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Who: Kimball Corson. Text and Photos not disclaimed or that are obviously not mine are copyright (c) Kimball Corson 2004-2013
Port: Lake Pleasant, AZ
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IQ, SAT and LSAT Scores by Undergraduate Major
Kimball Corson
12/23/2011, Pago Pago, American Samoa

SAT is correlated to IQ or general mental ability, g. r= .82. Many think of it as measure of g. LSAT (SAT for Law Schools) scores are highly correlated to SAT scores and IQ. Now for some data:

Assuming the mean IQ of SAT test-takers included in a report by the College Board to be 103, the estimated average IQ of students by intended college major from their SAT scores follow:

Intended major and IQ
Interdisciplinary studies 114.0
Physical sciences 111.2
Mathematics and statistics 110.7
English and literature 110.1
Foreign language 109.8
Philosophy and religious studies 109.6
Social sciences 109.3
Library science 108.7
Engineering 108.5
Biological and biomedical sciences 107.7
Liberal arts & sciences and humanities 107.5
Area, ethnic, cultural, gender studies 106.8
Theology and religious vocations 106.4
Undecided 106.2
History 106.0
Natural resources and conservation 104.6
Military sciences 104.1
Computer and information sciences 103.9
Communication and journalism 103.5
Architecture 103.2
Visual and performing arts 103.0
Legal professions 102.8
Psychology 101.3
Business 101.2
Health professions 100.8
Engineering technicians 99.9
Education 99.3
Agriculture 99.2
Transportation 98.7
Other 97.8
Family and consumer sciences 97.5
Parks, recreation, leisure and fitness 97.5
Public administration and social services 96.6
Culinary services 96.5
Security and protection 95.9
Precision production 95.2
Construction trades 94.3
Mechanic and repair technician 93.3

Using the same methodology, average IQ estimates by race among those who took the SAT in 2008:

Group IQ
Asian 108.1
White 106.2
Native American/Alaskan native 100.3
Mexican 96.4
Other Hispanic 96.4
Puerto Rican 95.9
Black 92.4

LSAT Scores
University of North Texas economist Michael Nieswiadomy has conducted several studies (in 1998, 2006, and 2008) derived from LSAT data. In the most recent study Nieswiadomy took the median LSAT's of test-takers for 162 majors and grouped these into 29 categories, finding the averages of each major. (151 is about the median score and the 90th percentile is around 163 and the 99th is about 172) :

Mathematics/Physics 160.0
Economics/Philosophy/Theology (tie) 157.4
International relations 156.5
Engineering 156.2
Government/service 156.1
Chemistry 156.1
History 155.9
Interdisciplinary studies 155.5
Foreign languages 155.3
English 155.2
Biology/natural sciences 154.8
Arts 154.2
Computer science 154.0
Finance 153.4
Political science 153.1
Psychology 152.5
Liberal arts 152.4
Anthropology/geography 152.2
Accounting 151.7
Journalism 151.5
Sociology/social work 151.2
Marketing 150.8
Business management 149.7
Education 149.4
Business administration 149.1
Health professions 148.4
Pre-law 148.3
Criminal justice 146.0

How the Republican Front-Runners "Earned" Their Money
Kimball Corson
12/23/2011, Pago Pago, American Samoa

Quick Answer: all reprehensibly.

Michele Bachmann personally looted every state and federal program she could get her hands on for all the money she could get and also had a small-business that succeeded in part by mistakenly attempting to turn gay people straight.

Rick Perry became a millionaire through a series of super-lucky real estate deals with people he was in a position to help out through government, a pure corrupt capitalist.

Through his private equity firm, Bain Capital, Mitt Romney conducted leveraged buyouts of companies, often leading to layoffs of workers, the least bad of the bunch.

Newt Gingrich took money from health care companies to shill for their products, and millions from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to (essentially) lobby on their behalf.

And Ron Paul ran a publishing company that took in millions for publishing his newsletter that was homophobic, apocalyptic, economic doomsday, opportunistic (how to profit from the coming economic collapse), antisemitic, discussed the coming race war and basically pandered to every fear imaginable to make money.

Hell of a bunch. Eeny, meeny, miny, moe. Real statesmen all.

Here comes Iran
Kimball Corson
12/23/2011, Pago Pago, American Samoa

Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki of Iraq . . . er, Iran, now threatens to abandon the American-backed power-sharing government created a year ago, throwing that fragile democracy too much into the winds, just after the departure of American troops . . . and all because the Kurds refuse to turn over a fugitive vice president of Iraq who fled to escape an arrest warrant on charges that he ran a death squad responsible for assassinations and bombings.

