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September 16, 2011

Comments

Grades shmades. You know they don't tell us much.

He's way smarter than Palin. Not brilliant. He's an alpha male with an IQ of 120 or so, which is probably the ideal place to be for political success.

But average guy often makes best politician since politics is about popularity not about intelligence. Galileo was the worst politically because his smartness made him out of line with majority.

If you saw my Texas A&M transcript, you would likely draw a similar conclusion.

You would be WAY off.

Although the decimal point precision is a bit ridiculous (and hilarious) I seriously enjoy your well reasoned analysis of various public figures' IQs.

Please do more of these.

If you think you can estimate someone's IQ to 0.5 per cent you are even dumber than you think you are.

I would agree with you analysis. I wish you would come out and say that Michele Bachmann's IQ is around 120-125 because she practices a particularity boring and hard type of law: tax law (maybe almost as hard and boring as patent).

[HS: She hasn't practiced tax law at the elite level, and there is a huge difference between the difficulty of tax law classes at NYU and at W&M where Bachmann went. The only requirement to attend W&M's LLM program was to gradaute from law school, and you only need a 115 IQ to do that, so I estimate her IQ at 115, same as Joe Biden.]

Yet Obama refuses to release his transcripts.

The correlation between grades and intelligence, if any, is negative. Anecdotal evidence: I got a 2.7 the first time I went to college. I was a genius back then. Since then I have *suffered from brain damage* and went back to school. I got a 3.9

Sarah Palin is 103? I bet thats higher than Glenn Rice! But I dont think IQ was the measurement she was interested in,n'est pas??

Haha, same here. Horrible in college the first time around, except for English. Then, many lost brain cells later, graduate top of class at State U. The difference is motivation and lack of better things to do.

Most college transcripts include a pretty good estimate of IQ. Usually it is an SAT or ACT score. Why not focus on that if the transcripts are actually available?
Anyone with records of Perry's grades in college almost certainly has access to bona fide psychometrics also. Why aren't those being put forward?

You have to be above average intelligence to be a military officer and a pilot (remember the last thread?). Perry was both. A C-130 is not a fighter, but stupid people DO wash out of pilot training on academic grounds and inability to fly the plane. Indeed, you won't even become a pilot at all if you are stupid, because pilots must do well at the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test. The AFOQT is very similar to an IQ test, and correlates strongly with IQ scores.

http://www.baseops.net/afoqt/

"The Air Force Officer Qualifying Test (AFOQT) is a standardized test similar to the SAT and ACT. The AFOQT measures aptitudes and is used to select applicants for officer commissioning programs, such as Officer Training School (OTS) or Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (Air Force ROTC). It is also used for selection into specific training programs such as pilot and navigator training. The AFOQT is a required test for all cadets and students on scholarship or in the POC."

More on that Air Force experience, noting that Perry would have flow T-37 and T-38 jets in training:

http://beldar.blogs.com/beldarblog/2011/08/yes-perry-flew-jets-in-the-us-air-force.html

I agree. Grades are a rather poor way to judge IQ. Your applying a northeast NYC attitude to a kid who grew up in Texas, its just not the same priority system.

Qualification of the special types of armed forces is still very much a meritocracy where IQ tests matter, I'd look to those first.

I don't think Perry cared that much about grades in school. But he's still a lot smarter than Palin. (Those leaked emails of Palin were terrible).

I was going to bust you on the .5 but I see its been done ;-).

It is worthwhile to point out that a country under a 107 Perry would be so much better than under a 125 Obama.

For instance you wouldn't have to worry about what all the leftist he has populated through out the various departments are plotting among themselves right now.

In relation to your link, the only people that go to two year programs are proles, who naturally lack the connections and other factors that would lead to better employment post grad. A prole and a non-prole four year grad would probably see different life outcomes. However, this is countered by the fact that proles can't afford 4 year programs and usually find them socially difficult, so they self select into two year programs.

Today's average college graduate is not near 115 in IQ. Only 17% of the population has a an IQ of 115 or higher. 105 sounds much closer. In fact, you can have a 105 IQ at a typical school and still get a 3.0 (assuming a non-STEM major).

Sarah Palin at 103 and Rick Perry at 107.5 sounds not far off to me, but they both might be 5 points higher. Perry is a more interesting person than Palin. Palin bores me.

