February 19, 2008

Mrs. Obama as an Ivy League schoolgirl

Princeton won't let you read the senior thesis written by Mrs. Michelle Obama, a Sociology major / African American Studies minor, until after we've made her First Lady:

Robinson, Michelle LaVaughn (1985): Princeton Educated Blacks and the Black Community [Restricted until November 5, 2008].

But, a Newhouse News reporter apparently wrote it up last year before the curtain came down [via Allah Pundit at Hot Air]:

In her 1985 Princeton senior thesis, “Princeton-Educated Blacks and the Black Community,” Michelle LaVaughn Robinson lamented that white professors and classmates always saw her as “Black first and a student second.”

She had surveyed alumni to see whether they sacrificed their commitment to other blacks on the altar of success, and foresaw for herself an uneasy future: “further integration and/or assimilation into a White cultural and social structure that will only allow me to remain on the periphery of society; never becoming a full participant.”…

As Michelle Obama wrote in her thesis introduction, “My experiences at Princeton have made me far more aware of my ‘Blackness’ than ever before. I have found that at Princeton no matter how liberal and open-minded some of my White professors and classmates try to be toward me, I sometimes feel like a visitor on campus; as if I really don’t belong.”…

Michelle Obama was guided in her choice of thesis topic by a consuming concern that her success might compromise her black identity. As she wrote in her conclusion:

“I wondered whether or not my education at Princeton would affect my identification with the Black community. I hoped that these findings would help me conclude that despite the high degree of identification with Whites as a result of the educational and occupational path that Black Princeton alumni follow, the alumni would still maintain a certain level of identification with the black community. However, these findings do not support this possibility.”…

Michelle Obama’s fears of losing touch with her roots without ever being embraced into the mainstream led her to promise, in her thesis introduction, “to actively utilize my resources to benefit the Black community.”

Okay, it's schoolgirlish in style, especially compared to her husband's sonorous mature prose, but she was only 21 when she wrote it. The important thing, though, is that the artlessness of her writing allows the meaning to shine through more obviously than in Dreams From My Father -- but it's the same Story of Race and Inheritance.

That doesn't mean Mr. and Mrs. Obama still feel the way about race as they did in 1995, when Sen. Obama wrote his autobiography. Maybe they've changed their minds over the last 13 years? But shouldn't somebody ask them about it? I realize a lot of people think it would be an invasion of their privacy, but they are running for the White House.

Senator and Mrs. Obama, clearly, you both had big racial chips on your shoulders when you were younger. Are you still like that? You changed? When? Why? Would you advise other blacks to stop being so resentful?

When I read Obama's autobiography a year ago and said that Obama is not who you think he is, a lot of people said I was crazy and evil. Well, it's slowly playing out along the lines I sketched out back then.

- By the way, if Barack serves eight years as President, that would give Michelle eight years to parachute into some random state to be Senator so that she could run for President herself in 2024 at the exact same age Hillary is now.

- My wife says that if Obama gets the nomination and McCain picks Secretary of State Rice as his running mate, either Condi or Michelle is going to have to get a new hair-do or it's going to be a very confusing fall for television news shows. My wife feels Michelle has the elegant bone structure to go with the old Diahann Carrol-look of just pulling her hair straight back tight. (I think Lena Horne did the same thing.) That also gets around all the race minefields about why she is relaxing her hair (which I imagine Michelle has thought a lot about.)

- Although Newsweek says Mrs. Obama didn't graduate at the top of her high school class, keep in mind that she did go to Whitney Young, a big public school that only admits students via entrance exam (like Stuyvesant in NYC). On the other hand, if her teachers told her she didn't have the grades and test scores to get into the Princeton, they'd know, because Whitney Young has sent lots of grads to the Ivy League. So, she probably needed the double whammy of both affirmative action and being the legacy sister of her much-liked two-year-older brother Craig Robinson, who was on Princeton's famously scrappy underdog basketball team and is now the head coach at Brown. Michelle always saw him as the smart one in the family, so she was already sensitive about her intelligence before she got to Princeton.