To make maters worse, Mr. Maliki is threatening to release investigatory files that he claims implicate his political opponents directly in terrorism.

It seems Obama's triumphant exit is fading fast. Iran must just be licking its chops at these developments. If Iran steps into Iraq, which seems likely before too long, then we really will look like horses asses for going into Iraq and toppling Saddam. It could happen.

The Core Difference Between Conservatives and Liberals
Kimball Corson
12/17/2011, Pago Pago, American Samoa

The central difference between conservatives and liberals is conservatives struggle or not to fit real world facts into their ideological conceptions of how the world works or should work, whereas liberals don't force their views on the facts but take the facts as they find them and try to explain those facts within the context of what is known and accepted.

What Happens When the Permafrost Thaws
Kimball Corson
12/17/2011, Pago Pago, American Samoa

The perennially frozen ground known as permafrost is thawing world wide. So what?

Well, it seems experts have long known areas of permafrost were a storehouse of frozen carbon and methane, locked up in the form of decayed leaves, roots and other organic matter trapped in icy soil that never melts-- until now -- with global warming. Scientists have known that thawed permafrost can produce methane and carbon dioxide, gases that trap heat and warm the planet. But they have been absolutely stunned in recent years to realize just how much organic debris is there and how much carbon dioxide and methane can be released into the atmosphere.

A recent estimate suggests that just the permafrost areas which comprise nearly a quarter of the Northern Hemisphere, contain twice as much carbon dioxide as the world's entire atmosphere and the quantities of methane gas are through the roof as well.

This is a truly alarming development and realization.

On the Torture of Those Held on the Suspicion of Being Terrorists
Kimball Corson
12/17/2011, Pago Pago, American Samoa

OK, The National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 allows those suspected of being terrorists to be arrested and held indefinitely without trial including American citizens. In short, their constitutional rights are suspended and they may not petition for a writ of habeas corpus. But may they be lawfully tortured?

The criminal law doesn't prohibit torture because it doesn't apply to the military or arguably police actions that are military. Although John Woo's torture memo of August 1, 2002 has been itself technically rescinded, it still defines the law which allows, if the President authorizes it, detainees to be water boarded and have the testicles of their children crushed, among other tortures. The Geneva Convention and other international law against torture do not apply because those detained are not enemy combatants on behalf of any state or government. Treaties don't prohibit such torture because they only apply to uniformed enemy combatants. The same is true for the War Crimes Act. And federal statutes prohibiting torture don't prohibit torture in this context because they don't apply to conduct in military qua police facilities. If detainees constitutional rights are suspended, why not?

The rationale here is any effort by Congress to regulate the interrogation of suspected terrorists would violate the Constitution's sole vesting of the Commander-in-Chief authority in the President. . . . Congress can no more interfere with the President's conduct of interrogation of suspected terrorists than it can dictate strategic or tactical decisions on the battlefield. It would be a usurpation of the Commander in Chief's constitutional authority. See where this could go during a riot or resurrection by protesters?

So that's that. Basically, the president can authorize any action at all as Commander-in-Chief in the war on terror. Congress can't bind him, treaties can't bind him, and the courts can't bind him. The scope of power, as the memo suggests, is, almost literally, absolute. And since the war on terror is a war without end, the grant of power is also without end.

Pretty thin, I know. But we are already on this slippery slope. And it is not a long stretch for our government to get there. The pieces are coming together. That is bothersome in the extreme. Sufficiently terrorized, we become our own worst enemy.

Applying the New Law Allowing Americans to Be Jailed Indefinitely Without Trial
Kimball Corson
12/16/2011, Pago Pago, American Samoa

Its allowed if administration officials think you might be a terrorist. But what does it take to be thought of as a terrorist. Here is where it really gets spooky.

So, what makes you a terror suspect in America? Here are 10 ridiculous things that make you a terrorist according to "officials" running the U.S. government:

Tea Party Activists: The political Left demonized peaceful Tea Party activists as right-wing extremists, leading to the second most powerful official in the U.S. government, VP Joe Biden, to liken them to terrorists. Do you sympathize with those who are angry about bank bailouts on the backs of taxpayers? Well, you're likely a terrorist in the eyes of the State.

Occupy Activists: Now, the "Occupy" movement, said to be made up of left-wing extremists, is enjoying the same treatment as the Tea Party's right-wing extremists. The United Kingdom has officially labeled "Occupy" demonstrators as domestic terrorists. The U.S. hasn't gone quite that far, but the violent Police State did spy them in search of "domestic terrorists." Watch out, you may be a terror suspect if you sympathize with the 99%.

