March 31, 2011

A classmate's view of Obama

Much of what we know about Obama comes from people he sucked up to (David Remnick's biography The Bridge, for example, is unconsciously hilarious as various personages Obama has kissed up to go on and on about they told all their friends the first time they met him that he should be President). The more interesting perspectives have come from those people who observed him without being in a position to forward his glorious career, such as his Harvard Law School classmate who had been the bass player for The Runaways.

From the comments, here's another plausible sounding perspective on Obama at HLS:
I went there [Harvard Law School] one year behind Obama, had one class together. I graduated cum laude, and my measured IQ last time was 156, and I got perfect score on LSAT. But I am also a little bit ADHD-ish, and I don't think I studied as diligently as most of my peers. I mention this because (besides being defensive about not doing better) while the HLS population is quite smart, they are even more different from average in discipline and diligence, and while Obama was not the smartest guy there, he was f****** amazing in terms of discipline. Over all, I think his package of mental gifts are well superior to mine.

First of all, not all classes were blind graded. On many there were signed papers. And in my class, Obama sat in the front row every day and gazed at the professor with an adoration that Nancy Reagan would have been embarrassed to beam at Ron. He worked them incredibly assiduously. And very successfully. That helped his scores. That isn't LSAT intelligence, but it requires an interpersonal skill that is way beyond mine, and I hazard, way beyond anyone reading this. That is very demanding, and he had that ON TOP OF very respectable raw IQ.

I know that because there are a lot of classes that are blind graded, not easily gamed, and you can't be a dope in them and get magna. Even without his brilliant suck-up skills, he would make the top half of the Harvard distribution.

Steve is right to focus on his ability to paraphrase opponents' arguments to disarm them. Someone of glaringly average intelligence -- like say, Amanda Marcotte -- is a complete failure at that.

As far as his hesitation to make decisions, I don't ascribe that to lack of intelligence. It is part conscious strategy. He never gave a substantive opinion in class -- he just paraphrased others. People loved it, and thought he was brilliant. Those of us who thought that made him a pussy were few and far between. And he kept to that strategy with iron discipline. You might think of it as like the post-modern philosophy in chess: never commit until after the other guy does, and then you have the chance to decide what to do when you have learned more. I agree there are a lot of problems with that strategy for being president, but it sure does seem to work like gang-busters for getting to be president.

Though I think it is more than strategy, cause he does it even when it is stupid. I think that was his survival skill for being the only black kid in Hawaii and Indonesia. I mean think about it, that has to be terrifying, and living in that kind of fear for so long has to leave a mark. Clinton learned from his abusive alcoholic parents to lie lie lie, and do whatever feels good. Obama learned from his disinterested, abandoning parents to never let yourself be vulnerable by committing to anything.

Anyway, my main point is: I don't want this guy to be president, and I don't share his beliefs, and I think he is more than half a crook (see e.g. Michelle's bag collecting disguised as a phony baloney job at U of C hospital). But anyone is a fool who takes his talents lightly.

One thing that's fascinating about Obama is that he had such a hard time understanding that he had a Rev. Wright problem. He donated large amounts of money to Wright's church in 2005, 2006, and 2007, which appears on his publicly released tax records. He named his 2006 bestseller The Audacity of Hope after a Wright sermon. Wright was going to give the invocation at Obama's presidential kickoff rally in Springfield in February 2007 up until somebody convinced Obama to disinvite Wright the night before.

Wright understood all this better than Obama. As Wright told the NYT in 2007 about why he was disinvited, when people find out I went to Libya with Farrakhan and met with Gadaffi ...

And yet, as David Plouffe has admitted, the Obama campaign staff was blindsided by Wright videos finally appearing in the MSM on Feb. 13, 2008. They were just lucky Wright was on a cruise at the moment. When he got back and went on his media tour six weeks later, he made Obama's famous race speech look like a pack of lies.

Ultimately, Wright supposedly spent the fall campaign in email hell in Africa, which sounds like smart planning on the part of the Obama braintrust ... finally.

255 comments:

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Anonymous said...

He never gave a substantive opinion in class..

===============================

maybe the world is very complicated and thus not easily apt to be given to strong substantive opinions... ??

maybe there are many many points of view on any issue, and they all have valid claims.. thus if u go 100% gung ho on any one side, u ignore the humanity of tohers.

Dan Kurt said...

re: Obama

Well, given all of the comments of these two Obama posts, the question of Obama's smarts must be settled. That done now tackle the really hard nut.

Why did Obama and HS* give up their Law Licenses in the early 90s. Inquiring Minds ( that is, non-lawyers ) want to know. Don't refer me to Snopes on this as I read the entry there and was not convinced it was the straight dope.

Dan Kurt
* HS = his wife

Anonymous said...

What an error-filled comment from a supposed Harvard alumnus.

Anonymous said...

What an error-filled comment from a supposed Harvard alumnus.

Oh dear, blogger seems to have lost the part of your comment where you explained what those errors were. How annoying for you, now you'll have to repost the whole thing.

Anonymous said...

Unless you name this person, I'm not believing his testimony.

Anonymous said...

any chance that this "classmate" is not really Obama's classmate but instead a hoaxer?

Just wondering.

Anonymous said...

I don't believe the author of this article is for real

Anonymous said...

Someone in the previous thread put it perfectly.

When people talk about 'the smartest man in the room.' they're usually referring to charisma, not raw intelligence.

A pocket protector wearing engineering grad with an extremely high IQ will very rarely (if ever) be referred to as the smartest man in the room. On the other hand, an MBA type who knows how to work people will be described as this constantly, despite not possessing the highest intelligence in the room.

Charisma>>>>>>>>>>>>>Intelligence.

none of the above said...

It strikes me that one requirement for political success in our times is to be very careful to leave as little record behind as possible. Any document you write will end up on the web, both raw and painstakingly excerpted to make you look like a monster or an idiot. Any public speech you give or event you attend, similarly, will end up on YouTube.

So anyone intelligent and willing to express opinions and argue points openly automatically gets a huge bullseye painted on their back. Worse, anyone with a brain will often have disagreed with stuff that later became party gospel, and that will be found out by their opponents' researchers.

Look how Kerry's opposition to the Vietnam war (which was, in truth, a collosal waste of lives and wealth, for zero benefit) was used against him in the 2004 election. Look at the dancing around Romney has had to do, to pretend like he believes all that his party demands he believe, in order to get the nomination.

The result is that the most electable people are people who didn't leave much of a paper trail, and mostly didn't say anything when they did leave a paper trail.

Anonymous said...

It's just too difficult to fake magna at HLS (and if you somehow do have the ability to fake it you are clearly VERY sharp).



i don't think non-lawyers understand law school. this isn't like getting a 4.0 in political science. ls grades are mostly legitimate and harshly curved (as the 4.0 political science majors find out).


HLS students are significantly brighter than H undergrad students. And they are mostly gunners. Obama did well against the curve on blindly graded tests that are largely IQ tests--nearly everyone at HLS studies and the tests are generally timed "issue spotters" that sort the analytical wheat from the chaff. LS exams are not just about studying/memorization/writing style. they are about how well you analyze problems under serious time pressure.

BO may not have been top 10% on blindly graded exams; I don't know. I do know that he couldn't have done poorly on them and that everyone else had the same chance as he to take easier classes as a 3l (or however you think he gamed his way to magna).

Anonymous said...

While Obama is a great paraphraser, one thing that's been disappointing to progressives is that he's a horrible negotiator. He keeps trying get ahead of Republicans in adopting their slogans, probably because that strategy has always worked for him in his personal career, but now with only one half of the legislative branch, none of the executive branch, and an employment crisis, Republicans have shifted the policy agenda has shifted from stimulus to Hooverish belt tightening.

Anonymous said...

"David Remnick's biography The Bridge, for example, is unconsciously hilarious as various personages Obama has kissed up to go on and on about they told all their friends the first time they met him that he should be President"

Remnick meant to praise Obama, but it actually makes liberals, especially Jewish ones, look really bad. They hardly knew the guy but thought he should be president cuz of... what? Style! Obama was to them what a starlet might be to an Hollywood mogul. It was not about what Obama was or knew; it was about how he looked, sounded, and moved. He was their star for a political blockbuster written and produced by their kind.

Ironically, their choice of a president wasn't much different than how whites used to buy slaves. Whites would take one look, see how sturdy the slave was, how good his teeth was, and then made the decision on the spot just like that. Similarly, white liberals took one good look at Obama and thought, 'that's s our boy, I mean, president'. Obama, the Boy King.

But then, we have GOP dummmies in love with Palin.

David said...

>What an error-filled comment from a supposed Harvard alumnus.<

A traitor to his class, so to speak?

You aren't implying that the fellow went to Yale?

Anonymous said...

I suspect his Wright-blindness resulted from him thinking that he'd never in a million years be President. A black guy with an African name and an upbringing in a Muslim country who's cultivated relationships with left wing former terrorists like Ayers? I think in his heart he believes white culture--the middle and lower class of whites--are too racist to vote him in. To assume otherwise invalidates most of the left-wing cant his mother taught him.

Anonymous said...

I'll say this much. If the media had given him the Sarah Palin treatment in 2008, he could not have won. He couldn't even hate beaten Hillary. Yes, he is good at politics, but it took two to tango. Media danced with him in a kind of 'political dancing with the stars'. Media stepped on Hillary's toes.
And when the financial crisis hit, media worked with Obama to blame it all on the GOP, even though Wall Street donations went 2/3 to Obama. Also, with record 750 million war chest(not least from Wall Street), Obama's tv ads outnumbered McCains by 3 to 1, and 5 to 1 in swing states.

McCain had three personal weaknesses. He was old and tired. He was 'white-guilty' and couldn't go after Obama hard. He wasn't much of a brain to begin with.
But even if he had effectively gone after Obama on Wright and Ayers, media would have attacked him for red-baiting than attack Obama for odious associations. OTOH, if McCain had scary personal associates on the far right, it would have been fair game for Obama to attack McCain.

Anonymous said...

Why don't you fess up to your incorrect prediction which you brought up multiple times? Rev. Wright didn't return to the public stage just before the election as you predicted.

tommy said...

He never gave a substantive opinion in class.

This is what I've noticed about the guy all along: whatever his supposed intelligence, he's entirely uncreative and he doesn't lead at all. He would be a complete yes man if he wasn't such a narcissist.

As far as his hesitation to make decisions, I don't ascribe that to lack of intelligence. It is part conscious strategy.

Or his lack of a more thoughtful strategy...

What an error-filled comment from a supposed Harvard alumnus.

I noticed that, too.

Anonymous said...

When I was in college I used to sit in the front row of every class.

Not to suck up to the teachers, but to intimidate them/the other students and establish My Dominance.

I learned this from being a white female in an Asian dominated high school.

Half of getting good grades is mentally psyching your opponents.

And look how well it works! The guy who has a 156 IQ is practically falling over himself in awe of Obama's ability to pick a chair in the First Row! WOOT! :) hehehehehehe

Hail said...

The commenter claiming to be Obama's classmate wrote:
_________________________________
"in my class, Obama sat in the front row every day and gazed at the professor with an adoration that Nancy Reagan would have been embarrassed to beam at Ron. He worked them incredibly assiduously. And very successfully."
_________________________________

Wasn't Obama said to be introverted at school? And "no one remembered him"? The commenter's description does not fit that mold, at all.

That was at Columbia (where no one remembered him**), this is Harvard. Could a person's personality change so much over a few years?



** -- The strange fact that no one remembered Obama was fuel for Pastor James David Manning anti-Obama fire. (Manning's sermons condemning Obama at his Harlem church made him a "hit" for a time). Manning popularized the conspiracy theory that Obama never attended Columbia. According to this far-out theory, Obama was a CIA asset doing Islamic liason work overseas at the time that he "allegedly" was at Columbia.

Thripshaw said...

One thing that's fascinating about Obama is that he had such a hard time understanding that he had a Rev. Wright problem.

He never really had a Rev. Wright problem. The fairy tale promoted by the Jewish dominated press and their Goy useful idiots is that all immigrants, blacks and Jews are wonderful, noble beings whose moral purity must never be questioned. Look at how the left slaver over black cop killers and give respect to slick, uncredentialed hustlers like Al Sharpton.

On the other hand, all white goyim are sick, despicable racists. Even the Clintons, who were lambasted in the media throughout the primaries as racial reactionaries. Mad bomber McCain didn’t even raise the issue at all in the general election for fear of being called a racist.

Obama’s lack of "sensitivity" about Rev. Wright’s anti-whitey B.S. is not surprising.

Christopher Paul said...

I'll take an "error-filled" illuminating comment over a worthless one like yours, Anonymous.

rob said...

Dunno about Obama, but that was a pithy and accurate summary of Amanda Marcotte.

Dave said...

Errors in an anonymous blog comment don't surprise me. What does surprise me is that a Harvard Law grad in his late 40s wouldn't feel established enough in his career to write that comment under his own name. Gives you an idea of how slippery the pole is, even for alumni of the most elite schools.

Pissed Off Chinaman said...

Well this is as good an assessment of Obama as any I've seen. I'm surprised the paper classes were not blind graded though.

Pissed Off Chinaman said...

And to all the folks on the Stevosphere, ya'll can acknowledge that Obama is smarter than ya'll and still think he is a crappy President....it's the conclusion that I've come to.

Anonymous said...

That "classmate" is most likely some Axelrod acolyte. Astroturf.

John said...

I think Hillary would have gotten the Dem nomination had the Wright tapes surfaced earlier in the primary season.

Simon said...

I stopped reading when the classmate said -

Someone of glaringly average intelligence -- like say, Amanda Marcotte -- is a complete failure at that.

Mandy Pandy is an idiot on any scale – she is an English lit major who has no knowledge of literature and who can’t write English. Obie was apparently a very tall dwarf at Harvard.

Reg C├Žsar said...

That a man figured out how to exploit the softheadedness of America's reigning civic religion by making himself "a blank screen" for our fantasies, that he managed to make himself the most powerful man in the world... remains among the oddest and most under-reported stories of this century.
-- SS, "Obama's War", earlier today

So, Chance the gardener got himself elected Zelig. Or have I got that backwards?

Anonymous said...

He never gave a substantive opinion in class...

In class, that's okay--who wants to listen to some blowhard during class? But if Obama never gave a substantive opinion in private, that would be more worrisome. Unfortunately, the only people who know him in private are friends and cronies, who'd never tell.