Well, it certainly isn't close to Romney's, who started at Stanford and later graduated as valedictorian at BYU, was Baker scholar (top 5%) at HBS and cum laude at HLS (being in a combined accelerated program there) which is incredibly difficult -- I estimate his IQ to be at least 140.

Back in Perry's day, the college average intelligence was much higher it is today, because back then, a high school diploma was the degree for the masses.

Besides, Perry was surely more, ahem, socially focused. Just look at the guy. In his world, straight A's just weren't the thing I am 100% certain.

You really don't have enough information to make an accurate prediction of Perry's IQ. To be honest, I doubt it is below 115. Who knows if he believes half of his public views, he wouldn't be the first disingenuous politician. I think you're fooling yourself if you think IQ is that closely correlated to 4 Year college GPA. Masters and PhD, certainly more closely. Let's not forget the decline in difficulty since Perry graduated.

"---Qualification of the special types of armed forces is still very much a meritocracy where IQ tests matter, I'd look to those first.---"

Not sure if officers take the ASVAB tests, as enlisted members do, but GT score is a very good proxy for IQ. If that were available there'd be no more mystery about Perry's IQ.

Even if one is lazy, one won't utterly bomb in college if his IQ is above room-temperature. Perry bombed, therefore he is probably no smarter than the average college grad.

"Today's average college graduate is not near 115 in IQ. Only 17% of the population has a an IQ of 115 or higher. 105 sounds much closer. In fact, you can have a 105 IQ at a typical school and still get a 3.0 (assuming a non-STEM major).

Sarah Palin at 103 and Rick Perry at 107.5 sounds not far off to me, but they both might be 5 points higher. Perry is a more interesting person than Palin. Palin bores me."

Are diploma mills and other nonselective schools counted here? Counting them to deflate the average college graduate's IQ (though usually for other reasons) would be similar to companies that somewhat dishonestly say, "Made in the USA" while hiring Mexican migrant workers at sub-minimum wage to create said products. Said schools are usually counted in statistics to give the appearance of socioeconomic mobility while the actual probability of upward social mobility has in reality decreased.

Speaking of colleges, it is interesting that presidents who attended non notable colleges have made those colleges whereas Ivy League schools make the presidents who graduated from those places. In other words, Ronald Reagan made Eureka College, Harvard made Obama.

Matt C,

You obviously have never been an attractive masculine dude going to college in Texas. I'm sure he had other things on his mind.

There did exist, back in the day, and in other parts of the country, a culture that wasn't preparing kids of elite academic achievement from day one. Where people were more or less kids for 18 year, then a few dicked around in college if they wanted, and finally you decided to grow up and start acting serious in your 20s around when you got married. Many of these people turned out just fine.

HS,

regarding your self inflicted IQ estimate of 145. Do you think you're smarter than 97.7% of ashkenazim in the US?

Jimmy Carter and Richard Nixon are widely considered to be the most intelligent presidents of the last 60 years. How'd that work out?

Perry went to Paint Creek rural school. It was, and still is K-12. They have like 150 students total in all of K-12.

No way can you compare that kind of education to the education Romney got in HS.

Perry strikes me as one of very modest ambition. He majored in Ag science. Who the hell that aspires to much of anything majors in Ag science? Even if he had been more studious and become a vet, then what? He might have done exactly what he did do, run for Agriculture commission. Ah yes, Agriculture commission. The glamour, the prestige, the fawning hot babes. Or not. Yeah, Perry may have the typical politician personality able to schmooze etc. but it doesn't appear he ever had delusions of grandeur.

Regarding Perry's failed attempt at getting an animal science degree, it's clear he's no Dr. Dolittle, or maybe he is if the name is read literally. I would say his IQ clearly shouldn't be higher than 110. In that sense, George W. Bush is a full standard deviation above him.

I disagree with readers who believe IQ is not a valid metric by which to judge a presidential candidate. We're talking about the most important job in the world, is it so wrong to demand some kind of cognitive standard? True, a high IQ is no guarantee for good judgments, but the two are correlated, and one can argue that until you pass the ~150 mark there are certainly benefits endowed by each increasing point.

I propose the constitutional demands on a president be adjusted to require an IQ score of at least 2 standard deviations above the mean score of vietnam, as well as requiring a score higher than 10 out of 10,000 randomly chosen Haitians.