7 Days of Food: The Department of Justice and FBI considers you a terrorist threat if you have more than 7 days of food stored, as explained by Rand Paul on the Senate floor.

Missing Fingers: The document referred to by Rand Paul above, also claims that if someone is missing a finger or has burn marks, they're more likely to be a terror suspect.

Buying Flashlights: Also from the same official source, if you're buying night-vision devices including flashlights, you should be considered a terror suspect.

Paying Cash at Hotels: Watch out if you want to pay with cash for hotel rooms.

Texting Privately in a Public Place: According to this DHS commercial for their citizen spy program, if you're texting while sitting in a public park, but trying to keep it concealed from people who pass by, you should be reported for suspicious terrorist activity.

Ron Paul Stickers: A 2009 law enforcement report from the Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC) labeled Ron Paul supporters, Libertarians, and people sharing movies about the Federal Reserve as "domestic terrorists." When supporters of a political candidate who stands for peace and freedom become terror suspects, America is in big trouble.

Belief in Conspiracies: Obama's Information Czar, Cass Sunstein, has identified those who hold conspiracy theories as targets for online "cognitive infiltration." Do you question the motives for war? Question the motives of the private Federal Reserve bank? Question any government policies? Chances are you already have been marked as a suspect.

Own Precious Metals: Despite the fact that the Federal Reserve paper note (a.k.a. the dollar) is only sustained by faith, you could now be a suspected terrorist if you would like to preserve your wealth with something that holds real value like precious metals. And forget about establishing an alternative currency made from silver or gold like Bernard von NotHaus as you may be lumped into a "unique form of terrorist."

Hiring "Cutoffs" in America's Top 25- Law Firms
Kimball Corson
12/16/2011, Pago Pago, American Samoa

At elite law firms, there is usually a kind of sliding scale with grades and school prestige. For example, at a typical top-25 law firm, students from Yale, Harvard, Stanford will need to be at the top 33%; Columbia, Chicago, NYU top 20-25%; rest of the top 14, top 10-15% or so; rest of the top 25, top 5%-10%; and anywhere outside of that, top 1 or 2.

It is usually the case, however, that a very top student from a good but not elite law school will be turn out to be a better attorney than someone in the middle of their class at Harvard or Yale. Supreme Court clerkships are, however, very heavily dominated by people in the top 5% at Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Chicago with usually a few others sprinkled from the rest (including sometimes non-top 14 schools).

However, law is in general not a career for which success scales with grades. It scales pretty well up to about IQ of 130 or so and has diminishing marginal returns up to maybe 145, but other things become a lot more important. The median IQ at the top 3 law schools is in about the 135 area.

Couldn't Happen to a Nicer Bunch
Kimball Corson
12/16/2011, Pago Pago, American Samoa

A federal lawsuit alleges executives at Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae willfully mislead investors. (I wonder if Newt Gingrich helped them strategize how to do that for the $1.6 to $1.8 million he received and, more interestingly, whether Newt could be added as a party to allege a co-conspiracy count.)

The SEC has brought civil actions against six former top executives at the mortgage giants, saying that the executives did not adequately disclose their firms' exposure to risky mortgages in the run-up to the financial crisis. The case is one of the most significant federal actions taken against top executives at the center of the housing bust and ensuing financial crisis.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been lightning rods in Washington as symbols of the excessive risk-taking that pushed the country into an economic downturn. The agency filed complaints against several former executives. And what about Newt?

Talk About Our Constitutional Rights Under Attack.
Kimball Corson
12/16/2011, Pago Pago, American Samoa

The Stop Online Piracy Act ("SOPA"), pending in Committee, that is now awaiting a vote in 2012, is drastic. The date for the committee vote has been pushed back. It allows any website guilty of even the smallest intellectual piracy infringement to be totally shut down for good. Period.

SOPA is being aggressively urged by Hollywood movie studios, major record labels and luxury brand goods providers to crackdown on internet piracy of their wares. "But the tools envisioned are so extreme that tech experts warn the legislation threatens the very functionality of the Internet. The ACLU and other free-speech groups emphasize that by authorizing the federal government and corporations to shut down entire websites without a trial for posting just a single piece of copyright-infringing content, the bill would sharply curb the exercise of free speech online. . .