In any case, it's obvious that Obama is in over his head and, just like Dubya, relies almost totally on his advisors to tell him what to do. He's certainly not stupid, but he's definitely weak and indifferent.

bgc said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

OT

Good to know Elia Kazan's AMERICA AMERICA is available on dvd. Maybe the greatest film on the immigration experience. Few directors had as pungent a sense of local culture: Mexican in VIVA ZAPATA, Southern in STREETCAR, working class ethnic in WATERFRONT, and Turkish-Greek-Armenian in AMERICA AMERICA.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kGQ8DgjTwU

Anonymous said...

the closest parallel of Obama'ism that I can think of is Rush-Limbaugh'ism:

what is limbaughism?

well, Rush will not take stands on the most controversial issues!!!

consider birtherism, he doesn't come out as a "birther" it would be too controversial and could explode in his face, so instead he saids raises the point that birthers ask a "legitimate question" about Obama's birth certificate.

isn't this exactly what Obama does?

you see, Rush has one goal and only one priority: to retain and maximize his audience numbers so he can them whatever his sponsors who pays him the millions want to sell the people.

Anonymous said...

"But if Obama never gave a substantive opinion in private, that would be more worrisome."

It doesn't pay to say anything substantive in politics. Look what happened to James Watson.
Or even Daniel Moynihan when he opened his mouth about the culture of poverty.
Especially in this age of PC, it pays to be vague in speech. Do stuff but don't spell it out. Attack Libya but don't say it's a war. Push 'gay marriage' but don't talk about it.

AllanF said...

Remember the old yellow ribbon thing? I suggest everyone in America take a pledge to refer to our president as Barry Springbreak Obama until the war in Libya ends.

It does have a nice ring to it.

elvisd said...

The discussion on the "paper trail effect" illustrates how this "gotcha politics" has weakened the pool of politicians.

There was a time when you could be a fuckup and a half and still do great things in this country. I can think of no better example than Sam Houston. Could you imagine electing someone for anything above dogcatcher now who ran away from home as a teenager, joined a band of Cherokee Indians, became a schoolteacher at 18, drank all the time, fought in the War of 1812, became governor of Tennessee, resigned under a cloud of a disgraced marriage, left TN and rejoined his by-then exiled band of Cherokees across the MS River, sank into alcoholism, picked up a common-law Cherokee wife, faced all kinds of accusations on the floor of Congress by acting as an Indian-rights lobbyist, led a successful takeover of Texas,led said place as a republic, convinced a skeptical Texas leadership to join it to the US, endured branding as a Unionist by the secessionists, and ended his career by resigning as governor of TX and by telling his public that the Yankees will just whip their asses in a war?

THey don't make 'em like they used to.

Anonymous said...

I realize this isn't the point of the (alleged) classmate's comment, but I've gotta say it. Is being a black kid in Hawaii really any more "terrifying" than being a white kid in Hawaii?

Anonymous said...

In class, that's okay--who wants to listen to some blowhard during class?

Oh, please.

SFG said...

"Errors in an anonymous blog comment don't surprise me. What does surprise me is that a Harvard Law grad in his late 40s wouldn't feel established enough in his career to write that comment under his own name. Gives you an idea of how slippery the pole is, even for alumni of the most elite schools."

A lot of the capital gained at Harvard (whatever) School is social capital. Necessary for getting to the top and hence immensely valuable, but Watson yourself on the blog of a 'white supremacist' and none of those chic jobs will hire you. Hence it's pretty easily destroyed if you make the wrong moves, which is why these guys are so craven.

"There was a time when you could be a fuckup and a half and still do great things in this country. I can think of no better example than Sam Houston. Could you imagine electing someone for anything above dogcatcher now who ran away from home as a teenager, joined a band of Cherokee Indians, became a schoolteacher at 18, drank all the time, fought in the War of 1812, became governor of Tennessee, resigned under a cloud of a disgraced marriage, left TN and rejoined his by-then exiled band of Cherokees across the MS River, sank into alcoholism, picked up a common-law Cherokee wife, faced all kinds of accusations on the floor of Congress by acting as an Indian-rights lobbyist, led a successful takeover of Texas,led said place as a republic, convinced a skeptical Texas leadership to join it to the US, endured branding as a Unionist by the secessionists, and ended his career by resigning as governor of TX and by telling his public that the Yankees will just whip their asses in a war?"

George W. Bush led a pretty dissolute life, what with the drinking, the cocaine, physical fights with his father as an adult...I admit people were more macho back then but the 'all your sins are forgiven in Christ' bit of evangelical Christianity does give you a second chance to start over which the 'did you go to Harvard for preschool' crowd will never give you.

Very American.

Chicago said...

OK, you've convinced me, he's smart. I guess I can feel better about getting shafted by a smart person than suffer the indignity of getting it by some mere dummy. And the fruits of all this smartness are what, exactly?

lol said...

Don't buy it. After two years of people hearing of no one who remembered even seeing B.O. at Columbia, much less seeing him as anything remarkable, and people seeing no indication of B.O.'s great intelligence, either in the form of grades or legal writings -- he was editor of the Harvard Review --- B.O.'s handlers decided to dredge up a "classmate" who recalls him as not getting the best grades but being so awesome otherwise. yeah, I'm convinced.

Anonymous said...

I'm not buying the case for Obama's exceptional intellect based on his honors at Harvard Law School. Tests and papers can be blind graded, but in the end, the professor decides the grade based on papers, test results, and in-class performance. A professor could completely disregard Obama's scores on midterms and finals and award him an A anyway, and who would be the wiser? And recall that Obama attended HLS as a mature veteran of the community organizer racket, not some punk right out of college. Life experience and political connections are definitely one way to get into HLS if you were a less than stellar college student, but gaining those experiences takes years. And if you are on this track, the law school faculty must be pretty excited about you for whatever reasons before you are admitted -- many have a vested interest in seeing you succeed no matter what your actual performance is.

Steve has published average results for AA's taking the LSAT; they tend to score in the lowest decile to quartile of all exam takers. Still, I hold open the possibility that Obama might be an African Amrican genius (130 > IQ > 120).

An important calibration point for minority geniuses overlooked in this comment section is Sonia Sotomayor, our first illiterate Supreme court justice. From her wise Latina Speech, written decades after completing a law degree:

"However, to understand takes time and effort, something that not all people are willing to give. For others, their experiences limit their ability to understand the experiences of others [clumsy]. Other [sic] simply do not care. Hence, one must accept the proposition that a difference there will be by [huh?] the presence of women and people of color on the bench. Personal experiences affect the facts that judges choose to see. My hope is that I will take the good from my experiences and extrapolate them [we are expecting “it” here] further into areas with which I am unfamiliar. I simply do not know exactly what that difference [which “difference?” there is no immediate antecedent for “that”] will be in my judging. But I accept there will be some [“some” what?] based on my gender and my Latina heritage."

Sotomayor admits reading children's books as a Princeton undergrad to upgrade her reading skills. Yet somehow she graduated Summa Cum Laude and was admitted to Yale Law School, every bit as prestigious as HLS. And she graduated with honors.

So clearly even the most competitve law schools are judging NAMs on their life story, not their actual performance.

TGGP said...

lol, yes Obama has handlers dedicated to commenting on Sailer blog posts.

international Jew said...

That classmate's reflections didn't add much to the discussion. Sounds like a loser too.

elvisd said...

"George W. Bush led a pretty dissolute life, what with the drinking, the cocaine, physical fights with his father as an adult...I admit people were more macho back then but the 'all your sins are forgiven in Christ' bit of evangelical Christianity does give you a second chance to start over which the 'did you go to Harvard for preschool' crowd will never give you."

True, but there's a couple of crucial differences. W would have never gotten anywhere without his family's connections, which would be are extreme in their financial, political, and legacy power. Houston came from almost nothing.

Another difference. Houston accomplished a lot. What did W ever accomplish? I was addressing people who did great things. In this, as in many respects, W is similar to Obama. Neither has done anything "great", beyond having greatness thrust upon them.

Anonymous said...

Okay, there may be advantages to an affirmative action president who can fool people into thinking he is intelligent.

But Barry without the teleprompter has a hard time convincing anyone of anything. Forget the smarts, where is he hiding the charisma?

A lot of people got fooled. And they can't seem to admit it.

Harry Baldwin said...

lol said...B.O.'s handlers decided to dredge up a "classmate" who recalls him as not getting the best grades but being so awesome otherwise. yeah, I'm convinced.

And those handlers decided that the best way to get that message out would be to post it as a comment at the iSteve blog? Huh?

Anonymous said...

Wonderr what grades Obama got in his multiple Critical Race Studies classes as HLS.

Anonymous said...

You can't just stare blind at the magna cum laude, which is his greatest intellectual achieve, to estimate his I.Q. His full academic story has to be included.

This is especially since the White House has refused to share his GPA, LSAT and SAT-scores. If Obama has aced them like Senator Schumer, I have no doubt they would use this to his political advantage.

Obama was not a National Merit Scholar, even though all of the graduates from his school at that time took collegiate aptitude tests. The bar for that is around 130 I.Q. Even though he went to a great prep-school, was black and in addition had a amazing life story, he only got accepted to Occidental college.

The year Obama got accepted the LSAT percentile African Americans in Harvard Law was around 160-163, which gives an IQ of 130-132 for the median Black.

Since he got magna, which cannot be ignored either, he was above the average for Blacks. I would put him at 135-138.

Anonymous said...

Easy to get a 4.0 if you can stomach spouting the party line in a Critical Legal Studies professors class or a partisan left Democrats class.

Try getting a 4.0 thinking original and contrary thoughts.

dearieme said...

Had I been American I might well have voted for the International Man of Mystery:
(i) Because McCain was so unimpressive a candidate
(ii)To punish the Republicans for W
(iii) Because the condition of the USA was so bad that a gamble on an unnown quantity didn't seem reckless.

Though he's proved to be a feeble President I'm still unconvinced that there was any reason to suppose that McCain would have done any better.

And McCain would not have been subject to the enthralling "Is he a natural born citizen?" contretemps because Congress, in spoilsport mode, had decreed that he was.

Anonymous said...

Jesus Christ.

A lot of Steve readers are straightup dumb. I've seen tons of interviews with Obama, and, yes, he has certainly appeared very intelligent in all of them. E.g., http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6HyXCHndmk

Dear Morons,
If you can't tell that a guy whose policies you disagree with is pretty bright, then:

a) You have subpar mental faculties. So, you're literally arguing that over the course of the law school, Obama was able to overcome a primarily blindly graded curriculum and just ride his minoritydom to Magna Cum Laude. Really? Just break down the classes. Let's say it's 50/50 blindly graded. And let's say classes that are not blindly graded give him top 1% scores--you know, because he's a minority and stuff. He still has to do really damn well to land in the top 10% overall. In other words, the probability of him being simply "above average" intelligence and pulling off Magna Cum Laude at the most prestigious law school on the planet is so very low. You are dumb if you think otherwise--you lack a basic intuition of probability.

b) People like you will negatively affect any reasonable public HBD discussions because, let's face it, you can't disentangle your moronic prejudices from objective reality.

Anonymous said...

In trying to untangle the mystery of Obama some comparisons may help.

Many Republicans have decried how the Democrats ran a charismatic quasi-ethnic man with little actual experience or record of accomplishment. They howled at the slavish hero worship of Chris Matthews. Now we hear that many of his acquaintances predicted long ago that he would be President.

That was then, today we have the Republicans promoting a charismatic quasi-ethnic man with little actual experience or record of accomplishment. Marco Rubio.

Sean Hannity routinely predicts that Rubio will inevitably be President - does his leg tingle too?

Whiskey thinks Obama has an IQ of 100. He's probably deceived by the fact that his own IQ is probably higher than that of the President. Whiskey is very smart and well read. He makes a lot of wild statements because he's young and inexperienced. He has for example never been in the Army. In modern society smart people never have any personal experience with those who have IQs of 100 unless they served.

Whiskey would of course make a terrible President as would Andrew Wiles who was mentioned in this blog recently. Wiles may be the smartest man in the world. No one would follow someone as odd as Wiles or someone who spoke as loosely as Whiskey.

Another comparison that is illuminating is the career of Milton Marks - a California State Senator of a generation or so ago.

Marks was famous for being stupid. He was widely called 'Stupid Milton'. And it wasn't an act. He really was very prone to becoming muddled and confused in public. So how did he keep getting re-elected for decades? Marks was also famous for his capacity for work. At seventy he ran his staff into the ground. On campaign no one could keep up with him.

Marks was a sort of anti-Obama. No one was personally impressed with him but everyone was afraid to run against him. He was the man who never tired. He didn't take vacations.

BTW Marks had a law degree from Stanford. How is that possible if he was so dumb? While it is true that there are certainly more very bright men among those who attended law school, than there are among say, janitors - the distributions overlap. The smartest janitors are brighter than the dumbest lawyers.

Finally consider stand up comedians. There are two types: those who relax off stage and those who are always "ON".

The remarks from Obama's classmates as to his discipline I take to mean that he was always on, even as a student. That is to say he wore a public facade even while his classmates were drinking and wenching and drugging. One reason he climbed so high so young was that he had been a professional politician since he was a teen. One is tempted to say he got in his 10,000 hours of practice early.

Time now for a Dos Equis.

Albertosaurus

David Davenport said...

Look at the dancing around Romney has had to do, to pretend like he believes all that his party demands he believe, in order to get the nomination.

Wouldn't you be happier if your boy Mitt switched his affiliation to Democrat? Then you could vote for him without any cognitive dissonance.

headache said...

Lately I started watching Al Jazeera on livestation.com. Mostly to get a handle on the Arab uprising and Libya. The documentaries on Israel also fascinate me since they actually portray a realistic picture of that unfair nation, which so loves to criticize western countries whilst becoming filthy rich in them. Uri Avnery said as much in one of his recent columns.

Anyway, for the first time during the run-up to the Libyan NFZ, I had to endure the beginnings of an Obama speech or two, as long as it took me to move out of my comfort zone and surf to another site. I found the guy terribly pompous and bloviated, in fact I was embarrassed listening to him. I cannot remember any white politician being such a phony blowhard and getting away with it, not even the Afrikaner politicians of the ideological Apartheid era.

The media is so incredibly tied into this phony portrayal of him being the better prez, yet he belongs in a used car salesroom or perhaps a lobby group.

Whether he is bright or not (facile more likely) is immaterial and I couldn't bother to verify it, there are enough bright people around who are insufferable and a negative net gain for society. However he is simply insufferable, pompous and not serious enough for the presidency.

Anonymous said...

I fear the world will never get to see Obama's test scores. It's not like they are locked away in Ft Knox. Indeed, the custodians of all Obama's personal education files are radical progressives like him, even the good folks at ETS. Any evidence of Obama's IQ was likely scrubbed prior to 2008 in a massive conspiracy to sell him as a genius to the American people.

Anonymous said...

There is no post-modern school in chess. It's hypermodernism and the explanation of it was a hilarious straw man.

There is no perfect LSAT score. 180 represents a range of results, from 100% correct answers down to whatever result was scaled to 180. Supposed Harvard alumnus doesn't seem to understand it's a percentile-based scaled score; i.e., he doesn't get elementary statistics.