- Toss in the class difference -- Princeton has always been very upper crusty, while she comes from solid but very lower middle class family -- and the usual teenage self-consciousness, and it's hardly surprising that Michelle was perpetually peeved at Princeton. Unfortunately, it sounds like she blamed all her inevitable adolescent angst on whites, a common response aggravated by the side effects of affirmative action, as I pointed out way back in 1991.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

53 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey, this is a little off topic, but here's a wonderful Obama site: http://obamawill.com

Enjoy!

Otto Kerner said...

Never trust people who capitalise "White" and "Black".

Anonymous said...

Mr. Sailer:
I live 35 miles southwest of Chicago and have been researching this guy since he started poking his head into Illinois politics. Like you, the more I discover, the more I think he's a fake and a fraud.

Now his wife's thesis is put under lock and key? I wonder why. Hmm.

Annoyed In Illinois

tommy said...

This sort of double standard seems common among blacks. They would have whites do one thing in regards to their race while expecting blacks to do the opposite. From that excerpt, I can practically hear Michelle arguing, "I want whites to identify me as a student first. How dare they do otherwise! I also want African-American peers to identify themselves as blacks first. How could they not?"

Truth said...

"This sort of double standard seems common among blacks. They would have whites do one thing in regards to their race while expecting blacks to do the opposite."

There is a lot of truth to this statement. I have very good black friends who will watch the olympics and root for any black from Namibia to beat any white from Philly at anything, then on the other hand they expect white sportswriters to be totally unbiased when discussing Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens.

Anonymous said...

OK Steve, time to turn that big brain of yours on to David Axelrod, the man behind both Obama's campaign, and, interestingly, the campaign of the man from whom Obama just 'borrowed' part of a speech, Deval Patrick. What's this guy's story?

- Fred

Eric said...

I'm not convinced this is a huge deal. If you're writing a paper for a major that ends in "studies", you better put stuff like that in if you want a good grade. And at that age you're definitely at the mercy of the establishment.

Martin said...

Princeton students probably identified Michelle Obama as "black first, student second", because she obviously defined herself as such. At least, she certainly does now - identify her self as black first, everything else second.

Both Michelle and Barack Obama belong to that class of people one might call "Professional Black Person" - i.e., not a professional who happens to be black (like Colin Powell, or Morgan Freeman, or Barack's brother), but rather someone for whom their blackness is their profession.

Roger Chaillet said...

She's a parasite. A parasite is someone or something that feeds off its host.

What has she accomplished?

Nothing, other than to steal a precious slot at Princeton from a more deserving student.

It's called a zero-sum game. Surely a bright person like her knows what this term means.

Anonymous said...

Steve,
You joked the other day about the folly of predictions, but I think you got one right: Obama's wife and preacher are trouble.

Bill Clinton hid Hillary after she showed her angry feminist colors back in '91-'92. I can't imagine Senator Obama not doing the same thing. I was just a kid, but when did Bill's "angry wife" problem surface: during the primary or the general? I understand that the Democratic party reconfigured it's primary process after McGovern, for example using super delegates as a check against the masses, to try to prevent another idealistic candidacy that would lose in a general election landslide. If Obama can't or won't control his wife, I expect he'll have a harder time with these folks than he does already.

daveg said...

Steve, sorry for this off topic post, but I have a real life modern day conspiracy for you.

Remember Iraq war I when the Kuwaiti girl testified that Iraqi troops had taken babies out of the incubators and left them to die?

Well, that was congress man Tom Holocaust Survivor Lantos who put her in front of congress.

She turned out to be fabricating the whole thing and she was actual a daughter of some high level Kuwaiti diplomat or something.

Additionally, just so the press couldn't check up on it they said they could not reveal her identity due to threat of reprisals.

This testimony was key to getting us involved in the war, and it was all fabricated and they probably knew it.

Sounds like a conspiracy to me.

L said...

Well, it's slowly playing out along the lines I sketched out back then.

Steve, you love data and the scientific method. Please provide us with some testable hypotheses as to hypothetical President Obama's actions. The only one that I can see that you've suggested is that you expect that he'll ply Kenya with lots of largesse.

Are these the lines you've suggested?

green mamba said...

This Michelle Obama stuff is making me more and more suspicious of the Obama campaign and what a possible Obama presidency might mean. This is a woman who has, as Steve notes, a huge chip on her shoulder and whose concerns are very heavily centered on her own ethnic community. Not someone we want whispering or nagging in the ear of the most powerful man on the planet.