The votes delay is a legislative strategy that members of Congress are all too willing to accept. With huge corporations on both sides of the bill, lawmakers will be able to request another round of campaign contributions, no matter what the legislation's ultimate fate may be." HuffPo

The slime in every direction seems unending. And what of the public interest??

On Lobbyists and Those Who Lobby
Kimball Corson
12/16/2011, Pago Pago, American Samoa

Lobbyists are who the law says they are. Lobbying in fact is what the rest of us understand it to be. Here is why Newt didn't consider himself a lobbyist. The law is a joke.

In 1954 lobbyists challenged the Regulation of Lobbying Act for being unconstitutionally vague and unclear. In United States v. Harriss, 347 U.S. 612, 74 S. Ct. 808, 98 L. Ed. 989, the Supreme Court responded by upholding the act's constitutionality but also by narrowing the scope and application of the act. The Court ruled that the act applies only to paid lobbyists who directly communicate with members of Congress on pending or proposed federal legislation. This means that lobbyists who visit with congressional staff members rather than members of Congress themselves are not considered lobbyists. In addition, the act covers only attempts to influence the passage or defeat of legislation in Congress and excludes other congressional activities. Further, the act applies to and restricts only individuals who spend at least half of their time lobbying.

Those who do these things are Lobbyists and need to be registered as such. Obviously, the definitions are too narrow. Others, who slide through these technical definitions and engage in what we understand to be lobbying, often consider themselves to be just advisers or consultants for their clients even when they do what the rest of us consider lobbying.

Since the 1940s there has been continuing debate in the United States over the proper role of lobbyists in a democratic society, where lobbying is understood in the proper sense and not the nit picky legal one. Actual lobbyists contend they offer a valuable service to legislators and government officials, providing information and raising questions about pending legislation or executive action. Critics argue that many lobbyists are nothing more than influence peddlers who seek political and legislative favors for their clients and make campaign contributions and promises under the table sometimes to get them.

So which are they? One, the other or both? Does having a paying client matter? How good and unbiased is the information provided to a legislator where a lobbyist has a client with special interests? How truly useful are the questions raised? How do campaign contributions really enter the picture? Do lobbyists sometimes actual write the legislation they want? Is lobbying an honorable profession?

Personally, I think lobbying is the First Amendment right of petition badly run amuck. It is anathema to the democratic process and actually undermines that process.

Our Tail Between Our Legs
Kimball Corson
12/16/2011, Pago Pago, American Samoa

Our military is departing Iraq without leaving a security force behind even though insurgents continue to attack our American soldiers as we leave and militants with Al Qaeda still regularly carry out devastating attacks against civilians and others.

Too, Iranian influence in Iraq, especially with Iraq's new Prime Minister from Iran, is markedly on the rise and the Iranians like the instability there for the opportunity it affords them. Iran may get politically what it was never able to get by war against Iraq. We also didn't win many big oil contracts which mostly went to others.

Seems to me we have sort of kicked ourselves hard in the nuts, ostensibly in the name of ridding Iraq of weapons of mass destruction and bringing democracy to the Middle East . . . like in Lybia, Egypt, Iraq and Afghanistan. We are amazing . . . in regard to how stupid we are. But it does not end there.

If Iran would like to invade Iraq for its oil, soon is the time, with Iraq's Prime Minister as the Iranian point man. An American explained why: "From a standpoint of being able to defend against an external threat, they have very limited to little capability, quite frankly," Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, the departing American commander in Iraq, said in an interview a few days ago. That sounds like a go to me, if I were Iran. Iraq has an awful lot of oil. Iran's economic base and influence in the Middle East would be augmented tremendously.

Watch for it. It might happen. What a stupid comment from General Austin, but of course he didn't tell the Iranians anything they didn't already know. They might have even heard it from Iraq's Prime Minister, too.

Newt Gingrich is a First Class Washington Weasel
Kimball Corson
12/16/2011, Pago Pago, American Samoa

According to Bloomberg News, Gingrich is said now to have been paid between $1.6 and 1.8 million by Freddie Mac, which he claims were for "consulting fees" under two contracts with Freddy Mac after he left Congress. For reasons unclear, it was obviously payoff time and payoff money, undoubtedly for things done while in office.

Newt said he gave Freddy Mac advise on public policy matters under the first contract and under the second "he advised the troubled firm as a 'historian.'" And we are supposed to swallow this. Of course, he can't remember the details.

Under the first contract, Newt counseled Freddy Mac on the federal government's big push for home ownership for everyone which was such a disaster and in part led to the later crash of the housing market, Wall Street and the US economy. And to think, he got paid for it.