Faux Harvard also never appears to have figured out how blind grading can be gamed. Professors like hearing their own ideas. Enough time in office hours gives the suck-up clique plenty of evidence of what idiosyncracies their exams should include. Those with only the familiarity gained in class have to gamble - sometimes the actual law is what the prof wants to read, sometimes not. Gaming the profs appears to be exactly what Obama did, if this commenter is to be taken seriously. It's odd that Mr. 180 never figured this basic principle of law school out.

Those are the substantive errors. The grammar reads like a fourth tier dropout.

Your move, commenters. U mad?

Hunt2546 said...

It seems to me on both these comment pages to the "novelist's" (wonder who?) initial question that most have missed the import of what O's HLS said of him. He was "disciplined," but not in terms of any rigorous system, such as the law itself, or any thing else of considerable difficulty. He was disciplined at sucking up. Is that discipline? Really? It seems more to me like a coping mechanism. Knowing he lacked the intellectual candlepower of his classmates, he made sure to make eye-contact, empathetic connection and to project hope to his love objects, almost taking himself hostage, so they could not deny him that which he so desired. That's the secrret of a lot of success in this country; Obama turned it into an artform.

Nine-of-Diamonds said...

"Forget the smarts, where is he hiding the charisma?"

In his melanin. 0bama himself has commented on the fact that people tend to project their own hopes about AA's onto him; I give him props for being honest enough to admit this.

Much of his "charisma" comes from NAM's wild adulation; at last, one of their own has the brass ring, and there's no way he can be anything other than an inspirational figure to them. Ditto the White/Jewish academic Left; as Whiskey has pointed out, they are happy to have a Black candidate who's not a semiliterate militant (likely to scare off White moderates). Hence, as a Black who avoids mangling English and is smart enough to disguise his radicalism, 0bama is of course "charismatic", plus any other positive character trait they can think up.

Not unlike how one well-meaning Nice White Lady, in an attempt to praise me, mentioned how much I "looked like a lawyer" when I said I was going to law school (I'm predominantly AA,
speak without a "black" inflection, etc). She assumed that I was going to LS to become a Defense Attorney (what else? lol). I was gracious enough not to put her on the spot.

"A professor could completely disregard Obama's scores on midterms and finals and award him an A anyway, and who would be the wiser"

Correct. In many of my LS classes professors reserved the right to bump up a blind-graded examination after the fact based on "class participation". Other classmates of 0bama have mentioned how he loved the sound of his own voice, pontificating endlessly about the law while saying little of substance. This is the exact sort of behavior by a NAM that would thrill your typical LS professor (although at my school they were more than happy to shoot down White and Asian gunners).

Anonymous said...

OT, but it looks like the government has cracked down on Udolpho's oh-so-politically-incorrect forums at http://www.mypostingcareer.com. It's allegedly for copyright violation, though I haven't noticed any.

ricpic said...

One of the many anonymous posters said that she sat in the front row in class in order to "intimidate" the instructor into giving her a good grade. How did she do that, by keeping her legs spread?

JeremiahJohnbalaya said...

Dude, ...
Lawsuit seeks dissolution of [majority white] Dunwoody, Sandy Springs, Johns Creek, Milton, Chattahoochee Hills

Anonymous said...

"OT, but it looks like the government has cracked down on Udolpho's oh-so-politically-incorrect forums at http://www.mypostingcareer.com. It's allegedly for copyright violation, though I haven't noticed any."

Umm...Udolpho, care to comment on this? I suspect someone on your forums posted a link to some music or a movie?

Anonymous said...

"Lawsuit seeks dissolution of [majority white] Dunwoody, Sandy Springs, Johns Creek, Milton, Chattahoochee Hills"

I hope Holder backs this. It means more anti-Obama voters.

Deckin said...

It seems to me the data classica for Obama's intelligence are the exam answer memos. On the previous thread, several questioned their authorship. This is dubious. If Obama were using TA's (do they even have these in law school? I've never heard of it.) to basically grade and come up with the keys to the exams, wouldn't that fact have come out?

As to the memos themselves, as a proud non-lawyer, all I can attest to is that they are definitely FULL of arguments. In my experience, just making arguments puts someone on the right side of the curve. I can also discern that the arguments have structure, and this structure appears, almost without fail, to be consciously chosen. Still further to the right we go. As for the goodness of the arguments, only those in the law ought to weigh in.

I'm with the 'classmate' (real or not); this work is obviously the product of no fool. But his point could be expanded upon. In my experience with the empty AA suit, it's discipline and diligence that are the dead give-aways. Obama's discipline, and he must have it on gobs over even the above average achiever, surely set him so far apart his demographic cohort that his appeal would have been difficult to resist--even for the jaded.

This is a once in a lifetime, one in 300 million phenomenon. Of course, environment (well laid out be Steve) contributed greatly to it. But no one else could have taken advantage of our societal blind spot as Obama did. Just feel glad he hasn't done more and worse with what he had. If this is the worst the most intelligently charismatic, broadly appealing, black man in this nation's recent history can do, the US is probably not as bad off as most here think.

Anonymous said...

"In trying to untangle the mystery of Obama some comparisons may help."

Obama is Pomobama, or post-modern media creation, by himself and others.

He looked around at the stuff that most people dig or worship: MLK soulfulness, JFK charm, 007 coolness, Malcolm X intensity, Che Guevara mystique, Reagan teflon smoothness, Oprah feel-goodery, etc. He took bits and pieces from each and forged something that is generic but could be taken for authentic depending on the angle of 'hope'. So, he could seem Che-like to leftists, Malcolm-like to blacks, warm to Oprah fanatics, dyanmic to JFK admirers, etc.

Obama's strength is not IQ per se or any single thing but a pomo amalgation of this/that/everything/nothing. He is to politics what Tarantino films are to the history of cinema. Not so much 'something for everyone' but 'something for every group'.

Anonymous said...

Well I've always been amused that so many of Sailer's readers claim to have attended some elite university right when some well known figure attended as well...

Does Sailer realize that perhaps he's been had? Or does he ignore this possibility because he desperately wants to believe that there are more smart people reading his blog than is actually the case?

What do iSteve readers think?

Anonymous said...

"A lot of Steve readers are straightup dumb."

Maybe true but we are not dumb enough to worship Obama.

Anonymous said...

"True, but there's a couple of crucial differences. W would have never gotten anywhere without his family's connections, which would be are extreme in their financial, political, and legacy power. Houston came from almost nothing."

Obama's adoptive dynasty was the Jews.

Hail said...

John wrote:
"Hillary would have gotten the Dem nomination had the Wright tapes surfaced earlier in the primary season."

Wrong -- They did surface, and you can check the Steve Sailer archives for the proof.

The media refused to touch the Wright issue until after most states had voted. The media covered-up for ol' Barack H.



(word verification: "rants" :D .)

Anonymous said...

I think there are two kinds of intelligence: the gliding(horizontal) and the probing(vertical). Politics generally favors the former, whereas scholarship favors the latter. This may be why many scholars are not good debaters. Instead of playing intellectual ping-pong, they wanna slow down and probe the issue deeper before coming to any conclusion.

Bill Buckley was a classic glider, very brilliant one at that. He could be charming, quick-witted, and intuitive. He was an excellent debater, at least before he became a pothead. But if you ever read his books, they are utterly superficial. I read GOD AND MAN AT YALE and it was nothing about nothing? It was all Buckley being clever. Buckley was good with one-liners and wry comments; he was not interesting as a thinker.

Obama too is a pretty good glider. He has the ability to soak up the ideas of others and glide around them. But when it comes to any deep original thinking, he's a zero, like Buckley. But given the sporting nature of politics where you must constantly pitter-patter and win over the generic audience, this is an advantage. Reagan and Kennedy too were not deep thinkers either but gliders when it came to intellectual ideas. Even so, it's true enough that Reagan had deep convictions, as does Obama. Reagan's core convictions were conservative, and Obama's deep convictions are pro-black, mulatto supremacist, and anti-white.

In politics, you swim or you sink. While depth may be a virtue for intellectuals, it's fatal quicksand for politicians. A political debate, for example, is not about how true or insightful you are but how well you can duel mentally and rhetorically. After a debate, people don't ask, 'who was truer or deeper?' but 'who WON the debate?', which implies one could be wrong but still win.

Some very smart people are not good debaters. I know one girl who graduated first in class and got the highest SAT score in school but she's no good at it. She has a quick mind but whenever we get into any argument, she's so wrapped up in getting at the truth by considering both sides--and other angles--that she never tries to 'win' the debate. For her, it's more like a maze(problem-solving) than a debate.

On TV, I've seen many big minds lose debates to charlatans who know the tricks of rhetoric and mental-fancy-footing(which actually don't amount to much when examined closely).

Anonymous said...

People like Vidal, otoh, seem to have both the gift for probing and knack for gliding.

And this isn't just about mental ability but personality. Some people, like WFB, tend to be naturally smug and 'I know it all'-ish while others are more curious and eager to see new angles.

Anonymous said...

Obama is a puzzle; in some aspects he seems bright, but there's always some missing mass that makes you reconsider that conclusion.

Compare him to, say, Bill Clinton, who graduated from a similarly ranked law school. Clinton was undeniably pretty clever, even if his other appetites made him repulsive, and his smarts were mostly devoted to gaining tactical political advantages. It was always a fun exercise to parse his extemporaneously created mousetrap sentences to spot the slippery escape hatch.

I don't get any feeling of cleverness from Obama; maybe that's because he's always "on", as his classmates have suggested, or maybe it's because he's good at parroting bromides, and that encourages people who like his brand of bromides to project smartness onto him. His academic and post-academic careers outside of HLS don't jibe with the idea that he's got a genius-level IQ, either. All the interviews and speeches his supporters present that are supposed to show he's brilliant make me think he's pretty pedestrian. He's been dining out on his HLS ranking for quite a long time, with nothing much before or after to make me think much of his intellect.

In any case I strongly suspect his SAT scores would show a larger than normal gap between his verbal and quantitative scores.

Anonymous said...

"The year Obama got accepted the LSAT percentile African Americans in Harvard Law was around 160-163, which gives an IQ of 130-132 for the median Black. "

References, please? If you are correct, then Michelle Obama must have graduated near the bottom of her class at Harvard Law since she claims to be a bad test taker -- and flunked the "drivers written test"-easy Illinois Bar Exam first time round to prove it.

I wouldn't dispute the existence of high IQ black law students. Every year, high schools graduate about 5 million kids, where 10% are black, say. If the average black IQ is 85, then approximately 0.1% or 500 will be three sigma above average with an IQ above 130 (and most will be very close to 130, since this part of the bell curve is an exponentially falling tail). When you consider how in demand these students are, I'm sure every one of them considers applying only to the most prestigious professional schools -- I doubt many of them bother trying to be scientists or engineers. At least half these black Mensans probably head in the direction of law, business, or medicine. So no, it wouldn't surprise me if the average AA IQ was 130 at HLS -- I'm just saying in terms or raw intelligence, Obama probably wasn't one of the smartest ones in his class. He was, however, significantly older and more socially sophisticated, with nearly an extra decade to practice his writing skills.

Obama's situation at HLS should be compared to that of old GIs returning to college after WWII -- they were generally more successful academically than their less mature classmates. But there was no indication they had an IQ advantage, unless you think the dumb soldiers were winnowed out in combat.

Anonymous said...

Wrt http://www.mypostingcareer.com, the worrying thing is that (acc. the BoingBoing article linked below) the COICA only empowers Homeland Security to seize domains whose "central" purpose is facilitating copyright violation. In other words, it's aimed a rogue torrent sites and so on. If that's a fair description of the law, then it cannot possibly cover posters incidentally linking to copyright material, which is the only copyright violation I can imagine at MPC.

What you do find at MPC, of course, is what many people (not just SPLC-ers) would call hate speech, some of it hilarious, but all of it (AFAIK) constitutionally protected. (Plus some first-rate cultural commentary, BTW.)

http://www.boingboing.net/2010/11/30/eff-on-us-domain-cop.html

Anonymous said...

"Any evidence of Obama's IQ was likely scrubbed prior to 2008 in a massive conspiracy to sell him as a genius to the American people."

Why is Obama's intelligence such a hot topic? Because he never would have been elected had he not been judged eminently qualified in terms of intellect. Because most Americans on a gut level perceive blacks as tragically dumb -- in daily interactions with whites, you run the gamut, from the super smart guy explaining your investment options on the Fidelity 1-800 line, to the grease monkey changing your shocks in Caspar, WY. But with blacks, at almost every level, you encounter incompetence and belligerence. And due to affirmative action, you will find them everywhere gumming up the wheels of daily progress.

AllanF said...

Had I been American I might well have voted for the International Man of Mystery:
(i) Because McCain was so unimpressive a candidate
(ii)To punish the Republicans for W
(iii) Because the condition of the USA was so bad that a gamble on an unnown quantity didn't seem reckless.


Yep, this is the fact so many of the carpers seem to forget... it's a two man race. Could McSame have beat Mondale? Dukakis? Johnson (the first one)?

IMO, the only people with a legitimate right to be pissed over Barack Springbreak Obama is Hillary Clinton and her supporters.

Anonymous said...

By the way, the interpolations in the Wise Latina quote are by Heather MacDonald (the female Steve Sailer).