Anonymous said...

Man you people are so freaking evil!!!! And you are suppose to be educated? I swear it's like reading the writings of some backwoods, redneck, pecker wood who's heart was ripped out and set on fire when you were children. Can't you intellectual racist ever stop looking under the fingernails of those that YOU decide aren't perfect? Those that are forever judged on 10 years or more old feelings. But then how could you? It's obviously that your holier than thou attitude for anyone who doesn't not just look like you, but doesn't think like you are simply wrong. And are open game for your type of judgment.

You are probably wired like this old white guy that I saw on Nightline years ago. He was having a discussion on race and he said in all his years he had never viewed the black man as his equal. But he came to see the error of his ways. He then so eloquently said he had had a come to Jesus meeting with his heart & soul and he felt he and his kind had been wrong NOT to give the black race its freedom. And then this old black man who was on the program as well spoke up and said see that's the problem with a lot of you white folks, you think that you have the power to "give" to the black race or any race what we were born with by way of the Creator---FREEDOM. He said freedom is not something that one person gives to another, it's something every human is born with.

So why don't you folks take all of this time you waste day after day and put it to something more positive. Help those who have less, and not just materially less. UPLIFT the country with the understanding that not everyone is going to be your cup of tea, but is born with the rights to their feelings. Ultimately that's what Barack is saying. It's refreshing to hear someone say we CAN change, but it's not gonna be easy. We all have a role to play. It's like something former Dallas Cowboy, Thomas Henderson said about his growth as it pertained to the retirement parade the city gave to the great Cowboy coach, Tom Landry. He said he can remember a time when he thought the world revolved around what he thought and he would have wanted to be IN the parade, but he came to realize that everyone has a role to play, even at a parade. He understood that if EVERYONE was in the parade there would be no one to watch it go by, and rather than it be a parade it would just be a line of people walking down the street.

As far as Michelle Obama's papers, you can't have it both ways. It is said she shouldn't be involved in the running of the country except to support her husband. We don't cast votes based on Michelle Obama. She's not running for the office of the presidency, so what she may have said or felt 20 years ago is not really relevant. It is what it is.

It's like the uproar of her statement about for the first time in her adult life she was proud of this country. Who are we to say those aren't legitimate feelings based on her life experience. That's her feeling. And feelings are neither right or wrong. They just are. Until you have walked in her shoes you really shouldn't judge. In fact you can't judge. Who are you or anyone once again in a position to be the judge on what is right or wrong about ones opinion. Those who do obviously haven't taken a moment to look at their own statements made in the context of their feelings which for the most part are formed based on life's experiences. Whether you are at the top of society or at the bottom no one has the right to say someone shouldn't feel "that" way.

Do you ever ask "why do have this God complex?". As my mother use to say, "Ain't nobody better than you, but remember, you ain't no better than nobody either". So rather than tear down someone, stop and think how can I help them.

But then you probably NEVER did anything along life's journey that you regret, because God knows you are perfect.

Barry

PS...Hey, I have often wondered one thing about perfect people and want to take this opportunity to ask a few this question. Why the heck are you spending time among us imperfect people? You should already have passed go and collected your 200 dollars, right? IS that the Creator I hear calling you? well, while you're waiting for that call we could sure use some positive help around here from you all!!!

Simon Newman said...

From such evidence as there is, the Obamas appear to be a black racist, which does not seem to be uncommon among African-Americans. I'm not sure this necessarily means he'll be a worse President than McCain, though. McCain seems more dangerous in terms of invade-the-world foreign policy. I have trouble imagining what really bad things Obama could do domestically that GW Bush wasn't already doing - defending affirmative action; backing immigration amnesty. Bush also got away with sending tens of thousands of Appalachian-Americans and others to be killed and maimed in his stupid Iraq war; I can't see Obama doing anything like that. He, like Hilary, would presumably try to expand state health care, which looks like a good idea to me anyway.

rightsaidfred said...

----I have found that at Princeton no matter how liberal and open-minded some of my White professors and classmates try to be toward me, I sometimes feel like a visitor on campus; as if I really don’t belong.”…----

Princeton of that era made everybody feel that way. No human was worthy.