While I would agree there is a certain min-bar of intelligence to be an effective President, intelligence by itself ain't nothing but a sandwich. A President needs wisdom. Common sense. A connection to the real-world of regular people (Obama has none of this, not a shred). And, you know, he ought to like America. At least a little.

The status level of where you went to college would often have a directly inverse relationship to your Presidential success, cuz if you went to the Ivies what you got was a four year Marxist indoctrination program, not an "education." (Hard sciences & math partly excepted -- but what politicians are ever scientists?) In fact, I would say going to Harvard sets you up to fail quite spectacularly, and all the while have no understanding of why you're failing.

So IQ, whatever. I would assume someone like Noam Chomsky has a sky-high IQ, but he is an evil Orc and, in his own special genius way, one of the stupidest people that ever soiled planted earth.

@ Davver

Are you seriously claiming it's impossible to have a sex life and a GPA above 3.5? Incidentally, Perry doesn't strike me as an overwhelming stud, but rather a run-of-the-mill frat boy. Why would he run for political office if he could get laid on his own merits?

Plenty of people don't apply themselves in college and still have GPAs higher than a 3.0....I feel as if I would actually have to intentionally mess up on tests to get a GPA that low. And I'm no genius either (my IQ is only 123), so the excuses that various commentators here are making for Perry's poor transcript are extremely laughable.

"I estimate her IQ at 115, same as Joe Biden": and, to within measurement/estimation error, the same as JFK.

Here's Sarah Palin's most recent Facebook post, where she rails against crony capitalism: http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=10150295067853435

Seems pretty smart there.

As I posted in a thread over at Razib's about Rick Perry's intelligence:

There’s a paper which purports to analyze presidential intelligence at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-9221.2006.00524.x/pdf though I have my doubts both about the potential political bias in the measurements, and the high ranges reported.

"We're talking about the most important job in the world, is it so wrong to demand some kind of cognitive standard? True, a high IQ is no guarantee for good judgments, but the two are correlated,"

Bwahaha! Are Obama, Carter, and Wilson examples of the correlation between (supposed) intelligence and judgment?

"what politicians are ever scientists?"

Maggie Thatcher was a chemist.

*sigh*

That's terrifying that Sarah Palin has a 103 IQ which is 3 points higher than the global average.

Should there be a minimum IQ to be a politician?

"I feel as if I would actually have to intentionally mess up on tests to get a GPA that low."


If you don't attend class and don't hand in assignments you will fail your classes regardless of how high your IQ is. The relationship between IQ and achievement whether in school or in life is multiplicative not additive: Achievement equals IQ multiplied by hard work. This means that if either variable is zero, the product (achievement) will be zero regardless of how high one of the variables is. I realize there are other factors in achievement beyond IQ and hard work but I'm simplifying.

Look at John McCain. If we applied Half Sigma's logic to his school grades, we would have to conclude that he was dumber than 99.3% of the United States Naval Academy which would probably put him around IQ 100. And yet his actual tested IQ was 133 which is well above the mean of the Naval Academy, which is why he went on to be almost president.

Generally speaking academic achievement is a good proxy for IQ, but there are a lot of major exceptions.

"Why would he run for political office if he could get laid on his own merits?"

Because he's a sentient human being whose motives are more complex than than simply primitive sex drive. What a ridiculous question. Are you from the planet of the apes? Here in human-land we have other motives in life besides eating and screwing.

How about giving Perry some credit for the college courses he took? Botany, physics and chemistry are real courses, not candy-ass social science or humanities bullshit. Yes he failed organic chemistry, but it is a notoriously difficult course.

What was Obama's major? Maybe we aren't allowed to know even that.

God damnit, you dumb fucks.

The man has masculine good looks. So, that makes him "alpha"

You guys are stupid.

Gaa.

Intelligence is the "best" predictor of a society's outcomes that we know of.

Perry and Obama are politicians and people. We do not know what they believe, for we are not them.

We can try and gauge their intelligence. Even with affirmative action, Obama still is likely smarter than perry.

