed to wear any clothing to school that even mentions drugs and alcohol anymore, or is that still banned by conservatives?

    In the future, you should really try and read up on who it is you’re trying to lampoon. If you want to make fun of SJWs, make fun of the way they act and what they believe in. If you want to make fun of the Religious Right, at least give them the correct name.

  7. Wrong. You are the one I was lampooning, though I didn’t know it until you walked in and sat down in the middle of it, barely able to get your self-righteousness through the door. By completely missing the point, you made it (the point, that is) beautifully.

  8. I got the “joke”. All I’m doing is pointing out that one of the basic premises of this research is flawed or at best not fully explored. Is race a valid biological category or are we simply chosing a certain cluster of traits (skin colour, facial morphology) and classifying people based on that rather than any other group of traits. If you did the studies I’m sure one blood group would emerge as having superior IQ, one of them has to, and if for instance we happened to have systematically oppressed B+ people for decades/centuries would we be surprised if they didn’t place near the top.

  9. I, too, wish we could just forget about “race.” I was so naive that I thought we were living in post-racial America until Obama was elected and it became so glaringly obvious that to many, many people it really mattered that a “black” man was president. To some it was a good thing, to others it was a terrible thing, but to a LOT of people it really mattered, and I thought we were past that.

    It would also be nice if we could just forget about IQ, but that’s another issue that really matters to some people, positively or negatively.. I could make a nasty comment about how people who find “race” or IQ to be crucial characteristics of human beings are obviously left-of-center on the bell curve. But I won’t.

  10. (replying to kirk at 10:21, could not see reply button on his post)
    I am not saying we need to forget about race as a cultural concept but as a biological one. The overemphasis of certain traits over others doesn’t seem to have biological importance but certainly has cultural implications. We can, and should separate one from the other.

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