In my experience on Ivy campuses in that era, Princeton was the most uptight about who was who and who belonged. I'd be interested in a survey of MO's cohorts from other Ivies on their sense of belonging.

Anonymous said...

Mrs. Obama should move to DC and get a job with the federal government. Among all the other ungrateful, resentful black women she'd fit right in.


Eternally Anonymous

AMac said...

Confederate Yankee linked to a 2/16/08 HuffPo essay by Larry Johnson -- a Dem partisan pouring cold water on Obama's candidacy. It's worth reading Johnson's synopsis of three vulnerabilities that the MSM has mostly ignored.

--- begin "No, He Can't..." excerpts ---

The Tony Rezko Problem:

There is a growing body of material in the blogosphere on this issue (looseheadprop has an excellent overview), but the mainstream media has paid little attention and most Americans know nothing of Rezko's bribery and corruption trial. Not yet. But that will change starting February 25, when Rezko goes on trial in Chicago.

[snip]

The William Ayers Problem:

William Ayers is an unrepentant terrorist, though he is normally described as a distinguished education professor. One does not necessarily rule out the other, but he himself acknowledges planting bombs in U.S. Federal buildings. There is now undeniable proof of a longstanding relationship between Barack Obama and William Ayers.

[snip]

The Problem of Rashid Khalidi:

So far, the press has paid little attention to Obama's ties to Rashid Khalidi, [Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies and head of the Middle East Institute] at Columbia University and PLO activist.

[snip]

--- end "No, He Can't..." excerpts ---

Anonymous said...

Some guidance counselors are knowledgeable and competant, others are not. My ex-husband was told that it would be pointless for him to apply to UCLA (his first choice) because his GPA was two low. After he began attending another college, he was informed that he could have gotten in to UCLA based strictly on his SAT scores. The best advice I ever got regarding college applications was from the president of a Christian college who visited my Sunday school class. He said that each of us should spend the money to apply to our dream college, because we MIGHT get in, and if we didn't, at least we wouldn't spend our lives wondering if we would have gotten in.

Mrs. Obama is starting to look like a big-time whiner, but she was right to take a chance and apply to the school she wanted to attend.

Anonymous said...

No blacks including so-called conservatives would disagree with Michelle's seemingly innocuous "community" feelings. (Could any black admit to being comfortable among whites in America, even those who move to white neighborhoods to escape other blacks?) But none of them, and certainly not Michelle, understands what they're saying: that whites and blacks produce different and essentially incompatible societies. There is no way to bridge that difference so that blacks will feel comfortable, apart from a radical transformation of white society to black standards -- just what blacks so desperately want to be free from.

Concerned said...

Are you sure she didn't get into Whitney Young via affirmative action? Excuse me, goals and timetables.

Tripp said...

I hear exactly the same thing, Tommy. I remember in college an editorial in the student newspaper by a student, who explained that the way to be fair to him was to forget that he was black while always keeping in mind that he was black. It honestly didn't sound like satire - he was asking the impossible, and considered it a completely sensible request.

It made me sort of sad. The writer didn't come off as particularly angry, but his ideology made him feel completely justified, not just in condoning doublethink, but in demanding it. If I had known this guy (really well) I would have said, "Sorry, no can do. How about I keep in mind that your heritage is just as complex as everyone else's, and that your character means more." And then I'd hope he'd realize good character means abandoning dehumanizing ideologies which create unsolvable problems for people of a certain race.

I always thought the web would partly satisfy our (intermittent) demands that we not be demographically identifiable. Doesn't seem to have worked out that way.

Udolpho said...

Boy, Michelle is not going to wear well. That "I am proud of America for the first time now that I am finally getting the attention I deserve" remark is just so tone-deaf and alienating, you have to wonder how many more howlers we will hear from her before the handlers slip her a roofie and abscond with her to some Nebraska root cellar.

Anonymous said...

Why haven't you made any comments about Mrs. Obama's latest gaffe? It makes you sound like a true prophet.

Anonymous said...

There is another double-standard at work as well: I want to be granted special rights/conditions in admission via affirmative action BUT I want those who weren't granted such rights to treat me as if I hadn't been either.