I should have mentioned this.

jody said...

i don't believe any of this and i still operate under the assumption that barack obama is not at all brilliant. sonia sotomayor is known for sure to be dumb relative to her peers, and she graduated with honors from princeton, almost certainly due to affirmative action. princeton actually did block access to michelle obama's undergraduate thesis for while, because it was so weak. i maintain it is total BS that barack obama has a big brain and is a deep powerful thinker. no way, no how. you don't go through so much trouble to hide your history and documents if you were a highly intelligent academic with track record of success. such a person does not have an army of lawyers covering his tracks and the previous 30 years of his life. if he actually was such a very smart and highly accomplished person, he would be, at worst, indifferent to his past and have no concerns about people checking out his official documents and records and test scores.

oh, he's not dumb. but he's not super smart. that's a load. there's no proof at all that this guy is very highly intelligent. intelligence above normal sure, i'm totally buying that. millions of other people also have that though without being praised as brilliant. since obama's been on the national radar, all the evidence points to the opposite conclusion. that he's not brilliant, and that barack obama succeeds despite himself, not because of himself. despite making frequent minor mistakes, and occassional major mistakes that look like amateur hour bungles, all the people covering for him keep him in the game. he can't even deliver an extemporaneous speech on any political topic. he has to read the text written for him. he routinely sticks his foot in his mouth when he goes off on his own, and the only topic he can maintain a 30 minute discussion on is basketball. since he's been on the national radar, can anybody point to anything he's done that was super smart? anything he has written, anything he has said, anything he has done? i can barely stand him, but i stand him enough to read some of the positively mediocre stuff he says and writes, or has written for him. not a single moment of brilliance anywhere.

jody said...

also, how capable do you really have to be, when almost every person on your side of the political spectrum is falling all over themselves to make sure you succeed? was obama going for a second nobel peace prize when he attacked libya? was that another demonstration of his place as a world leading figure in the peace movement? what next? a nobel prize in chemistry for his US energy policy? like i said 3 years ago, barack obama hasn't spent 5 minutes in his entire life thinking about the logistics of energy. listening to him debate the candidates in 2008 about his "energy policy" was sheer comedy. his primary concern for decades was figuring out how to use the US legal system against europeans to turn the US into south africa. he routinely shows a deep lack of knowledge about science and engineering, leaning with all his might on his lawyer wand, waving it around to make all real world problems bend to his legal will. it is not expected that a US president have a good working knowledge of all of the diverse topics which his presidency will bring him into contact with, but barack obama shows no knowledge at all in most areas. this is the guy who literally said he had been to all 57 states, and that wasn't a mistake. he actually took a moment to think about it before saying it.

so many things are going wrong for obama right now that all of his worshippers are doing everything they can to keep him in the game. iraq is a good example, where obama's allies in the television media have totally removed the topic from all coverage and discussion. iraq is going terribly. if G-dub was president liberals would ensure that it was a constant problem for him. this week, iraqi terrorists took hundreds of hostages and killed 50 people. no coverage though. no coverage when terrorists blow up oil refineries in iraq. no coverage when terrorists bomb and kill iraqi politicians and police officers. just no coverage, period.

oil is $108 per barrel. i remember G-dub taking heat over that. i remember senate hearings and angry democrat senators bringing oil executives in to yell at them (all this did was demonstrate that liberal lawyers turned senators don't understand how the oil industry works). obama? he flies to brazil and tells...brazilians to drill baby drill, at the same time having ken salazar keep the US oil industry locked down (in direct violation of a federal judge, but, injuctions only matter when liberal judges order them). meanwhile dennis kucinich wants to impeach obama for attacking libya. coverage? no television coverage, liberals aren't welcome to break ranks like that. but perhaps the nobel committee is watching closely, in case they need to award obama a second nobel peace prize for launching missiles basically randomly and accidentally killing civilians.

Anonymous said...

Of course, the real issue isn't Obama's intelligence, which is real enough, but the MAGICAL INTELLIGENCE attributed to him by people who are actually smarter than he.
It is amusing when a bunch of Jews say he's the smartest, most brilliant, most blah blah person they ever met... when they really mean they found a politically useful conduit for THEIR OWN intelligence and agenda. The Obama agenda is mostly driven by Jewish brains, the sort of people who say they are oh-my-God AWED by his intelligence.

It's like a bunch of black guys saying Steve Nash is the GREATEST PLAYER OF ALL TIME. He's very good but, for Chrissakes, let's not kid ourselves. But NBA over-hypes some white players(and even Chinese players!!!) to draw in the white audience and world audience.

Generally speaking, Democrats don't suffer from lack of brains, black politics notwithstanding. There are tons of top scholars, intellectuals, lawyers, etc on the Democratic side. Clintons are both pretty smart.

As Nixon noted in the late 60s, Republicans have long had a problem of attracting top brains to their side, which is one reason why Neocons were so welcome in the 70s and 80s. Whatever their heresy on some matters, the Neos had brains and intellectual firepower.
Among wasps, the top brains tend to be on the Left or Democratic Party. It was for this reason that the GOP intellectualism came to be dominated by Catholics and Neocons. GOP wasps produced the likes of Dan Quayle, George W. Bush, and Sarah Palin.

And it didn't help the GOP's brain-image when the party came to heavily rely on the Southern strategy. The party became associated with rednecks, Christian fundies, and other dummies. GOP got the votes but lost the respect among brains(even more). I mean, do we want a party where the majority of voters believe in Creationism and oppose abortion(even for underclass idiots who are overbreeding)? Abortion is biological border control.

Anonymous said...

"People like you will negatively affect any reasonable public HBD discussions because, let's face it, you can't disentangle your moronic prejudices from objective reality."

I've always thought the worst enemies of the reactionary readers on ISteve are the reactionary readers on ISteve.

Anonymous said...

What would be a good test of Barack Obama's true honest-to-god raw intelligence?

Here is the test that I have come up with...although it is ultimately a thought experiment.

What if Barack Obama had to debate on national TV an average White guy on fundamental policy such as immigration policy,trade policy and foreign policy. Now let's suppose that this ordinary White Guy was a two year college drop-out. Let us supose also that this ordinary White guy had a deep interest in foriegn policy,immigration policy and trade policy. And let us suppose that this ordinary White guy approached these issues from as highly a racialized perpsective as Barack Obama did. Who would win? I would take the several thousand ordinary White guys with a deep understading of these issues who we could no doubt easily find across America. I would state with full confidence they would make Brack Obama intellectually incompetent...despite the fact that he was praised as a legal genius by Lawrence Tribe.

In fact, take the community college drop-out Alex Jones as an example. I'd put all my money on Jones that he would make Barack Obama look very intellectually vapid.

This is my response to the Harvard Law graduate with the perfect LSAT score that Steve quoted.

Bill said...

An anonymous said . . .
Whiskey thinks Obama has an IQ of 100. He's probably deceived by the fact that his own IQ is probably higher than that of the President. Whiskey is very smart and well read.

Is this some kind of double carom-shot irony or something? Whiskey may or may not be smart, but he is definitely not well-read. He never, ever says anything which is even vaguely in the neighborhood of being true. The Obama IQ = 100 thing is an fine example of his anti-reliability.

I don't even believe he is lying. Even a modestly competent liar would say true things much more often. He is just so clueless that clueland is not visible on his horizon even when he is at the tippy top of his mainmast. What he can see from his eagle perch is the fleet of magic, submersible, jihadist speedboats approaching our shores packed with suitcase nukes and fueled by liberal tears of foolish compassion.

Or something.

Whiskey said...

Yes I would be a terrible president. I have no desire for any political post for which I would be manifestly unsuited. Not the least of which is constant BS-ing.

But Obama's failures, massive as they are, really are BECAUSE all he can do is BS. That's it. And from Ike to Grant, leadership requires results. Not BS-ing. Obama plans to BS again to get relected and stay there. I agree with the assessment of his survival skills are to not commit to anything, but the American people demand results. Obama has failed because all the charisma won't fix $4.50 gas and rising.

alonzo portfolio said...

re the legal world and dumbness, here's a story. I once had an office across the hall from a judge who everyone in town, lawyers and other judges, viewed as an amiable dolt. One day I went to lunch with another judge, one who was widely considered the smartest judge in our courthouse. When judge #1's name came up, judge #2 said, "you know what's funny? he doesn't get reversed any more often than the rest of us."
BTW, at the same lunch, Bob Dole's name came up, at which smart judge said, "my father delivered Bob Dole."

Anonymous said...

In class, that's okay--who wants to listen to some blowhard during class?

Oh, please.


"Substantive opinion" is vague in the original comment, but it's contrasted with paraphrasing others. Frankly, I'm not interested in hearing any student's opinion, whether original or paraphrased from others. Intelligent questions about the material are another matter. But the worst blowhards in class are those who always want to share their "original" thoughts on sundry matters, supported by lots of boring, whiny personal anecdotes about how they're oppressed by racist society. I know that type well. Give me a paraphrasing brown-noser any day.

BTW, I'm not defending Obama's Presidency. He's a crap President.

Anonymous said...

One of the many anonymous posters said that she sat in the front row in class in order to "intimidate" the instructor into giving her a good grade. How did she do that, by keeping her legs spread?

No, by mimicking a demented stalker.

Anonymous said...

"OT, but it looks like the government has cracked down on Udolpho's oh-so-politically-incorrect forums"

Hint: Note the date.

Formerly.JP98 said...

"The year Obama got accepted the LSAT percentile African Americans in Harvard Law was around 160-163, which gives an IQ of 130-132 for the median Black."

Where were you able to find this?

Anonymous said...

People like you will negatively affect any reasonable public HBD discussions because, let's face it, you can't disentangle your moronic prejudices from objective reality.

THANK YOU.

This is why HBD can't really be sold. It can't be discussed in dry, logical terms. It's always tied into people's emotions.

Anonymous said...

Whiskey,

do you think Obama will lose in 2012?

Anonymous said...

Whiskey may or may not be smart, but he is definitely not well-read. He never, ever says anything which is even vaguely in the neighborhood of being true. The Obama IQ = 100 thing is an fine example of his anti-reliability.

I don't even believe he is lying. Even a modestly competent liar would say true things much more often. He is just so clueless that clueland is not visible on his horizon even when he is at the tippy top of his mainmast. What he can see from his eagle perch is the fleet of magic, submersible, jihadist speedboats approaching our shores packed with suitcase nukes and fueled by liberal tears of foolish compassion.


...and that the best way to protect ourselves from those speedboat jihadis is to have two thirds of the US military form a protective circle around Israel.

Trust me on this, goys.

Anonymous said...

@Anon,

Obama seemed to do well in the many debates he had all through the primaries and the national.

Most of America seemed to think so.

Anonymous said...

"Obama seemed to do well in the many debates he had all through the primaries and the national.
Most of America seemed to think so."

True, but after 8 yrs of Bush and the financial meltdown, this wasn't too difficult. Also, McCain couldn't go hard on some issues cuz media would have called him 'racist' or 'redbaiting'.

Dennis Dale said...

One of the many anonymous posters said that she sat in the front row in class in order to "intimidate" the instructor into giving her a good grade. How did she do that, by keeping her legs spread?

Worked for Sharon Stone. Maybe all that business about her having an elite IQ isn't nonsense after all.

Anonymous said...

"What would be a good test of Barack Obama's true honest-to-god raw intelligence?"

Put him on Jeopardy with an ABC computer programmer, a white housewife who homeschools her kids, and a Hispanic gardener. That should bracket his intellect nicely.

Anonymous said...

A Punahou classmate, Manu Meyer (who is now a Education prof at UH-Hilo I had for several classes back when) said in effect that Barry didn't seem very Black when it came to being a talented B-baller. Try being white and getting away with saying that.

http://www.odemagazine.com/doc/69/obama-hawaii/

Dennis Dale said...

Re Udolpho, I suspect this is an April Fool's prank:
http://www.mypostingcareer.com/seizure/

Anonymous said...

There's also hardline debating and soft-line debating. Ron Paul and Pat Buchanan are very good at hardline debating. They have core/sacred beliefs and stick to them throughout the debate. It makes for good TV but not good politics. It riles up the base but tends to alienate the middle and offend the other side.

Clinton and Obama are good soft-line debaters. They do have core convictions, but they debate as though they are for ALL Americans than for SOME Americans. The left also has the advantage of being 'univeralist' whereas the Right tends to be 'particularist'--though GOP goes out of its way to be 'anti-racist', it is seen as the party of Aging White Males.

To win in politics, you must have the base, the majority of the middle, and even some on the other side. Hardline debaters, no matter how skilled, fail to do this. Ron Paul failed even among just the conservatives. Many found him 'too extreme' on many issues, too inflexible. Deep down inside, Obama may be just as inflexible, but he understands politics as a game. So, he plays more by game theory than principles.

Anonymous said...

"Deep down inside, Obama may be just as inflexible, but he understands politics as a game. So, he plays more by game theory than principles."

And part of his game is staying out of the public eye as much as possible and getting strident lefties in Congress to do all his dirty work. He seems to govern by a weird left wing telepathy with his followers. Everyone around him just seems to know what he wants. He rarely needs to say a thing.

Harry Baldwin said...

Anonymous said...Also, McCain couldn't go hard on some issues cuz media would have called him 'racist' or 'redbaiting'."

I don't believe McCain wanted to beat Obama. He didn't want to be the obstacle that prevented the Half-Blood Prince from achieving his destiny and bringing racial healing to America. McCain is a liberal, just a hawkish one like Lieberman. If he had somehow beaten Obama he would have governed more to the left of Obama himself, to try to get back in the good graces of the people whose esteem he craves--the liberals.

It's revealing that McCain was unwilling to use the ample ammunition that was available against Obama, but when it came to holding on to his Senate seat, he pulled out all the stops against his primary opponent, even staging a deathbed conversion to border control. That's because while he didn't mind losing to Obama that much, he couldn't stand the thought of losing to a damned right-winger.

Truth said...

"He looked around at the stuff that most people dig or worship: MLK soulfulness, JFK charm, 007 coolness, Malcolm X intensity, Che Guevara mystique, Reagan teflon smoothness, Oprah feel-goodery, etc. He took bits and pieces from each and forged something that is generic but could be taken for authentic depending on the angle of 'hope'. So, he could seem Che-like to leftists, Malcolm-like to blacks, warm to Oprah fanatics, dyanmic to JFK admirers, etc."

Well now if he discerned, and executed all of this at a young age, that would probaly make him a genius, wouldn't it?

"But Obama's failures, massive as they are, really are BECAUSE all he can do is BS."

Then that needs to be a college major because it has served him quite well.

Truth said...

The general consensus here is that Obama is smart but no world-renoun genius. Great, which president was? And I aske this in the hopes that you will provide evidence of thought, not because "well Life magazine wrote that 'W' had a 135 IQ and stuff."

Anonymous said...

Ok so we could do all kinds of gymnastics to attempt to explain how Obama could 1) succeed at HLS (editor LAW REVIEW + top 10%) and 2) still be of average or below average intelligence.

OR we could accept a fairly obvious explanation for his success at HLS; that he is smart as fuck.

Sorry but anyone who has been to a top tier law school is going to go with the smart explanation.

Anyone proposing he could game the system to get these types of results is either a dishonest commentator or has wildly innacurate ideas about what law school is like.

Anonymous said...

"Ok so we could do all kinds of gymnastics to attempt to explain how Obama could 1) succeed at HLS (editor LAW REVIEW + top 10%) and 2) still be of average or below average intelligence."

I would agree with this but for the fact that we were told Sotomayor too is a great brain and was said to be among the best in her class. And Michelle graduated from Princeton with honors. Hmmmm.

So, maybe Obama really is 'smart as fuck'. But the climate of Affirmative Action when it comes to over-valuing black talent does make us wonder.

And remember we were told MLK was a great scholar. In fact, he was a plagiarist through and through.

Another thing... does intelligence matter in a climate of lies and deceit? Take social sciences. Let us assume Malcolm Gladwell really is bright. But what's the use when his intelligence is used to promote lies?

Given that Obama is a liar, his intelligence does the nation more bad than good cuz it's in the service of lies and lies. Lots of neocons are smart too, but what liars they are.

Anonymous said...

"The general consensus here is that Obama is smart but no world-renoun genius. Great, which president was?"

Again, you miss the point. I think Sailer is trying to kill two birds with one stone. He's trying to shoot down the rightwing notion that Obama's IQ is only 100(or 10) AND the liberal Jewish notion that it's 200(or 2000).

Liberals would have us believe he's the greatest thinker since Soccer-tease and some on the right say he's dumber the nose-picking guy in STRIPES.

elvisd said...