Plus, perry has said some fucktarded things.

i'd guess the median person admitted to texas a and m has a math/verbal combined SAT score of 1210--see this URL for an idea of Texas A and M's SATs:

http://collegeapps.about.com/od/collegeprofiles/p/Texas-A_M.htm

that correlates with an IQ of about 125 according to this site:

http://www.iqcomparisonsite.com/SATIQ.aspx

i make guesses about people's IQs at my website:

http://michaelkenny.blogspot.com/search/label/iq

i guessed sarah palin at 110, and mitt romney at 143.

107.5

I like the decimal point. Precision matters in these things.

There isn't a single evangelical Christian with an IQ over 100.

The comment that precipitated this thread was mine.

http://goo.gl/p5fvL

I asked if Half Sigma had any evidence to support his IQ estimates for Perry, Bachmann & Obama. I can see from this post that the answer is "No". He's guessing. It's simply his opinion.

"Jimmy Carter and Richard Nixon are widely considered to be the most intelligent presidents of the last 60 years. How'd that work out?" - Sgt. Joe Friday

Well actually. Both men were very much ahead of their time. Most of the crap they receive is factually untrue and pretty misinformed.

"And, you know, he ought to like America. At least a little......cuz if you went to the Ivies what you got was a four year Marxist indoctrination program, not an "education." - peterike


Do people actually believe this crap? Or is it some bad joke you guys keep repeating?

"Jimmy Carter and Richard Nixon are widely considered to be the most intelligent presidents of the last 60 years." Indeed, and before them Hoover was a bright chap.

Ag Science may not be the hardest major, but going to a good vet school is no joke intellectually, and requires one hell of a work ethic. It's serious on the job training. Every vet major I've met went for years with almost no sleep.

"Who the hell that aspires to much of anything majors in Ag science?"

Admirers of that terrible wastrel and ineffective humanitarian Norman Borlaug? Or of the U C Davis Department of Viticulture? Or who want the food supply to efficient and clean?

I sure hope you aren't asserting that all smart people want to be politicians. Or that ambition can only be fulfilled through the power to rule others.

"Should there be a minimum IQ to be a politician?"

No, but there should be a maximum. I'm tired of egomaniacal politicians in love with the brilliance of their own schemes inflicting their theories on me. We've seen enough of that with 'scientific socialism.'

"Regarding Perry's failed attempt at getting an animal science degree, it's clear he's no Dr. Dolittle, or maybe he is if the name is read literally."

Really?

You must not live in Texas.

The Texas Constitution makes the governor position very weak and subsequent amendments make it even weaker. Nevertheless. Perry has managed to squeeze every drop of influence from the position primarily through the appointment process. Now people resign rather than finish their terms just so Perry can appoint a successor, which virtually guarantees reelection. Oh, and he has only been doing this for ten years. Perry appoints several people every day.

Perry would clean out the Washington bureaucracy if only out of habit. He would dismiss every single person he could and replace them. In that sense, he would be like Obama, except Obama had a hard time finding takers.

"Plus, perry has said some fucktarded things."

So does Obama. And his stupid ideas include actual policies that take more of our money and give it to losers. Right now, he wants three years of unemployment benefits. Yeah, tax me so I can't hire them and give them the money so they won't work. What could possibly go wrong? Hey, if we didn't import so many illegals, and didn't tax the workers so much and didn't give 3 years of unemployment benefits, maybe I could hire one of those princesses to scrub my toilets.

I will take Perry style tardation over Obama style tardation. At least Perry's are in the private not policy sphere. Perry's ideas won't wreck the nation. Heck the nation got this far with folks who basically shared his notions. They are inconsequential. Not so with Obama's Robin Hood steal from the productive give to the lazy and violent philosophy.

So to sum up the comments:

Nerds and status climbers from the northeast can't fathom why someone wouldn't do his absolute best in school, go the the highest status school he could wherever that is in the country, and then try to get a stereotypical high status job.

Farmboys in Texas spend their youth drinking, partying, fucking, and enjoying nature. Then after 20-25 years of having fun and enjoying youth they decide to become adults and some of them are very good at that switch and become governor.

"Plus, perry has said some fucktarded things."

Obama can't read a teleprompter correctly (see his ad-lib on Lincoln founding the Republican party, among other idiotic errors).

Tell me again how smart he is.

I dunno. George W. Bush seemed like a low-watt bulb, but his SAT score of 1280 apparently norms to an IQ of 129. Maybe Bush and his successor just share an overriding lack of intellectual curiosity.