Maybe she didn't need affirmative action to get in but that is the constant downside to AA: People belonging to a classification of people traditionally admitted under affirmative action tend to be looked upon as needing it to succeed whether or not that is true.

Anonymous said...

one spur to Obama's determination to be "black enough" was undoubtedly Michelle; he had to live up to her apparently tough blackness standard in order to... And surely it was Michelle who just had to have that house. Yes, Michelle, you are black enough. Rest easy.

agnostic said...

move to DC and get a job with the federal government. Among all the other ungrateful, resentful black women she'd fit right in.

Next stop, Medical Center...

William said...

This is a woman who has, as Steve notes, a huge chip on her shoulder and whose concerns are very heavily centered on her own ethnic community.

If Americans are going to elect someone who is obsessed with their race then why not have that be the race to which the majoriy of Americans belong?

And then this old black man who was on the program as well spoke up and said see that's the problem with a lot of you white folks, you think that you have the power to "give" to the black race or any race what we were born with by way of the Creator---FREEDOM.

500-600 thousand dead, mostly white Americans says otherwise.

But none of them, and certainly not Michelle, understands what they're saying: that whites and blacks produce different and essentially incompatible societies. There is no way to bridge that difference so that blacks will feel comfortable, apart from a radical transformation of white society to black standards -- just what blacks so desperately want to be free from.

Reminds me of something Jonah Goldberg wrote a few years ago, about Australian Aborigines who want all the benefits of modern medicine but still want to believe in shamans and emdicine men and evil spirits causing disease.


The more we learn about Obama the better the odds of a McCain Administration get. Whether that's good for the GOP or not I have no idea.

dearieme said...

It would seem, however, that the young woman knew how to use a hyphen (“Princeton-Educated Blacks and the Black Community”) whereas Princeton doesn't.

Anonymous said...

Looking at the Larry Johnson piece, I am not sure I find it too credible, mainly because I know Rashid Khalidi. He was not, and is not, a "PLO activist." He was part of the guidance committee at the 1991 Madrid conference, and the Israelis refused to let anyone who had a direct connection to the PLO sit on that committee.

He does have opinions which will not play well in the "Israel is always right" areas of the country, but he did not, in my experience, like the PLO much.

Planetary Archon Mouse

Vicuna said...

Michelle Obama is the quintessential resentful affirmative-action babe.*

Her IQ is probably, like, 2-2.5 standard deviations above the American black median. She is smart enough to realize she's not really very bright. She was socialized to think academic achievement is very important. She has the credentials now, but she knows they are hollow-- that she didn't earn them fairly. She transmutes much of the shame she feels into hostility toward the (white) people who run "the system" that left her in this lurch.

Worse, she was raised and educated to identify with other black people, but she knows that most of them are much less sharp than she is. It's hard for smart people to identify with dimwits. Mrs. Obama takes emotional refuge in the notion that oppression (of blacks, by whites) explains the obvious disparities in average ability by race.

(I don't doubt that she found socializing at Princeton difficult and ended up bonding only with fellow AA students. Besides having been conscripted into the resentment brigade from the beginning, she was stuck in a special social hell: too smart to fit in with black townies but too dull to fit in with white Princeton students, even if they were perfectly colorblind and even if they didn't look down on AA admits. Really, when the non-AA students average 135 IQ and the townies average less than 100, we must expect 120 IQ AA students to hang together.)

Mrs. Obama got AA'ed into one school after another and even into very-highly-paid law jobs. Yet she left the path of high-pay low-effort tokenism, a path most people (regardless of race) would be glad to tread, for political jobs condescending to beneficiaries and sucking up to sponsors. Why? Because in her "social work" jobs she is the smartest person in the room most of the time (the reverse of the situation in her law jobs), and empowered to congratulate herself for "taking care of blacks."

Naturally, she is still a token, frequently trotted out to amuse the white sponsors who fund her position. She probably rationalizes that by viewing those whites as suckers she dupes into funding the hate-whitey propaganda she dispenses along with pseudo-charity and affirmative racism.


*Well, not "babe" in the sense of "good looking." Michelle Obama appears to be one of those high-testosterone black women. Besides her aggressive personality, she's got the craggy face and the mesomorphic body shape. She looks a lot tougher than her husband, the Presidential candidate.