Newt insists he was "not a lobbyist" although he was hired through Freddy Mac's own lobbyist. Now, Newt is declining to say what kind of advise he gave Freddy Mac. Obviously, the firm's outcomes have been less than stellar which is probably why Newt has developed not only amnesia but has also gone dumb on the matter as well.

What he did for $1.6 to 1.8 million from Freddy Mac remains and will remain murky because nothing he did by way of giving advise on public policy or as a historian was worth that, as we all know. It was a payoff for other things done Gingrich is not being at all honest about, to be sure.

This man is a weasel, a Washington insider and fraud on the hoof. Vote for him at our peril.
___

Supplements

There are some indications that Newt did do some lobbying work or influence peddling for some of that money and it wasn't all for past efforts. The Associated reported this about Gingrich's role at Freddie Mac:

"Four people close to Freddie Mac say he was hired to strategize with his employer about identifying political friends on Capitol Hill who would help the company through a very difficult legislative environment. All four spoke only on condition of anonymity to discuss the personnel matter freely.

"Freddie Mac executives hoped Gingrich's presence would reflect positively on the company as he circulated among conservative groups and would help build intellectual support within his party, the officials said."
____
Here is why Newt didn't think he was lobbying. The law is a joke. In 1954 lobbyists challenged the Regulation of Lobbying Act for being unconstitutionally vague and unclear. In United States v. Harriss, 347 U.S. 612, 74 S. Ct. 808, 98 L. Ed. 989, the Supreme Court responded by upholding the act's constitutionality but also by narrowing the scope and application of the act. The Court ruled that the act applies only to paid lobbyists who directly communicate with members of Congress on pending or proposed federal legislation. This means that lobbyists who visit with congressional staff members rather than members of Congress themselves are not considered lobbyists. In addition, the act covers only attempts to influence the passage or defeat of legislation in Congress and excludes other congressional activities. Further, the act applies to and restricts only individuals who spend at least half of their time lobbying.

One Out of Two People in the US Lives in Poverty or Is Low Income
Kimball Corson
12/16/2011, Pago Pago, American Samoa

"WASHINGTON (AP) -- Squeezed by rising living costs, a record number of Americans -- nearly 1 in 2 -- have fallen into poverty or are scraping by on earnings that classify them as low income.

"The latest census data depict a middle class that's shrinking as unemployment stays high and the government's safety net frays. The new numbers follow years of stagnating wages for the middle class that have hurt millions of workers and families.

"'Safety net programs such as food stamps and tax credits kept poverty from rising even higher in 2010, but for many low-income families with work-related and medical expenses, they are considered too `rich' to qualify,' said Sheldon Danziger, a University of Michigan public policy professor who specializes in poverty.

"'The reality is that prospects for the poor and the near poor are dismal,' he said. 'If Congress and the states make further cuts, we can expect the number of poor and low-income families to rise for the next several years.'"

Banana republic here we come, except we don't have any bananas. And these bozo Republican clowns or Mr. Slick Obama is going to lead us out of this mess to victory? I don't think so. We need a super smart, moderate and capable benevolent dictator to stand any chance, and that's not going to happen.

Ron Paul Is A Disaster on Economic Matters
Kimball Corson
12/16/2011, Pago Pago, American Samoa

Ron Paul is fairing better in the polls and caucuses. However, he is unique among the candidates in making monetary policy his signature issue. Surprisingly, he wants to abolish the Fed which, along with the Treasury, saved us from an absolute melt down and the Second Great Depression. But it gets worse. He manages to get most matters wrong in the area of his claimed expertise.

For example, Paul predicted a big surge in consumer goods prices in the second half of 2011. It didn't happen, according to the CPI or, for those who are convinced that the government lies, the bullion price index, both of which show prices leveling off in the second half. But hey, there are still a few days left in the year.

Paul also earlier this year predicted that gold and other commodity prices were signaling an imminent economic collapse. It didn't happen. In fact, the economy is growing. Growing at about a 2.5 percent annual rate. Sufficient that the Fed doesn't think there is a present need for further Fed stimulus just now. That is another Paul Oops.

It is sad in a way that Paul has built his political career around the notion that he's an expert in a subject about which he actually understands very little. As I have written before, Paul doesn't even understand that the Fed is precluded by law from buying new government bonds from the Treasury, a way too many believe the Fed "creates" new money to fuel inflation.

Our array of putative Republican candidates is really quite pathetic if we, as many do, think Paul is the only reasonable choice in the field.

 

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