"Well actually. Both men were very much ahead of their time. Most of the crap they receive is factually untrue and pretty misinformed." - Cmdr. Shepard.

Nixon? Ahead of his time? How? Political dirty tricks? That's as old as the 2nd oldest profession. Wage and price controls? Been there, done that, doesn't work.

And Carter? How is pulling the rug out from under unsavory, but otherwise dependable regimes who were our allied (the Shah's Iran and Somoza's Nicaragua) forward-thinking? That's just plain dumb.

the only way to know someone's IQ is not by infering from grades, institutions attended or experienced gained, but by speking to the person. The only caveat is that you can only measure intelligence up to your own level, it's impossible to see (in the first person) that someone is more intelligent than yourself. But you can infer that by letting him/her think about things you had lot's of time to think about before, and see how quick/deep/far he/she goes in the thinking process, but that's different from seeing the process like one can see a qualia (color, odor or whatever ...)


"Obama can't read a teleprompter correctly (see his ad-lib on Lincoln founding the Republican party, among other idiotic errors)."

Pathetic. Wasn't Obama a poli sci major?

Also, no wonder Perry is a vaccine fan. He was an Ag sci major.

FWIW, Ag sci probably has more science in it than poli sci.

"I dunno. George W. Bush seemed like a low-watt bulb, but his SAT score of 1280 apparently norms to an IQ of 129."


George W. Bush went to Kinkaid HS in Houston, probably the top HS in town. And finished at Philips Academy, one of the top HS in the country.

You cannot compare that education to Perry's at Paint Creek rural school.

Perry would have to be a near genius to overcome that educational deficit in just a couple of years at Texas Agricultural and Mechanical College.

Meanwhile George W. Bush, with the best HS education available in the US only got a 1280 and was not an academic star in college either.

I'll bet Obama's Math SAT was below the male average and his verbal was above average.

I'll bet Perry is above average on both.

Anyway, check out the history of Texas A&M. It is nothing like people in the northeast think of when they think of college.

Some may be interested to know that Texas Agricultural and Mechanical College is the founding home of the Hillel Foundation.

Also, it is unlikely that Perry was partying with the ladies at Texas A&M in the 60's. The school was all male until just a couple of years before Perry got there. The fact that is was nearly all male and all military meant that chicks were few and far between. Another reason to believe there was little grade inflation. That crap didn't play in all male environments in the 60's. It was a completely different environment from today's hookup culture campus filled with 60% chicks studying the soft feminine subjects like grievance studies and sociology.

Rick Perry is an only son and had it not been for Viet Nam, he might not have even gone to college. The fact that his parents probably wanted him to avoid service in the stupid conflict shows they might be brighter than their humble circumstances would otherwise indicate. Going to all male, all military A&M held no promise of partying, rather it was and exercise in discipline and survival.

"Nixon? Ahead of his time? How? Political dirty tricks? That's as old as the 2nd oldest profession. Wage and price controls? Been there, done that, doesn't work.

And Carter? How is pulling the rug out from under unsavory, but otherwise dependable regimes who were our allied (the Shah's Iran and Somoza's Nicaragua) forward-thinking? That's just plain dumb."


Nixon was a brilliant man who climbed the status hierarchy from humble origins. He deserved to be president in 1960 and NOT Kennedy. Detente, opening up China to US influence, backing Israel despite the repercussions, was very forwarding thinking and even courageous. The man was also the only Republican president in recent history to back universal health insurance coverage. I'd say he was even the last pro-worker GOP president.

The shah was simply deposed by his own people. Carter had little to do with that. If decades of US support couldn't enable the shah to retain power then Carter wasn't going to be able to somehow magically tip the scales in his favor. Washington can't always influence the outcomes of power struggles. Those are largely decided by internal forces within a country.

Now you have a better case against Carter in Nicaragua but again I'd argue that forces within that country were largely responsible for the outcome.