Anonymous said...

Barry, you are right on that we all have a role to play. And nobody is God but God.

Where do people get the idea that all white people magically like each other and get along in some kind of world dominating conspiracy? White people are trying to do their thing and go with the flow and make it, just like everyone else.

White people don't "take control" because they have a God complex. People end up with control because when life gets tough (as it inevitably does) somehow everyone else is conveniently busy or not available or whatever the excuse is. And some poor guy is left there alone holding the remote control.

White people are scared they will wake up one day and everything we all call "civilization" will be gone. Looking around the world, looking at places like, well, Kenya, that fear is not unreasonable.

Easy to criticize those Brits with their "White Man's Burden" ideas. They saw it differently. They saw that civilization only hangs by a thread, and below the thin veneer of those who worry about keeping the world running is a mass of hungry, dependent people. They saw their work as a burden and a duty, not a privilege.

White people are not good at everything, they are not angels from a fairy tale. And white people do not have all the answers. But as a group, they do have some peculiar virtues of organization, responsibility, leadership, and cooperation. Black people have their own peculiar virtues too, as do Asians and Latinos. Hopefully one day we can all find our proper place in support of one another.

Anonymous said...

"And feelings are neither right or wrong. They just are. Until you have walked in her shoes you really shouldn't judge."
Whites have profound and valid reasons for feeling mistrustful of blacks as we do. We have been robbed, murdered and raped by blacks (me nearly, several of my friends), seen our neighborhoods turned to ruins, been subjected to vile harrassment. And surprisingly, this happened to us in spite of us being quite educated. Amazing.
Your weird epithets have been perpetrated ad nauseum by a mostly white media. Heard em all. If they ever made any sense, they are dated now. The most intelligent people I know are basically agree with Steve Sailer's ideas of race not because of "ignorance" but because of knowledge.

Anonymous said...

"And feelings are neither right [n]or wrong. They just are. Until you have walked in her shoes you really shouldn't judge. In fact you can't judge. Who are you or anyone once again in a position to be the judge on what is right or wrong about ones opinion. "

So if my opinion were that blacks are shifty, like loose shoes and engage in crime, who is to judge me?

henry said...

After reading some of Steve's posts, I was intrigued enough about Michelle Obama to look at some clips of her on Youtube. To my surprise, she spoke about her family and husband in a manner that I found to be appealing and genuine. I also find most of the comments about her college thesis rather overblown, judging from the exerpts in the article. I didn't detect any of the hostility that has been attributed to her. She felt out of place and aware of her Blackness while at Princeton, something that I think most Americans will have sympathy for. Most of us who went to college experienced some feelings of alienation and disenchantment at some point. In any case, any suspicions among the public that she is full of anti-white anger will be dispelled once they see her on TV interacting well with white audiences.

Truth said...

"Her IQ is probably, like, 2-2.5 standard deviations above the American black median. She is smart enough to realize she's not really very bright."

If she is 2.5 standard deviations above the American black median, her IQ would be 122 which would, make her brighter than almost 90% of all whites. Does that make her "not really very bright." If so, we love in a dumb country

Anonymous said...

let's face it: the election is between a man no one wants to question, a woman scorned, and a character from doctor strangelove.

I can't decide which path we are most f*cked on for the next four years. I despair.

Cabrolet said...

Michelle Obama appears to be one of those high-testosterone black women. Besides her aggressive personality, she's got the craggy face and the mesomorphic body shape. She looks a lot tougher than her husband, the Presidential candidate.

I haven't posted here in a while. This place has gotten even more truthful... and vicious.

What a thread.

Cabrolet said...

...let's face it: the election is between a man no one wants to question, a woman scorned, and a character from doctor strangelove.

All you need to know is that this election is between senators. And that is in itself a completely abnormal situation. In a presidential campaign, the American people traditionally reject senators as the worst kind of slippery, paid-for, fence-sitting opportunists. Senators like Richard Nixon and Albert Gore, who serve as Vice-President, have a slightly better chance of getting elected.

But the fact that it's between senators screams BULLSH*T. The last Senator elected was Kennedy in a fix. The last election featuring exclusively senator candidates was when exactly???