In my early post about how everyone expects some squeaky clean, vetted bore these days, and contrasting these empty phd's with the likes of Sam Houston, I've thought of another problem that is in today's politics that Steve and others have pointed out. As education becomes more of a finishing school and a mark of status,I can't help but wonder how educated people are now, and what a degree means anymore.

One of the reasons I find Houston so interesting is how he was a clearly intelligent man who had little formal education, though he became a schoolmaster at 18. My great-great grandfather was similar in this respect. His schooling ended around the age of 15, but he became a schoolmaster in a rural town as well. He wrote wonderful letters and kept a diary through the Civil War, even while he was a POW after being captured at the Franklin bloodbath. Nothing hick at all in that southern backwoodsman. And nothing Obama, Bush, Kerry, or other skull and bonesters say reveals two standard of deviations more than what I find in his writing.
Men could get an good, if uneven, education generations ago without even finishing high school. There is no substitute for being raised around people with eloquence, morals, and a belief that words have consequences.

Anonymous said...

"He looked around at the stuff that most people dig or worship: MLK soulfulness, JFK charm, 007 coolness, Malcolm X intensity, Che Guevara mystique, Reagan teflon smoothness, Oprah feel-goodery, etc. He took bits and pieces from each and forged something that is generic but could be taken for authentic depending on the angle of 'hope'. So, he could seem Che-like to leftists, Malcolm-like to blacks, warm to Oprah fanatics, dyanmic to JFK admirers, etc."

"Well now if he discerned, and executed all of this at a young age, that would probaly make him a genius, wouldn't it?"

Genius is an Oprah-esque way.
I agree it took talent, but it required a large audience willing to be suckered.

I'm no genius but I saw through his schtick right away. But many were sooooo eager for The One that they wet their pants the minute they saw and heard him. His Democratic Convention Speech in 2004, for example, was a pile of vague Oprahesque BS to me, but many called it the greatest thing since a bucket of KFC. And when he gave the silly speech about Rev. Wright, Matthews and other liberals said it was the GREATEST speech since Lincoln's Gettysburg address. And some said DREAMS FROM MY EGO is the greatest political memoir in the history of the republic. Rotfl.

Yes, Obama was very savvy in what he did, but he relied on the wilful and willing blind side in the psyche of millions of whites. It was like a some skinny kid wooing the affection of some big fat ugly girl for highschool date. White Americans had been made to feel morally 'ugly' as a result of 'history of racism' and so they went gaga over this prom date who said, 'but if you go with me, you are BEAUTIFUL!'
Alpha Romeo and Beta Fatass.

Anonymous said...

"It's revealing that McCain was unwilling to use the ample ammunition that was available against Obama, but when it came to holding on to his Senate seat, he pulled out all the stops against his primary opponent..."

You're missing the point. The liberal MSM was with him when he attacked his opponent for the Senate seat. But if he had done the same on Obama, MSM narrative would have been 'McCain = racist'.

Look, in 1992, Buchanan gave a great speech at the GOP convention. Bush went up 10 pts overnight. But the media spun it was 'Buchanan is Joe McCarthy and is spreading politics of fear and hatred', and that became the narrative for mainstream American sheeple.
On the night of the speech, William Bennett said something along the line of, "Pat and I have our differences but I think he gave a splendid speech" but after the media spin, Bennett later said he was deeply offended by the speech.
MSM narrative molds the minds of most Americans.
MSM prevented Hillary from going hard against Obama. And then gave obama the same cover from McCAin. MSM was all livid about 'hate speech' at Palin rallies but covered up the Wright controversy, covered up John Edwards scandal early in the primary to split the white vote, and ignored leftist violence. For example, there was no rightwing violence at the Dem rally in Denver, but there was leftist violence outside the GOP convention, which was also interrupted several times by hecklers. MSM overlooked all of that.

Anonymous said...

"This is why HBD can't really be sold. It can't be discussed in dry, logical terms. It's always tied into people's emotions."

Best purveyors of HBD are black fists.

Anonymous said...

"Yes I would be a terrible president."

I wouldn't be much of a president but I'd make a great dictator.

Anonymous said...

When Bush was prez, the liberal obsession was "he's retarded". Obama is prez, and the conservative obsession is "he's aint THAT smart." Dems come out looking better.

Anonymous said...

"Unless you name this person, I'm not believing his testimony."

I agree. And he better show his birth certificate too.

Anonymous said...

"any chance that this 'classmate' is not really Obama's classmate but instead a hoaxer?
Just wondering."

A kind of pre-April Fool joke?

Well, if he's a hoaxer, he may not have been a classmate of Obama but he's certainly a SOULmate.

Anonymous said...

"Charisma>>>>>>>>>Intelligence."

Maybe... if a pro-wrestler can win in liberal Minnesota and a bodybuilder can win in liberal California.

Anonymous said...

Obama not only plays 'above race' but also plays 'above intelligence'. That's his secret. In debates, his style isn't so much left vs right, dem vs gop, or black vs right, but I-who-is-above-all-things vs a petty partisan. Media, if they chose to, could shoot him down for his bloward high-falutinism, but they just play along.

Anonymous said...

How much are presidential debates about intelligence and how much is it about coaching and preparation.

In debate 1 in 2004, Kerry kicked Bush's ass. But in debate 2, Bush gave as good as he got.

Political debates are less about off-the-cuff intelligence than regurgitating the same stuff coached into your head over and over.

Anonymous said...

There's a saying in boxing: The style makes the fight. So, boxer A may be able to beat B who can beat C, but C may be able to beat A. Logically, we might think A, who beat B, would also be able to beat C(beaten by B), but this isn't always the case. Norton and Frazier beat Ali, and both were crushed by Foreman.. who was beaten by Ali.

Ross Perot was feisty and effective against Bush and Clinton in 1992, but he got his ass whupped by Al Gore on the Larry King show. Bush didn't know how to handle the tasmanian devil. Though Clinton did better, he too was somewhat flustered. But Gore put up a castle wall against Perot, who just looked panic-stricken and desperate.

The funniest debate in political history has to be the VP debate among Gore, Quayle, and whoozits.
Quayle, eager to reverse his dork image in 1988, went off like he was high on coke. The guy in the middle was tongue-tied and said maybe 10 words all night. Gore's style was wooden progo-thug.

Anonymous said...

Jefferson might have been a world class intellect in a way that no current or recent politician is.


then again, George Washington was far and away the dumbest of the founding fathers. didn't stop people from falling all over themselves to worship his greatness.

Anonymous said...

What is Obama's vulnerability? Hot air. To be sure, he has the ability to release it in cool streams. But if someone finds a way to prick his punkass ego, the hot air will burst forth and he'll be left looking flat.

Actually, the GOP convention in 2008 did a pretty good job deflating him, with Giuliana cracking jokes out his 'present' votes as Illinois governor and Palin's remarks about 'plaster columns'. But the financial fiasco hit, and Palin was one dumbass as easy to ridicule as Quayle.

Anonymous said...

Make the fool lose his cool.

Anonymous said...

Thousands of people have attended top tier law schools. Are they all effing geniuses? Some of them-- mainly affirmative action students, of which Obama (and his wife) are clearly members, got in with significantly lower test scores and grades. Now, I'm not saying Obama isn't smart. The embarrassent, I think, is that he isn't THAT smart. I'll bet Bill Clinton has 15 IQ points on him. Of course, Obama could release his SAT and LSAT scores and show us up for all the stupid tea-bagging racists we are; or not...for some reason.

Anonymous said...

"Anyone proposing he could game the system to get these types of results is either a dishonest commentator or has wildly innacurate ideas about what law school is like."

He didn't need to game the system. AA talent is in such short supply and in such great demand that he almost couldn't help but stumble into grand opportunities.

Anonymous said...

"The general consensus here is that Obama is smart but no world-renoun genius. Great, which president was? And I aske this in the hopes that you will provide evidence of thought, not because "well Life magazine wrote that 'W' had a 135 IQ and stuff."

Nah, Bush had a 125 IQ or there abouts (on an IQ scale where 15 is the standard deviation).

I think somebody nailed it when they mentioned the most reliable indicators of high IQ are a broad range of talents and interests. Obama doesn't seem to be interested in anything except racial politics and using the powers of his high office to plunder whites.

Also, Obama was raised as a citizen of the world, yet he only learned English. Hmm...

Steve Sailer said...

By the way, the self-description of the author of the comment I excerpted checks out.

Anonymous said...

"but many called it the greatest thing since a bucket of KFC."

Blow that dog whistle a little louder, why don't you?

Anonymous said...

OT.

Interesting articles on Mexico and Irving Kristol in the Apr 7 issue of New Republic.

Anonymous said...

As education becomes more of a finishing school and a mark of status,I can't help but wonder how educated people are now, and what a degree means anymore. ... Men could get an good, if uneven, education generations ago without even finishing high school.

The top unis have become the gatekeepers not only to the elite positions, but also increasingly to middle-class professions. My grandfather left home at 16 and, while in the army, taught himself chemical engineering from correspondence courses, eventually becoming the leader of an R&D team at Shell Chemical. I wonder if that would even be possible today--some self-taught guy with a correspondence degree bootstrapping himself up like that. Certainly law schools have become a huge racket. Used to be that you could apprentice yourself to a lawyer as a clerk and learn the legal trade the way a carpenter does, until you were ready to sit for the bar (that's what Abraham Lincoln did). Now you've got to go deep into non-dischargeable debt for a degree that doesn't even prepare you for the vanishing number of law positions that would allow you to pay off your massive debts within your lifetime.

Anonymous said...

So Whiskey thinks Obama has an IQ of 100.

This simply means Whiskey is earth-shatteringly stupid.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

Ok so we could do all kinds of gymnastics to attempt to explain how Obama could 1) succeed at HLS (editor LAW REVIEW + top 10%) and 2) still be of average or below average intelligence.

OR we could accept a fairly obvious explanation for his success at HLS; that he is smart as fuck.

Sorry but anyone who has been to a top tier law school is going to go with the smart explanation."

As indeed they well would. They are defending their "brand". They are probably not dumb, too be sure, not average, but not all that smart. And I am one who thinks that Obama probably has an IQ in line with most other presidents (like Kennedy or Bush the elder perhaps).

I'm sure it would be possible here to throw out any number of names of people who graduated from top-tier law schools and who have demonstrated, through words or deeds, no particular talent or great intelligence. I'll throw out the first name:

Hillary Clinton, Yale Law

Any others?

Anonymous said...

"then again, George Washington was far and away the dumbest of the founding fathers. didn't stop people from falling all over themselves to worship his greatness."

That's not saying more. The dumbest of the founding fathers is still pretty smart. Add to that charisma, character, and leadership and you've got George Washington. A very rare person worthy of "worship". None like him nowadays.

Mr. Anon said...

"I'm sure it would be possible here to throw out any number of names of people who graduated from top-tier law schools who aren't really smart."

Maybe he's smarter than you, POC. He sure as hell ain't smarter than me. That's one reason I don't much like his father-knows-best attitude on everything. He's not all that smart, he has little practical experience of the world, and he has no business telling us how to run our lives.

He's a chain-smoker who wants to tell us how our health insurance should be structured. A man who was living on maxed-out credit cards (when he attended the 2004 democratic convention) who presumes to tell us how to live within our means. He is - essentially - a nothing, who has been built up into a something.

Anonymous said...

I was a National Merit Scholar and got a 1530 on the SAT (800 Verbal). I attended a top 25 law school and graduated in the top 10% and was a law review editor.

A few notes re: law school:

1. The exams are supposed to be blind graded, but once you're out of the first year, you have a lot of freedom to take seminars and othe classes that have term papers instead of exams. These tend to be the race and gender hustle classes, and they would be a great way for Obama to build up his GPA.

2. The material isn't that hard. Anyone with a 130 IQ and a strong work ethic can do great in law school. Lots of worker bees in law school.

3. At the top law schools (i.e., Harvard, Yale, Stanford), being on law review is actually less important than at lower-ranked schools, where it serves as an important resume enhancer. At the top schools, law review is for the few who are genuinely interested in legal academia, so I wouldn't take Obama's editorship of HLR as evidence of his genius.

4. Old law school exams are readily available. Obama (and other profs) aren't creating theirs from scratch. At any rate, the goal is to create a fact pattern that is close enough to the line that the student will have to discuss both sides of each legal issue. As noted above, the material simply isn't that hard--nor is the task of creating exams.

Anonymous said...

"And McCain would not have been subject to the enthralling "Is he a natural born citizen?" contretemps because Congress, in spoilsport mode, had decreed that he was."

You mean that pesky thing called "The Law"?

The law that says children born of US citizen parents on overseas military bases are natural-born US citizens?

That law?

Yes, silly Congress, passing laws that children of citizens born on US military bases are natural born citizens, and children of an underage US citizen and a foreigner born on foreign soil aren't natural born citizens. Imagine the effrontery of the spoilsport Congress, looking far into the future and foreseeing the 2008 election Obama vs. McCain and passing citizenship laws accordingly. Damned spoilsports.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't be much of a president but I'd make a great dictator.

"I would make a good pope."
-Richard Millhous Nixon

none of the above said...

Truth:

That seems about right--Obama has to have been pretty bright to have gotten where he has, but there's not much evidence that he's some amazing genius. In fact, I suspect he's par for the course for recent presidents--all relatively bright non-geniuses with a lot of networking skill and a fair bit of charisma, able to work a room and attract loyal followers, and an incredible determination to get and hold power.

ben tillman said...

Obama did well against the curve on blindly graded tests that are largely IQ tests

That's pure speculation.

Anonymous said...

Smart or not, Obama has never been tested since the rich powerful Jews around him did everything for him. He just needed to look the part while his handlers made it all happen for him. If Obama's record isn't as dirty as that of Blago or Clinton, it's because he didn't have to get down and dirty to raise money or gain influence. Money flowed into his coffers, red carpet was rolled before him by his handlers(liberal Jewish elite), he was protected and promoted by the media, and etc. So, unlike Blago, he could keep his hands clean since others did the laundering for him.

He was a community organizer, but what did he organize? He was a legal scholar, but what did he publish? He may be a smart guy but he only trained for winning the presidency(than being the president) and nothing else. He may be the most dependent president ever--dependent on his handlers.

Anonymous said...

"Unless you name this person, I'm not believing his testimony."

IQ and Ivory Tower envy is like penis envy among some of yous.
Reminds me of the discussion of brain size in Albert Brooks' DEFENDING YOUR LIFE.

Udolpho.com said...

The big obstacle to believing Barry is a genius are those concealed test scores. Blather all you want about how he had to be smart to get magna cum laude (affirmative action, how does it work?), the fact is that if he had decent scores they would be public knowledge, as with EVERY other politician of note. No one in this egomaniac category hides his light under a bushel--trust me on this, spergs.

Anonymous said...

"I would make a good pope."
-Richard Millhous Nixon

So, are we gonna listen to John Paul's secret tapes anytime soon?

Vox said...