Carter's human rights position was admirable especially considering the rather unpleasant nature of much of American foreign policy. Maybe human rights talk should actually mean something rather than just being deployed as a political weapon whenever it suits us. Carter deserves credit for deregulating industries such as airlines, trucking, and others from the bureaucratic stranglehold. He also was ahead of his time in his belief in renewable energy. If America had invested research and money into it then we'd probably dominate the market for it now. He also backed the creation of Delta Force. Unfortunately their first major mission would prove disastrous (the US had almost no experience in desert warfare at that time) but since then Delta has become a major asset. Carter's appointment of Paul Volcker to the Fed also slayed stagflation albeit not until after his presidency.

My points have been that both Nixon and Carter aren't anywhere near as bad as they're made out to be. In some ways they were ahead of their time and some of their positions were very admirable and courageous. I'm convinced that the historical record will vindicate both of them.

"Who the hell that aspires to much of anything majors in Ag science?"

"Admirers of that terrible wastrel and ineffective humanitarian Norman Borlaug? Or of the U C Davis Department of Viticulture? Or who want the food supply to efficient and clean?"

Come on, Borlaug? His work was service work, not narcissistic self aggrandizement. Can you even imagine him saying like Obama did, "I love you and if you love me, you will help me pass this bill."

My point is that whatever Perry thought he might do in life, he shows little sign of delusions of grandeur. From the beginning Obama has been trying to play savior to boost himself and those few he favors. He is not and never was interested in personally doing stuff like advancing the common good through study and service. He is just a more sophisticated poverty pimp and shakedown artist than Sharpton but no less interested in personal profit from any endeavor.

"There isn't a single evangelical Christian with an IQ over 100."

Right.

I know a bunch of evangelical Christian engineers. I was friends with a few chemical engineers like that.

Bruno says:

"the only way to know someone's IQ is not by infering from grades, institutions attended or experienced gained, but by speking to the person. The only caveat is that you can only measure intelligence up to your own level, it's impossible to see (in the first person) that someone is more intelligent than yourself."

Uh, I can usually tell you when someone is smarter than me. When I meet them, I know.

And I'm like Half Sigma. Merely more intelligent than 99.9% of the population.

Perry's probably like a 115. That would be close to the average IQ of a college grad when he went to college. Texas A&M isn't Ivy but isn't bad either for a rural farm kid. 107 is ridiculous - in his day a 107 wouldn't be in college at all, especially in rural west Texas. his grades while not excellent were passable and he probably liked to party.

Sarah Palin is probably like 105, and her relative stupidity gets more and more apparent all the time.

Watch Rick Perry's poor debate performance. Everybody from Ron Paul to Bachmann outmaneuvered the guy. 107.5 for Perry sounds right.

"Farmboys in Texas spend their youth drinking, partying, fucking, and enjoying nature. '

More phony Christian garbage from these guys.

"Nixon? Ahead of his time? How? Political dirty tricks? That's as old as the 2nd oldest profession. Wage and price controls? Been there, done that, doesn't work."

I once saw an interview with Milton Friedman discussing Nixon. He said that Nixon was very bright and understood economics but that he lacked the character to see it through.

Still, Nixon abolished the draft and went to an all volunteer military. And he did it in the middle of a war. He was definitely ahead of his time on that one.

"The shah was simply deposed by his own people. Carter had little to do with that."

The Iranian regime might have been in decay, but Carter accelerated its collapse. Carter operated under the utterly stupid assumption that a western-style regime would emerge in Iran after ths Shah fell, and resolutely opposed a military government (which would necessarily have been pro-American). And, of course, Carter totally botched the hostage crisis even excluding his shamefully pusillanimous handling of the rescue attempt.

The fall of the shah did not have to result inntly anti-American Islamic theocracy, but Carter's imcompetence ensured that it did.

"Carter operated under the utterly stupid assumption that a western-style regime would emerge in Iran after ths Shah fell...


It wasn't that stupid. Iran had a western style government BEFORE the shah. The one that was helped overthrown by the US/UK largely for the benefit of oil interests.....The history of US involvement in Iran is rather grotesque.


"Carter totally botched the hostage crisis even excluding his shamefully pusillanimous handling of the rescue attempt." JP

I'm not really sure what else could have been done differently. The hostages all came home in the end. Quiet diplomacy would have put an end to the matter had it not become a media spectacle.

"Still, Nixon abolished the draft and went to an all volunteer military. And he did it in the middle of a war. He was definitely ahead of his time on that one." - destructure

Indeed. Personally I feel the draft needed reforms and abolishing it was throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Nevertheless it was a ballsy decision.