Anonymous said...

McCain is probably not THAT bad. He DID (I loathe the guy, but give credit where it's due) undergo lots of torture, real torture, by the NVA. Guy had a close up and personal view of what war really is. More than Hillary or Obama. And that War is best avoided by intimidating the other guy but not crossing the line. Neither too weak (invites aggression ala "Muslim Summit" of Obama and his "Apology for America World Tour") or too aggressive so that the other guy can't back down without losing face.

Like it or not, we need some of that since nuclear proliferation is a done deal, can't be stopped, and it lets tin-pot nations have the ability to nuke US cities if their tribal leaders get pissed off at some cartoonist somewhere.

Anonymous said...

The last election featuring exclusively senator candidates was when exactly???

Two sitting senators? Actually, never. Though we came close in 1920 and 1844, to name two elections.

AMac said...

Planetary Archon Mouse wrote --

Looking at the Larry Johnson piece, I am not sure I find it too credible...

Thanks for the perspective (Apologies for diverting the discussion).

Anonymous said...

"If she is 2.5 standard deviations above the American black median, her IQ would be 122 which would, make her brighter than almost 90% of all whites."
IQ inflation is pretty common, especially among those who should know better. We're all above average, and superior is above superior. In fact the average Ivy League (white/Asian) IQ is 122-125. Sorry, don't recall where I got this stat but I've come across it many times. Once you go over 130, you get into more rarified territory and even in the upper echelons of academia only a minority are there. There average ENGINEER has an IQ of 130 on most lists, but I don't know if they were MIT engineers.
So. MO's IQ is probably in the 110-115 range at most, which is about right for professional, shall we say, demographic. Nothing in her career or current utterances suggests anything higher and even 115 is probably generous. But she is a reasonably bright person, certainly as bright as many other would-be presidents' wives, and for once, truth, you are correct. She is indeed brighter than the average white (or Asian). Even with a 105 IQ she'd be brighter than average. She's just not true "elite intellectual" material, not that there's anything wrong with that, but that's what she aspired to and that's the source of her frustration. Among blacks she's in the in upper 5% at least. Among whites, even the average Joe Schmoes, she's (minus the attitude), nothing too special type. I am sometimes amazed at the mental mechanics of the young economists and lawyers (don't know any engineers just now) in my workplace. The quickness of their brains, the facility with which they put together and analyze info, coming up with the right answers (one of these prodigies, a web designer, is black, btw). Somehow I doubt MO would wow any of the Princetonians with her brains and abilities, but I do think she could bully them.

Anonymous said...

Vicuna:

Your understanding of the psychological consequences of AA is spot on. I wonder, however, how much of her alienation was the result of racism? One aspect of race relations never considered because it can't be attributed to white racism is the natural experience of a minority in a majority environment. That could be blacks in America, whites in China, etc. Much of what now is felt by blacks as racism, what they are conditioned to feel as racism, is just their response to being a minority, for which there is no cure. That makes their demand for a cure -- that is, to their internal feelings of separateness -- fundamentally irresolvable. Thus their resentment grows ever more virulent. Only if Princeton becomes majority or near-majority nonwhite will blacks be capable of feeling comfortable.

vicuna said...

From reading the portions of Michelle Obama's undergrad essay shown in the story Steve linked to, and considering that she graduated from Harvard Law (albeit with preferences) and passed the bar exam (in Illinois, at least) her IQ is likely 113+ and 120 wouldn't surprise me. (The American black IQ standard deviation is around 14.)

(Steve, can you report Michelle's SAT or LSAT scores? Or Barack's? Or some proxy?)

120-ish is "smart," even compared to the white average, but it is not "very bright."

A quick Google search finds articles reporting various average SAT (old style) scores for Princeton over the years in the 1400+ range (the current Princeton website doesn't say-- and Princeton seems to have quit talking about it, undoubtedly to head off comparisons between scores for AA and regular students).

The SAT averages reported for Princeton suggest an student IQ average there of 135+ (of course there will be two tails, and perhaps not a nice bell curve, since AA, athletic, special talent (e.g., music), and legacy students may not cluster with the academic-talent students).