Obama graduated from Punahou, where all the students take the various college prep tests, which at the time were IQ test-equivalents. Unlike Hillary Rodhamn, Obama was not a National Merit Scholar, a National Merit Semifinalist or even an Outstanding Participant. This indicates a ceiling on his PSAT/SAT percentile at 96.9, which indicates a maximum possible SAT score of 1230 and maximum IQ of 129.

I estimate his IQ around 116, but can be no question that it is below 130.

TangoMan said...

Amongst the comments in these two threads there has been enough verifiable information presented which can provide a plausible explanation for how Obama achieved his Magna status without actually earning that status by being what many would consider a top student.

What hasn't been raised in the discussion thus far is the grade inflation that permeated HLS at that time. Obama graduated in 1991, a time when over 76% of graduates received honors. Pointing to the post-99 era grade reforms doesn't tell us anything useful about what the standards were when Obama graduated.

The LA Times reported on this issue:

Under a system implemented three years ago that first took effect with this year's class, Harvard Law said it will limit magna cum laude degrees to the top 10% of the class. The next 30% will receive cum laude degrees.

The policy for summa cum laude, the highest honor, is unchanged. One summa degree was awarded this year, Harvard Law School said.

Under the old system, 76% of Harvard Law grads earned honors, the school said.


Note the bold emphasis. That's an express confirmation that prior to 1999 that Harvard did NOT limit the Magna designation to the top 10% of graduates.

Right here we can eliminate the certainty that Obama did graduate in the top 10%. He may have, but he also may have been lower in the class ranking.

Secondly, as a commenter has also noted the electives chosen by Obama could certainly be used to his advantage if his goal was boosting his GPA.

Thirdly, as this Boston.com article notes, Obama was elected President of HLR at a time when HLR was embroiled in protests about the lack of black professors and student leaders. His peers on HLR could very plausibly have been making a statement that was within their power to make - they couldn't force the administration to hire more minority professors but they could certainly elevate a black student to be President of HLR.

The whole question of Obama's intelligence should be filtered through Occam's Razor. If Obama had a demonstrated history of being an intellectual giant, then it would be reasonable to assume that he earned his honors at HLS by demonstrating his high intelligence in his course work. If however the evidence of Obama's intellect in situations outside of HLS indicate that his intellect isn't particularly stellar then that certainly lends credence to the proposition that he gamed the honors system in some fashion. The particulars of the gaming are murky because we don't have information on his grades nor on the elective classes that he took. Beyond that we don't have information on how invested some professors were in seeing the first black president of HLS defy stereotypes and what they were prepared to do to insure that Obama broke the stereotype of black students.

I'm not particularly impressed by Obama's intellect and I've not seen any evidence in his pre-HLS activities nor in his post-HLS activities which lead me to believe that he was a stellar intellect and I find it highly implausible that he was a stellar intellect ONLY during his 3 years at HLS, thus I believe I have a plausible foundation to hold that the honors he earned were earned through methods which were not a true proxy measure for intelligence.

Anonymous said...

First-rate post, TangoMan. There's really nothing more to say after that.

Anonymous said...

One question worth asking: Did Obama fail to publish anything of high intellectual caliber because he lacked the ability or because he was afraid of giving himself away?
Think. If Karl Marx's big dream had been to become Chancellor of Germany, would it have served him well to write the COMMUNIST MANIFESTO or DAS KAPITAL? Let us assume Obama is really a genius. Given his radicalism, would it have been smart for him to intellectually elaborate on his real thoughts?
Saul Alinsky's book advised him not to. For him to become president, he had to remain vague, shroud himself in a kind of Pharoahic aura. He had to be mostly mainstream, though a touch of the exotic--biracial, Hawaii, Indonesia, etc--and a hint of the radical added some spice to what otherwise might have been too bland(as with Colin Powell). His image wasn't radical as in Che the revolutionary but in Che the T-shirt.

So, supposing Obama is really smart, he was probably afraid he might give himself away if he expressed himself honestly--like Marx with DAS KAPITAL, Lenin with WHAT IS TO BE DONE, and Hitler with MEIN KAMPF. Hitler was later to say, when running for Chancellor, that he wished he hadn't written it. It was fodder for his enemies.
But just as Obama had the protection of the Jewish-powers-that-be in banking and media in 2008, Hitler had the protection of German Right, German bankers and industrialists, German police, and eventually German military. So, Hitler's own 'Rev Wright' issues--Mein Kampf and the strange death of his niece--were swept under the rug.
This isn't to say Obama is Hitler or Lenin. It's just to say we don't know the REAL Obama cuz he probably knew that if he clearly elucidated and elaborated on his beliefs, he would ruin his chances at the presidency.

Lenin came to power through a coup, and Hitler came to power during extreme times--far more dire than the financial crisis in 2008. Obama knew he had to appeal to the mainstream in a stable democracy where blacks are the minority. He could not rabble-rouse. Hitler could rabble-rouse the angry Germans. Lenin could rabble-rouse the angry Russians. But if a black guy hoped to win, he had to woo whites. He could not rabble rouse blacks(and alienate whites) or rabble rouse whites(since he wasn't one of them). Palin was the one to rabble-rouse the whites, which is why Jews hated her so much. If Obama was The One, Palin was 'One of Us'.

headache said...

The one 1 or 2 Obama press conferences on Al Jazeera which I suffered about 5 minutes into each seemed more in line with the atmosphere in a madrassa. The leader speaks and the little (Journolist) boys kneeling below either ask softball questions or just suck up the garbage.
I think Obama would have a hard time arguing with principled non-PC people like Ron Paul. Mostly reporters, politicians and other assorted "elites" are sucking up to him and not really giving him the post-racial (non-racial) treatment, which would require that they make NO allowances for his race or its perceived historical weaknesses.

This goes for similar artificial puppets like Mandela.

Anonymous said...

"What hasn't been raised in the discussion thus far is the grade inflation that permeated HLS at that time. Obama graduated in 1991, a time when over 76% of graduates received honors. Pointing to the post-99 era grade reforms doesn't tell us anything useful about what the standards were when Obama graduated."

According to Alexa, iSteve readers tend to be late fifty-ish and graduate educated. Their knowledge of what's going on in the universities and professional schools may not be current.

On the other hand, Steve's audience is large enough and smart enough that it's likely to contain a non-negligible sampling of HLS grads, National Merit Scholars, and folks who may have crossed paths with the political and academic celebrities of today (who also tend to be fifty to sixty-ish).

I think the commenter suggesting that iSteve readers are hoaxing Steve about knowing famous people is off base. In elite academia, it's a small word. (Duh! that's what makes it elite).

jay said...

"The media is so incredibly tied into this phony portrayal of him being the better prez, yet he belongs in a used car salesroom or perhaps a lobby group."

I think Obama would make a convincing Vice-Chancellor of Diversity and Inclusion at Williams College.

Anonymous said...

As indeed they well would. They are defending their "brand". They are probably not dumb, too be sure, not average, but not all that smart. And I am one who thinks that Obama probably has an IQ in line with most other presidents (like Kennedy or Bush the elder perhaps).

I'm sure it would be possible here to throw out any number of names of people who graduated from top-tier law schools and who have demonstrated, through words or deeds, no particular talent or great intelligence. I'll throw out the first name:

Hillary Clinton, Yale Law


What a shocking amount of stupidity. Law schools admit people based on the LSAT and those who got into the top schools without AA need to be on the 98th percentile of a g loaded test only taken by college graduates. If you want to reject psychometrics fine, but throw out all the race and IQ stuff with it too.

The slave morality resentment here is sad.

-Top 5 Law Grad

catperson said...

Smart or not, Obama has never been tested since the rich powerful Jews around him did everything for him.

What is this ridiculous obsession with portraying Obama as a puppet of Jews? It was Hillary, not Obama who supported the war in Iraq. Hillary was actually far more popular with Jewish Americans than Obama (who has a Muslim middle name) could ever hope to be. She got a far great percentage of the Jewish vote and was endorsed by the NY Times and the media described her as the "inevitable" candidate and declared her the winner of every single debate. And in Israel, Obama is probably the most unpopular president in American history:

http://www.mojvideo.com/video-feeling-the-hate-in-jerusalem-on-eve-of-obama-s-cairo-addres/aea441d039edf753afe0

Just because some of you don't like Obama and don't like Jews is no reason to assume there's a conspiracy between the two.

Anonymous said...

The whole question of Obama's intelligence should be filtered through Occam's Razor. If Obama had a demonstrated history of being an intellectual giant, then it would be reasonable to assume that he earned his honors at HLS by demonstrating his high intelligence in his course work.

Very few people in my law school class had a "demonstrated history of being an intellectual giant." For most of them, the most solid indication an outsider who knew their bios would have for IQ would be what school they got into and what honors they received. They have IQs in the 135-145 range.

-Top 5 Law Grad

catperson said...

The big obstacle to believing Barry is a genius are those concealed test scores. Blather all you want about how he had to be smart to get magna cum laude (affirmative action, how does it work?), the fact is that if he had decent scores they would be public knowledge, as with EVERY other politician of note. No one in this egomaniac category hides his light under a bushel--trust me on this, spergs.

Where are Bill Clinton's scores? Where are Hillary's scores? They both have huge egos and probably very high IQ's (wasn't Hillary a national merrit scholar winner?). With the exception of Bush, no president in American history has released his SAT scores.

I'm not saying Obama is a genius, but this argument is ridiculous.

catperson said...

MSM was all livid about 'hate speech' at Palin rallies but covered up the Wright controversy,

Absolute utter hogwash. The Wright controversy has NOTHING to do with Obama, and the fact that Obama was smeared through guilt by association 24 hours a day for weeks, shows how much bias there was in the media AGAINST Obama.

Sarah Palin had far nuttier preachers at her church which the media completely ignored. Hillary Clinton incorrectly claimed she came under fire in Bosnia and the media gave her a pass, while they continued to attack Obama for something a preacher at his church said; so don't give me this crap about the media covering up for Obama.

The media declared Hillary the winner every single debate and described her as the inevitable candidate and she was well on track to win the nomination until Oprah campaigned for Obama in Iowa and South Carolina, but even after those wins, the media tried to derail Obama by turning Rev Wright into the biggest scandal since Watergate (since the previous narrative, that Obama wasn't black enough, didn't work).

Now I agree the media did support Obama in the general election, but it was mostly because he had the Democratic nomination at a time when Republicans had ruined the country, and added insult to injury by nominating the conspicuously unqualified Sarah Palin for VP.

catperson said...

The year Obama got accepted the LSAT percentile African Americans in Harvard Law was around 160-163, which gives an IQ of 130-132 for the median Black

No that's too high (even assuming those LSAT scores are true). First of all, Harvard law students are selected by the LSAT so the LSAT will give a biased measure of their IQ's.

When Harvard studenst sit down and take a real IQ test that they were not selected by, the average IQ clocks in at 130:

http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/2003/10.23/01-creativity.html

Harvard law would be a little smarter; maybe 135. That would be the average for all students at Harvard law (black students would probably be in the 120s)

Note I am talking about their IQ's on a real test. You can't go by LSAT scores because there's a selection effect that biases the scores upward.

Anonymous said...

None of this matters.You are all arguing about how many angels can dance on the head of a bloody pin.

Obama could have an IQ of 77 and it still wouldn't matter. He beat us. He's president and I don't care if he was born in Kenya or if his dad was just some wandering American black guy who landed in town the day Stanley Annn decided to rebel and sock it to her parents; Obama's not going anywhere. If the GOP throws Romney into the ring because it's his turn then Obama will beat us again. Sauron has the ring, fellow Ents. Convincing yourself that Obama isn't smart may make you feel good about yourself but it doesn't help the country and it won't wind the next election.

Nine-of-Diamonds said...

"If Obama were using TA's (do they even have these in law school? I've never heard of it.) to basically grade and come up with the keys to the exams, wouldn't that fact have come out?"

At my school (top 20) professors offered the best 1L's what were basically the rough equivalent of TA positions. It's been said he taught Con Law as well as his "Racism and the Law" fluff course. Everyone takes Con Law so he would have had his pick of competent students (as opposed to the Bitter Minorities & Phesbian Leminists you get in grievance-mongering electives). This would have been an excellent way for 0bama to produce passable exams in a "hard" course without relying on his own dubious talents. Using summer assistants for this purpose would probably not have been kosher, but it's precisely the kind of thing you'd expect given his indolence. The administration never called him out for failing to attend faculty meetings, among other things, so he may have [correctly] assumed he could violate protocol without being disciplined.

RobertB said...

Being a person with a 1977 SAT score of 1540 (or 1570, forget which) and who, unlike most of his "peers" didn't bother to study for it (or any other test i have ever taken) I don't see Obama at 130. I put him maybe between 110 and 125. Hard to say based on merely watching all of his debates.

I agree with Joy and a few others with respect to his glibness but i will put a finer point on it all for you. His glibness is reminiscent of higher order of playing "the nines" than the average AA. Having had much contact with them in middle and HS, I have a good basis for this. The lower IQ blacks would say silly things like "your momma wears combat boots" whereas the smarter ones (say 90-100 IQ) would come up with more insightful rhyming), wheres the bright ones (say 105) could pull off Muhammad Ali style nonsense. Obama, therefore, is above that level, but it's much the same thing.

RobertB said...

For the person who's friend was a top SAT scorer, when did they take it? Mensa hasn't accepted SATs for going on 20 years now as there are no longer IQ questions on them. In my own experience, having once been a top debater, people who cannot make a decision, are no where near genius level IQ. That's the whole thing about higher "Q" that merely bright-very bright people fail to grasp. It is, simply put, the ability to take a given amount of information and extrapolate--i.e., abstract thought. Another way to see it, is that we can "see" the answer. I did my math assignments during the last 5-10 minutes of class discussion time and turned them in on my way out the door.

RobertB said...

Lack of knowledge is inconsistent with high IQ. It's not a defense for what I see as obfuscation. People with high IQ have a voracious appetite for knowledge. It is a never ending quest to "know". The only exception to this are those who go off on tangents in the realm of science on a quest for the unknowable, as it were. In my own life, for as long as I can remember, I have always been accused, by even bright people, of "always having an answer"--as if there was something suspect about that. To the ordinary (less than 130) this is seen as almost magical. I never took notes--not even in college. This disturbed people. The incidence of above 130 IQ is so extremely rare, that one is not likely to meet another such person during their academic career unless they are guided into "gifted programs"--even then, those programs are mostly made up of people approaching 130, but not over it. I have friends who graduated top half of HLS, they are not above 130--not by my estimation. Their SATs from the same time period were in the 1250 to 1350 range--only one scored above 1500. What is it to be that smart? It's taking a standard Stanford-Binet IQ test in 9th grade with a one hour allotment for the test and finishing it in 22 minutes with 100% accuracy so you can go to early lunch and sit with your friends who are in another lunch period. It's seeing their look of astonishment when you tell them the test wasn't hard in response to their asking why/how you are done already. It's seeing the look of pride on your core studies teacher's face when he announces the name of the student who just set a record in Minnesota for a test score (you Sailerites will recall that Minn had the highest average IQ in America). It's sitting there in a conference room with the test administrators who want to know how you did it, all the while smiling at you in astonishment. It's seeing the look on the Jewish kid's faces when it wasn't one of their names called out. It's being accused of somehow cheating by the ordinary 120 IQ nerds with an axe to grind. But it's mostly wanting to be like everyone else and just have fun and be accepted. And what that means is learning how to talk to ordinary people so they can understand what you are trying to convey.