Covert US assistance against the Soviets in Afghanistan also began under Carter. Something he gets no credit for (while getting blamed for everything else).

Zbigniew Brzezinski giving a pep talk to our Jihadi allies back in happier times.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhFleLinwEM&feature=related

One could consider that it is certainly more important to have the common sense to know when to use the bomb rather than the genius necessary to build it.

"Here's Sarah Palin's most recent Facebook post, where she rails against crony capitalism ..."

I think she gets help with writing posts and columns just like with speech writing. In interviews, she tends to just repeat the same simple points over and over.

"You cannot compare that education to Perry's at Paint Creek rural school.

Perry would have to be a near genius to overcome that educational deficit in just a couple of years at Texas Agricultural and Mechanical College."

That just isn't true. There are plenty of middle-aged chemical and mechanical engineers who went to school in Appalachia, yet managed to make better grades in more difficult disciplines than Ag science.

"There are plenty of middle-aged chemical and mechanical engineers who went to school in Appalachia, yet managed to make better grades in more difficult disciplines than Ag science."

That's right, but those guys have IQ's more like 140 not 120 which is about the most anyone is guessing he would have.

"It wasn't that stupid. Iran had a western style government BEFORE the shah. The one that was helped overthrown by the US/UK largely for the benefit of oil interests.....The history of US involvement in Iran is rather grotesque."

Ridiculous. Mossadegh was not a virtuous democrat, he was a would-be dictator. The US overthrew him not because the US was in thrall to oil interests but because Mossadegh was overreliant on the Tudeh and vulnerable to a Communist coup.

What is grotesque is not the history of US involvement in Iran but the distorted Leftist interpretation of the history of US involvement in Iran.

But, even if the Leftist interpretation were actually true, and Mossadegh was the virtuous leader of a "western style government", this is *utterly irrelevant* to the history of Iran from 1978-1980, because there was no Mossadegh waiting in the wings to take power, only the Ayatollahs.

"I'm not really sure what else could have been done differently. The hostages all came home in the end. Quiet diplomacy would have put an end to the matter had it not become a media spectacle."

Among other things, what could have been done differently would be NOT TO DO THE HOSTAGE RESCUE ATTEMPT AT ALL. There was no reason to believe the hostages were in danger, and Carter knew that a significant number of them would be killed (in addition to the hostage takers) in any rescue attempt. Carter only did it because his poll numbers were slipping. Thus, the virtuous Saint Jimmah got a number of troops killed, and risked the lives of numerous American diplomats, for the most crass political reasons.

That the hostages came safely home was no thanks to Jimmy Carter at all.

"Ridiculous. Mossadegh was not a virtuous democrat, he was a would-be dictator. The US overthrew him not because the US was in thrall to oil interests but because Mossadegh was overreliant on the Tudeh and vulnerable to a Communist coup." - JP


This is typical right wing thinking. Suspecting a communist conspiracy in very corner has led to all sorts of unnecessary interventions that denied many countries their rightful democratic leadership. Nationalism often takes a leftist bent in the third world but that doesn't mean it's communist or some USSR backed plot. A lot of suspicions haven proven to be historically untrue or grossly exaggerated.

If the shahs's massive security, military, and intelligence apparatus couldn't protect him from the wrath of his own people Carter wasn't going to magically do it. Ideologues theocratic or otherwise cannot succeed without the backing of the masses.


"Among other things, what could have been done differently would be NOT TO DO THE HOSTAGE RESCUE ATTEMPT AT ALL."

I agree. It was a media spectacle. All the analysis on it now concluded Carter show have calmed the hysteria rather than feed into it. Considering a lot of reforms were made in the spec ops community through the establishment of joint commands suggests the failures in the rescue mission were not just political.

Iran can't be blamed on Carter. A rational analysis of history would show that it was blowback for years of US meddling in that place. The Shah was a torturing savage right up there with Saddam. Iran going radical Islam was a natural result of idiotic US government policies and of course the actions of the Shah.

On the other topic regarding IQ. Perry is a goon however that doesn't change the fact that he took real courses in college. Any monkey can major in Law or Accounting. Law requires simple memorization skills and accounting requires simply infinite patience. In fact, accounting probably should not even be a degree field. It's more clerical.

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