All that is why I guess Michelle Obama nee Robinson is smart but still didn't seem very bright at Princeton (or HLS, for that matter).

Anonymous said...

http://www.sciencenews.org/articles/20060401/fob1.asp

IQs over 110 are considered high.
121-149 is considered "superior."
Mensa--you have to score at least 132 to get in--considers any score over 130 superior, and over 140, genius.
Apparently in the science article cited above, the average and "high" children had similar brain develoment while the "superior" kids' brains developed on somewhat different tangent. I think this sort of physiological data will be what will ultimately prove this. Opinions and delusions are slippery things.

Truth said...

I would say that none of us has any reasonable idea as to high smart Michelle Obama is, your feelings on this (as well as mine) are pure conjecture. One thing I do know, is that one of our smartest presidents had an interesting viewpoint on the whole Michelle Obama/Debie Thomas-are-idiots because-they-are-black-even-though everything-else-points-otherwise theory:

If you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he'll empty his pockets for you.
-LYNDON B. JOHNSON, 1960

I think is is a brilliant, as well as timely quote, and I also assume that many of you are broke.

People with ungodly high IQs are generally thinkers, rather than doers in any event.

http://www.aceviper.net/estimated_iq_of_famous_people.php

Most of the truly high IQ people on this list, have no accomplished anything particularly special other than telling the world what they thought about what they saw (philosophers). In other words they were excellent Sociology students (as was Michelle Obama).

dodo said...

The neo-cons must be reading this thread.

Anonymous said...

"Most of the truly high IQ people on this list, have no accomplished anything particularly special other than telling the world what they thought about what they saw (philosophers)."

One more time, truth misses the plot. Most people are not great inventors no matter how intelligent. People in general must efficiently maintain, use, improve, analyze, what has already been invented and done if you want a first world society. The efficiency and insight with which high-functioning people, i.e. members of a productive society, do these things predicts how well the society will function. Almost no Austrians are Mozart but he could have been nothing else, i think; very few Jews are Einstein, but can you imagine an Irish Einstein? a Jewish James Joyce?; Isaac Newtons are in short supply too. But several generations of obscure mathematicians and hobby inventors plugged away until the Industrial revolution appeared, followed in short order by the space race.
Most of us have experience with the likes of Mrs. O. For anyone in a large urban setting, replete with lawyers, academics and government employees, she's a known quantity, as is someone like Bill Clinton or Jeb Bush. We know the type. We have a pretty good idea of how far she can take intellectual insight and objectivity. Just like when I go to a predominantly Jewish law firm, I sort of know who I'll be dealing with.
Most people with IQs over, oh, let's use that "not too bright" number of 120 (still upper 10%), do not become Supermind. But Supermind has to have an IQ over 120. Full stop.

Tripp said...

"One more time, truth misses the plot."

Not to mention missing the fact that Beethoven and Cardinal Wolsey were neither philosophers, nor sociologists. I'm still trying to work out this manichaean distinction between "thinking" and "doing". If you figure out where the earth-moon LaGrange points are with your 18th Century telescope and pen and paper, haven't you "invented" a map of outer space? Didn't Sununu's governing New Hampshire count as "doing" anything?

Lucius Vorenus said...

Steve Sailer: Princeton won't let you read the senior thesis written by Mrs. Michelle Obama, a Sociology major / African American Studies minor, until after we've made her First Lady...

And Google has scrubbed the transcript of her UCLA remarks from their database:

My Michelle Obama transcript has been removed from the Google database.
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/1974690/posts

The original UCLA transcript is here:

Michelle Obama - We have to fix our souls - our souls are broken [AUDIO & TRANSCRIPT]
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1972093/posts

Anonymous said...

The Thesis of Michelle Obama is avialable in 4 pts at:
http://www.politico.com/
news/stories/0208/8642.html

Anonymous said...

LULZ, that's some scary stuff.

Heal The World
Make It A Better Place
For You And For Me
And The Entire Youman Race

[falsetto]
There Are People Dyiiiiiiing ...
[/falsetto]

Man, these Libruls are worse than the Priests of Old.

- "Healing" the World
- "Fixing" our souls in every way imaginable
- Selling us Pies in the Skies

Michelle Obama, the Healing Magic Negress! :P