RobertB said...

What did I choose to do for a living? A form of crisis management--making fast, split second decisions based upon limited data in the midst of an emergency situation in an industry my peers rightfully claim to be rife with underachievers. But, it only took me 5 years to be considered the best in the business here and 7 years to turn a $2500.00 investment into a million dollar business. Which is all I ever wanted from it--to be able to retire before the age of 35. The hardest thing high IQ people have to do in their adult lives is deciding what to do--being "good" at everything makes it hard to decide just what to do--one invariably gets bored once a particular area is mastered. Thus, The "Nash" syndrome--trying to find something that no one else has ever thought of or done.

Lastly, what you are seeing in Obama--at least his glowing classmates "his wonderful ability to paraphrase others", is called "Mirroring" in psychology. read about it here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirroring_%28psychology%29

This is a sign of severe personality disorder. This is why he seems to be an empty suit--he is. People with certain personality disorders have personalities which are best described as being jello like in their consistency--i.e., they appear to be firm, until you squeeze them. Which, given his upbringing, makes perfect sense to me--but then I think all Leftists are mentally ill:

http://www.libertymind.com/

Anonymous said...

Even assuming that Obama has a "mere" 115 IQ and not the >130 IQ that seems more accurate (IMO), he did a pretty damn good job of getting to where he is at now. Can we agree to that?

I mean, let's assume Obama has a "mere" 115 IQ. He would have still needed the guile and motivation to get into college over the the couple hundred other black males with similar intellects he was competing with, become a famous "community activist," whatever that is, tricking law schools into letting him in, tricking his teachers and at least a few of his classmates into thinking he's smart in both law school and undergrad, tricking his fellow law students into making him President of Harvard Law despite likely graduating near the bottom of his class, finding a team of Jewish handlers to make all his decision for him because he can't think for himself, figuring out how to run for Senator and actually getting elected, running for president against a much more seasoned politician and actually winning, and surviving in office for two years without the country imploding on itself! And all the time covering for his obviously vast stupidity. That's gotta count for something, right? I mean, it almost seems impossible, considering his low intellect.

Man, those Jews and liberals can pull of nearly anything.

Anonymous said...

Obama was not a National Merit Scholar, a National Merit Semifinalist or even an Outstanding Participant

This is probably true, but I haven't seen definitive proof of it yet. So far as I know there's no listing of who was given PSAT awards.

The company that runs the test sends out press releases to the local papers, and often the school will mention the winners, but in Obama's pre-web era the information can be difficult to find. I was a semifinalist several years after Obama and I'd be surprised if there was a public, printed record of it. I looked and it wasn't mentioned in the school yearbook, and the local paper's digital archive doesn't return any hits.

Also, there is test variance; maybe he was off on the day of the PSAT, or, likely, the SAT. You shouldn't hang everything on a single test result. Better indicators are his consistent mediocre results outside of his three years at HLS.

His prep school would have probably publicized it if he had done well, and he'd have probably leveraged that into a more prestigious college, but lack of these events is indirect evidence rather than direct evidence.

headache said...

@catperson,
you are confusing ordinary Jews with the conspiratorial crowd around Soros and Alinsky etc. Ordinary Jews most probably liked Hillary a lot more coz she is predictable. But the crowd around Soros had an agenda and controlled Obama, so they fell comfortable with him.

Anonymous said...

"Being a person with a 1977 SAT score of 1540"

Oh yeah? I got an SAT score of 2000.

Truth said...

"Maybe... if a pro-wrestler can win in liberal Minnesota and a bodybuilder can win in liberal California."

And a did-nothing-in-life, daddy's boy can win in Texas...

"Obama, therefore, is above that level, but it's much the same thing."

So you've seen the POTUS rhyming, playing the dozens and doing 'Ali style nonsense'? Please release those secret tapes to the media.

Anonymous said...

"None of this matters.You are all arguing about how many angels can dance on the head of a bloody pin.
Obama could have an IQ of 77 and it still wouldn't matter. He beat us."

The fact that IQ doesn't matter matters. It means the presidency is not about smarts or ability about who is behind you.

Anonymous said...

"The Wright controversy has NOTHING to do with Obama, and the fact that Obama was smeared through guilt by association 24 hours a day for weeks, shows how much bias there was in the media AGAINST Obama. Sarah Palin had far nuttier preachers at her church which the media completely ignored."

The issue was not that Wright was nutty. He was genuinely hateful and deranged. A vicious man. Obama not only associated with him but praised him to high heaven. He also lied about not knowing the dark side of Wright.
On the Wright issue, Obama was smeared by Fox News and Talk Radio, but most of liberal MSM covered it in a muted and neutral way. It didn't editorialize, and there soon developed the narrative that only neo-McCarthyites are upset over it.
If all of media had taken the Fox News line that IT'S UNACCEPTABLE, Obama would have had to fold.

It's like the Don Imus scandal. Other celebs have said equally offensive or even more offensive things, but why did Imus get it in the neck? Media turned on him and wove the narrative, 'Imus is a racist'. But no such narratives are woven about Sarah Silerman or Larry David.

catperson said...

Every year, high schools graduate about 5 million kids, where 10% are black, say. If the average black IQ is 85, then approximately 0.1% or 500 will be three sigma above average with an IQ above 130 (and most will be very close to 130, since this part of the bell curve is an exponentially falling tail).

You're assuming the black SD is as large as the white SD. It's actually several points lower.

Kylie said...

"None of this matters.You are all arguing about how many angels can dance on the head of a bloody pin.

Obama could have an IQ of 77 and it still wouldn't matter. He beat us. He's president...Convincing yourself that Obama isn't smart may make you feel good about yourself but it doesn't help the country and it won't wind[sic] the next election."


Exactly.

The thing is, I don't care about helping a country that would elect the likes of Obama (or Bush, for that matter) and I don't hold out much hope for the next election, regardless of who the RINOs nominate.

In the absence of any opportunity to do the things I think ought to be done, I might as well waste time talking about Obama's putative high intelligence. It's certainly more amusing than talking about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin when I already know that angels don't dance.

Oh, and I've always said, and honestly believe, that Obama is above average in intelligence. He's smart--I just don't think he's as smart as he thinks he is but then, I don't agree with anything he's ever said, done or stood for anyway so what the hell.

Mr. Anon said...

"catperson said...

Absolute utter hogwash. The Wright controversy has NOTHING to do with Obama, and the fact that Obama was smeared through guilt by association 24 hours a day for weeks, shows how much bias there was in the media AGAINST Obama."

Your post is absolute utter hogwash. Obama did more than just sit in Wright's church, and Wright was more to Obama than a mere passing aquaintenance.

Anonymous said...

Should there be a concept known as PI, or political intelligence(or power intelligence)? I know one guy who wasn't good at book learning but brilliant at working people. He could sell a used car to Ricky Roma(of GLENGARRY).

In the movie BROADCAST NEWS, the dumb white guy had a way with people. He wasn't only good-looking but immensely likable, at least more than the irascible Jewish guy. And, I think the indication in SCHINDLER'S LIST is that Schindler is actually a better hustler than a businessman. In fact, his main business is hustling. He has the ability to make himself look intelligent.

If genuine intellectual intelligence requires truth and honesty, political/power intelligence requires the ability to juggle truths, half-truths, half-lies, and lies. This is why some study said politicians are like serial killers and sociopaths; in fact, the guy in VENGEANCE IN MINE is so deadly cuz he has no qualms about putting on an act to fool his victims.
It's like actors and performers need a different kind of intelligence than composers. Presley has great performance-intelligence. Okay, maybe intelligence is the wrong term here; intuition or sense might be better. But it's trickier in politics where the boundary between intelligence and intuition/sense is blurred.
And in comedy, the mark of a great comic performer is timing. I heard Groucho Marx didn't write most of his lines, but he sure could deliver them(whereas a lot of comic writers would make poor perfomers).

Different political figures have different kinds of intelligence/intuition/sense/personality. From bios of 20th century giants, I got the impression that Stalin and Mao had great memory, like that of an elephant. But they were not intellectuals or theorists on the level of Marx, Lenin, or Trotsky.
Also, men of politics generally seem to have little interest in or little aptitude for stuff like math, which is why they generally join up with geeky kinds to solve the math-stuff. Hitler had the likes of Speer and others to handle the numbers. Mao had Liu, Zhou, and Deng. Lenin had no sense of economics in numbers-terms. Stalin did have a brutal sense of mathematics: kill millions and build industry, and it worked enough.
Generally, political giants prefer to scheme--when out of power--and dream--when in power. Hitler and Mao were brilliant schemers on the path to power. Hitler was a master political psychologist of crisis. Mao was brilliant with the carrot-and-stick approach, alternately ruthless and moderate. But once they gained total power, they threw caution to the winds and began to dream. Hitler's big fiasco was WWII, especially invasion of Russia. Mao's fiasco was the Great Leap and Cultural Revolution. Both went from victory to victory to victory on the way to power and then to failure to failure to failure once in power. (Even so, Mao wasn't crazy enough to invade another nation, though to be sure, had US been ruled by a hardline president during the early 50s, China might have been nuked for its involvement in the Korean War.)

Anonymous said...

What were the IQs of guys like Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Sukarno, Trotsky, Lenin, Mussolini? My guess is Trotsky and Lenin were extremely smart, Mussolini was very smart, and Mao/Hitler/Stalin were pretty smart. But Mao, Hitler, and Stalin had very high power-intelligence(more so than Lenin and Trotsky), a natural ability to gauge situations and hold power. But personality matters too. Stalin was, by nature, cautious, while Mao and Hitler, once in power, tended to think 'artistically' than 'bureaucratically'.

The political intelligence of dictators is easier to gauge since they pretty got to do everything as they wished. It's more difficult with leaders in a democracy since they never gain total power.
But Reagan was a classic case of a man with high PI. As a theorist, he was no match to someone like Milton Friedman(or even WFB for that matter), but he understood both the art and science of people-relations. Friedman, on the other hand, was very high IQ but couldn't have succeeded in politics--for the same reason Trotsky, in the end, wasn't fit for leadership either. In the end, intellectuals are more into ideas and 'truth' than power and reality, the source of real power.

The cases of Hitler and Mao are especially compelling because they came from nowhere and became the total rulers of great nations. And their high PI had a lot to do with their success. But power not only corrupts but corrodes, turning Political Intelligence to Political Idiocy. Out of power, one uses human intelligence to gain power. In power, one mistakes one's great sucess as the will of the gods. Napoleon too.

Anonymous said...

Never believe anyone who says he didn't bother studying for the SAT or LSAT.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

""Hillary Clinton, Yale Law""

What a shocking amount of stupidity. Law schools admit people based on the LSAT and those who got into the top schools without AA need to be on the 98th percentile of a g loaded test only taken by college graduates."

What shocking stupidity to misunderstand what I wrote. Are you stupid? Sure, she did well on her LSATs. But what has she ever done or said to indicate that she is particularly smart? F**ked up her vaunted health-care initiative? Got elected to a senate seat with her husbands powerful political machine calling the shots all the way? F**ked up her campaign for the presidency? What has she accomplished, on her own, and of any note? And anyway, Hillary attended law-school in the early 70s. I rather doubt that law-school admissions were quite as stratified according to test-scores then as they are now.

And by the way, Mr. "Top Tier Law Grad", as another poster has noted, back in 1991, fully three quarters of Harvard Law's output graduated "with honors". Three quarters of them deserved honors? Really? That doesn't sound very selective to me. As I said, a lot of your huffing and puffing is simply an attempt to defend your brand. Lawyers aren't necessarily that bright - ivy-league lawyers included. You don't impress me.

Anonymous said...

How much has HLS changed since PAPER CHASE? I loved the movie and read the book; I used to watch the TV series too.

The thing most interesting to me was

(1) it gave us a portrait of HLS when its professors were still mostly of the Old Wasp Kind

(2) it explored the different kinds of intelligence and ability

(3) it dramatized the relation between intelligence and personality

(4) it gave us a picture of a still crusty elite institution in an era of counter-culture: just look at the hair-style of the students.

On the matter of (2), we learn that not all intelligences or abilities are alike. One guy has a photographic memory but lacks analytical skills. As for Bell--the fat prickly guy--, his intelligence obsesses over one subject--property contracts or something or other. He has a tunnel-intelligence that digs at one thing while ignoring all else.

On the matter of (3), we learn intelligence or ability isn't enough. Personality is half of it. Bell only makes enemies and gets his comeuppance. Hart almost throws it all away with his romantic fixations on Kingsfield's daughter and romanticzied obsessions about Kingsfield. The guy with the great memory not only lacks logical skills but generally lacks will and confidence.

Anderson is the all-around nice and balanced guy, which is why, all on his own, he made general outlines of each subject even though the study group went to pot. On the other, he is so nice and balanced that you don't see him doing anything great in life.

Anonymous said...

"Note I am talking about their IQ's on a real test. You can't go by LSAT scores because there's a selection effect that biases the scores upward."

I agree that the LSAT is far from perfect as an IQ test, but I don't understand the point in the second sentence.

Udolpho.com said...

Where are Bill Clinton's scores? Where are Hillary's scores?

You're just an idiot. Give it a rest and preserve a tiny shred of dignity. Hillary was a finalist, she didn't make the cut (btw I hate to brag but yours truly was a National Merit Scholar--when do I get my genius crown?). She's a classic above average striver.

And contrary to your suggestion, a great deal of her academic record is known (you could have found it on her wiki page if you weren't so goddamn lazy). Speeches, thesis paper, etc.

Bill's SAT is rumored to be 1032, which some people (mostly his fans) consider "unpossible" because HOW CAN A MAN TALK FLUENTLY UNLESS HE IS A SUPER-GENIUS??? Really people are very dumb about estimating IQ. Odds are good that Bill also has reasons for not bragging about his SAT score (note how we know Hillary was a National Merit Finalist).

Similarly, why do we know Dubya's SAT score? Because it's pretty good! So don't be a totally naive moron. Do the ego math. People who routinely take credit for things they didn't do are not likely to conceal evidence of their brilliance. Human nature 101.

Anonymous said...

What shocking stupidity to misunderstand what I wrote. Are you stupid? Sure, she did well on her LSATs. But what has she ever done or said to indicate that she is particularly smart? F**ked up her vaunted health-care initiative? Got elected to a senate seat with her husbands powerful political machine calling the shots all the way? F**ked up her campaign for the presidency? What has she accomplished, on her own, and of any note?

So her lack of political accomplishment is what indicates her lack of intelligence? Ron Unz lost to Pete Wilson in the Republican primaries. Does that mean that Wilson is smarter than Unz? Being able or unable to pass health care reform is a lot less g loaded than the LSAT.

As I said, a lot of your huffing and puffing is simply an attempt to defend your brand. Lawyers aren't necessarily that bright - ivy-league lawyers included. You don't impress me.

Look, if you don't accept that standardized tests measure intelligence then maybe you should be at Think Progress instead of here. I'm guessing you're one of those who thinks that tests are doing their job when they show people are dumber than you but not when they prove that people are smarter than you. Sort of like Half Sigma, who thinks everybody who's poorer than him is so because of bad genes but everybody who's richer than him is just connected or lucky.

catperson said...

I agree that the LSAT is far from perfect as an IQ test, but I don't understand the point in the second sentence.


The point of the second sentence is that you can’t use LSAT scores to estimate the average IQ at Harvard law because they were SELECTED by the LSAT. Anytime a group is selected based on their scores on a given test, that test overestimates the group’s ability. So you would find that folks at Harvard law might average IQ 145 on the LSAT, but given them any other “IQ test” (the WAIS, the Raven, the GRE, the Mensa admission test) and they would average 135.

The reason is that there is a lot of luck involved in getting into Harvard law; people who get in were lucky they were screened on a test that just happened to measure their strongest talents, and they just happened to guess correctly on a lot of questions they were unsure of, that they just happened to be exceptionally well rested the day of the test, the LSAT score for many of them just happened to be the highest test score they ever got in their entire lives. See when you are recruiting law students at that level, you are not just recruiting exceptional ability, but also exceptional psychometric luck. But when Harvard law school is given any other test, all that lucks runs out, and students would revert back down to their true level.

Similary, you might find that folks in Mensa average IQ 135 on the Mensa admition test, but given them the LSAT, the SAT, the GRE, the WAIS, the Raven (I don’t care what test it is, as long it’s not the one they were selected on) and they too will revert to significantly lower (more accurate) levels.

The same thing would happen in the opposite direction. Take a group of kids in a class for the mentally retarded, and given them a different test from the one used to put them in that class, and they would score significantly higher (with many no longer considered retarded). Many of them were not actually retarded, they just had a lot of bad luck when they were tested (the test just happened to emphasize their weakest points, or they were exceptionally tired or destracted that day).

catperson said...

And contrary to your suggestion, a great deal of her academic record is known (you could have found it on her wiki page if you weren't so goddamn lazy). Speeches, thesis paper, etc.

But we don't know her SAT scores or her LSAT scores, so by your logic they must be mediocre. And yet we know she's brilliant (national merit finalist), so your theory is wrong. Most smart people don't go around bragging about how smart they are just as most rich people don't brag about their net worth. People brag to compensate for their inferiority.

Bill's SAT is rumored to be 1032, which some people (mostly his fans) consider "unpossible" because HOW CAN A MAN TALK FLUENTLY UNLESS HE IS A SUPER-GENIUS???

Rumors are a dime a dozen. He was also rumored to have an IQ above 180. With the internet anyone can spread anything.

Truth said...

" Lawyers aren't necessarily that bright - ivy-league lawyers included. You don't impress me."

Then who is?

" Sort of like Half Sigma, who thinks everybody who's poorer than him is so because of bad genes but everybody who's richer than him is just connected or lucky."

That's EXACTLY what goes on here!

"IQ os destiny smarter people accomplish more, look at Africa!!!!"

Well you claim to have a 150 IQ, why are you an whiney, unknown loser?

"It doesn't apply to individuals, only cultures!!!

Isn't a culture a collection of individuals?

"Grumble...Grumble....Grumble"

"Barack Obama isn't nearly as smart as John McCain!!!"

Well didn't one guy graduate with honors, and the other third from the bottom of his class?

"Grumble,,,Grumble...Grumble"

"Barack Obama only made it through A.A. because he's black."

Don't white people generally do better than black people in America?

"Grumble...Grumble...Grumble"

Did they go through Detroit advertising the position of POTUS just looking for a black man to take it?

"Grumble...Grumble...Grumble"

Why have the first 44 presidents been white?

"Because...uh...it took intelligence to get elected president...until exactly 2008!"

And you being white, and "brilliant" why haven't you done better than Barry?

"Grumble...Grumble...Grumble...BECAUSE I'M NOT BLACK, THAT'S WHY!!!!!"

Anonymous said...

The incidence of above 130 IQ is so extremely rare, that one is not likely to meet another such person during their academic career unless they are guided into "gifted programs"--even then, those programs are mostly made up of people approaching 130, but not over it.

What are you talking about? About 2.2 percent of the general population has an IQ of 130-plus. Effectively, that's the brightest guy in a typical high school class.

My IQ's been measured as 140 (subject to brain-rot in recent years, no doubt), and while I'm clearly smarter than the average bear, I've met lots of people who seem shaper than me, and not just at university. To me, a 140 IQ means you may the smartest guy in the room, but the room is likely to have some guy droning through a PowerPoint presentation.

Cennbeorc

ben tillman said...

The year Obama got accepted the LSAT percentile African Americans in Harvard Law was around 160-163, which gives an IQ of 130-132 for the median Black.

This is unintelligible.

A percentile of more than 100? What are you trying to say? If you mean "average LSAT score instead of "percentile", you're still way off base, since the max LSAT score back then was 48.

ben tillman said...

Never believe anyone who says he didn't bother studying for the SAT or LSAT.

You've got to be kidding me. Thirty years ago, when I took the SAT, it was literally unheard of to study for the SAT.

I did study for the LSAT, however.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

Look, if you don't accept that standardized tests measure intelligence then maybe you should be at Think Progress instead of here. I'm guessing you're one of those who thinks that tests are doing their job when they show people are dumber than you but not when they prove that people are smarter than you. Sort of like Half Sigma, who thinks everybody who's poorer than him is so because of bad genes but everybody who's richer than him is just connected or lucky."

Listen - mouthpiece - sure I agree that standardized tests measure something real. We are not arguing that Harvard Law students aren't smart. I just don't believe - as you seem to - that they are some kind of academy of philosopher kings. I am aware of many people who scored higher than me on standarized tests, and who are indeed much smarter than me. But I don't think that necessarily includes all of the parasites excreted by our nations top law schools.

I will stand by my assertion. You guys aren't as smart as you think you are. You are defending your brand, because it is in your interest to do so.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

So her lack of political accomplishment is what indicates her lack of intelligence? Ron Unz lost to Pete Wilson in the Republican primaries. Does that mean that Wilson is smarter than Unz? Being able or unable to pass health care reform is a lot less g loaded than the LSAT."

That's a specious comparison. Ron Unz had (has) a career outside of politics, and he was (is) quite successful in it. Hillarly has had no career outside of the law and politics. And you know one thing that I expect from smart people is that they, you know, do some smart things occasionally. Hillary's way of going about things seems pretty ham-handed.

So I take it you graduated from Yale, and my comments hit to close to home?

Hunt2546 said...

Obama's magna cum laude at HLS may come to approximate Kerry's Vietnam medals: consciously sought, spectacularly unjustified.
Where is Jack Cashill, or even Steve Sailor on this. Guys, get busy. Destroy this self-invented, media-enabled hollow-head.

Anonymous said...

"Never believe anyone who says he didn't bother studying for the SAT or LSAT."

I slept through my SAT. As for LSAT, I never studied law but I took out a LSAT testbook at the library and tried it and got nearly everything wrong. But then, my brain just works differently.

Anonymous said...

What really matters is that the IQ of MSM drops about 30 pts in the presence of Obama. He's The One, the Historic Black Guy; a Myth has to be woven around him. So much money and hope has been invested into him. If he fails and doesn't live up to the ideal of the Great Black Guy, maybe the black masses will lose heart and get their cues from the likes of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton again. Obama is the Superman that the MSM had been waiting for. Given such idiocy, good luck with finding a 'superman' in educational reform.

MSM are fellow-traveler-acolytes of Obama, and Obama knows how to push the right buttons. There is a long tradition of white people seeking 'higher wisdom' from the noble non-white guru, wiseman, or leader. Like Maharishi Yogi, Don Juan(Carlos Castaneda), Dalai Lama, etc. Obama is pomo in being both American and 'different', a 'brother from another planet'.

Everyone should read Edgar Snow's RED STAR OVER CHINA. He gushed about Mao like some white liberals gush about Obama. And Mao was brilliant at toying with western minds; later, even in his fat dissipated state, he awed Nixon and Kissinger.
Mao presented himself to Edgar Snow as a 'profoundly humble' guy heroically committed to fighting the Japanese, working for social justice for the ordinary Chinese, striving for peace with other nations. Snow melted in his hands. Mao was often soft-spoken and even got teary-eyed with white liberals. And unlike so many third world leaders who put on big airs, he wore simple patched clothes, ate simple food, and was direct and accessible. People who met him thought, 'how could such a man-of-the-people be a crazy murderous radical?' The general consensus among American liberals was that Mao was not really a communist but an 'agrarian reformer', even a kind of 'social democrat'.
Though ruthless over his people, he knew how to turn on the charm with foreigners and Chinese liberals and leftists who journeyed to see him.

Edgar Snow wasn't a dumb person, but his willful desire to see Mao as a hero of the long-suffering Chinese made him stupidly blind to reality. For Snow, Mao was just a patriotic community organizer, not really a communist, and even if he was a communist, he was a willy-nilly communist, not a hardline communist.
RED STAR is a compelling read, a classic of its kind--to China what TEN DAYS THAT SHOOK THE WORLD is to Russia. But it is now more interesting as political psychology than history. We see the blinding psychology of 'hope and change', and how it can blind even those in the skeptical profession of journalism. It should be called DREAMS FROM MY CHINAMAN.

Anonymous said...

"What were the IQs of guys like Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Sukarno, Trotsky, Lenin, Mussolini? My guess is Trotsky and Lenin were extremely smart, Mussolini was very smart, and Mao/Hitler/Stalin were pretty smart."

We obviously don't have any psychometric data on the above dictators, but, interestingly, we do have IQ scores for many of the leading Nazis that survived the end of WWII:

http://www.gnxp.com/MT2/archives/003155.html

Anonymous said...

You've got to be kidding me. Thirty years ago, when I took the SAT, it was literally unheard of to study for the SAT.

No, I'm not kidding you. And it wasn't unheard of thirty years ago to prep for the SAT. It was, however, more difficult to do so, because the ETS didn't publish old SATs until around 1993 IIRC. But you still had prep companies and simulated SATs back then. I know because I knew people way back then who actually did prep for the SAT.

The point is, people (like a certain someone above) who casually mention that they never bothered to study for something as important as the SAT or LSAT (or who claim they went out and got smashed the night before the exam) are bullshitters trying to impress naive people.

Marlo said...

I read that Obama's mother was a math major and his dad studied at Harvard's Econ department. By the rules of HBD, that would make him a "quant" wouldn't it?

Nineofdiamonds wrote:
"Not unlike how one well-meaning Nice White Lady, in an attempt to praise me, mentioned how much I "looked like a lawyer" when I said I was going to law school (I'm predominantly AA,
speak without a "black" inflection, etc)."

You're not predominantly AA. Stop it.

RobertB wrote:
"What did I choose to do for a living? A form of crisis management--making fast, split second decisions based upon limited data in the midst of an emergency situation in an industry my peers rightfully claim to be rife with underachievers."

You sound like an insecure rapper who's trying too hard to assert his street cred. A king pin might say to a rapper--"If you're such a big bad street hustler, why did you become a rapper as opposed to a full-fledged 'gangsta' like your peers?". To which the rapper will say--"Well, I mastered the art of hustle but grew bored with it... so now I entertain people by telling my story".

You're an entertaining figure, Robert. But much like the rapper, you go a bit overboard in keeping it real :)

@ Kylie, if you hate America so much then why do you live here?

Udolpho.com said...

But we don't know her SAT scores or her LSAT scores, so by your logic they must be mediocre. And yet we know she's brilliant (national merit finalist), so your theory is wrong.

I think you're actually getting dumber. In real time. SHE DIDN'T MAKE NATIONAL MERIT SCHOLAR (something you didn't know but could have easily checked). So we don't know she's "brilliant", unless you think the 95th percentile is "brilliant". If you do, then your intellectual standard is really low.

And lol at being accused of intellectual insecurity because I mentioned I was an NMS. No, I did it because I knew it would put you in a bind. Hillary was brilliant for not making the cut...me not so much even though I made the cut. That's checkmate, dingbat.

Anonymous said...

"We obviously don't have any psychometric data on the above dictators, but, interestingly, we do have IQ scores for many of the leading Nazis that survived the end of WWII:
http://www.gnxp.com/MT2/archives/003155.html "

Rudolf Hess IQ 120.

Hess 120? This has to be a joke! The guy was a total dufus.

Kylie said...

"@ Kylie, if you hate America so much then why do you live here?"

I say I don't want to help and you infer hatred from that?

Do us both a favor and just skip past any comment that begins "Kylie said..."

none of the above said...

Anonymous:

The MSM is consistently stupider than its individual reporters, who range from quite smart to unimpressive. Are they stupider in the presence of Obama than in the presence of Bush or Clinton or McCain? I'm not sure--it seems more like they're stupid in a different direction.

My guess is that, on average, the PR people of the white house are smarter than the press that reports on the white house, and that they also have much better resources, including information gathered from illegal domestic surveillance. The way the US press was played w.r.t. the Iraq war was just amazing.

Anonymous said...

" But you still had prep companies and simulated SATs back then. I know because I knew people way back then who actually did prep for the SAT."

I didn't know anyone who studied for it years ago. How do you do that? It's ridiculous. Prep companies-yes.

Whiskey said...

Ike notes in Crusade in Europe, Napoleon's stock with staff officers fell once it was realized that every battle he ever fought was against coalitions. Which are generally disasters. Hitler lost to coalition forces too. Nor was starting WWII when Germany had achieved nearly all possible aims short of war smart. Nor was attacking Russia while leaving England in the fight (quite likely to bailed out by the US) smart. Hitler was an effective speechifyer, and emotional manipulator of crowds. But mostly stupid.

Same with Obama. Wright was sure to be poison. He just figured the media would fly support missions for him (they did) and he'd glide through with Black Privilege. Which he did. But that only takes you so far.

Whiskey said...

Obama did not study the careers of first Black coaches at Notre Dame, Washington, UCLA, and other football powers. Fans, athletes, alumni, and administration EXPECT RESULTS.

Obama is now judged on his results.

Including:

*Price of gas and groceries.
*Job gains and losses.
*Unemployment and job creation.
*Wage increases or losses.

These matter most. Clinton got lucky, oil hit 17.50 in 1995, and stayed low, for most of his terms, making him popular enough to get re-elected and avoid impeachment.

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