Monday, January 5, 2009

The World is not fuzzy

So, some article to point out that have a mild thread of tearing down a kumbaya vision of the world. So let's get to it.

We'll start with a Wall Street Journal article linked by Steve Sailer.

For years, immigrants to the U.S. have viewed buying a home as the ultimate benchmark of success. Between 2000 and 2007, as the Hispanic population increased, Hispanic homeownership grew even faster, increasing by 47%, to 6.1 million from 4.1 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Over that same period, homeownership nationally grew by 8%. In 2005 alone, mortgages to Hispanics jumped by 29%, with expensive nonprime mortgages soaring 169%, according to the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council.

An examination of that borrowing spree by The Wall Street Journal reveals that it wasn't simply the mortgage market at work. It was fueled by a campaign by low-income housing groups, Hispanic lawmakers, a congressional Hispanic housing initiative, mortgage lenders and brokers, who all were pushing to increase homeownership among Latinos.


Mortgage lending to Hispanics took off between 2004 and 2007, powered by nonprime loans. The biggest jump occurred in 2005. The 169% increase in nonprime mortgages to Hispanics that year outpaced a 122% gain for blacks, and a 110% increase for whites, according to a Journal analysis of mortgage-industry and federal-housing data. Nonprime mortgages carry high interest rates and are tailored to borrowers with low credit scores or few assets.

Between 2004 and 2007, black borrowers were offered nonprime loans at a slightly higher rate than Hispanics, but the overall number of Hispanic borrowers was much larger. From 2004 to 2005, total nonprime home loans to Hispanics more than tripled to $69 billion from $19 billion, and peaked in 2006 at $73 billion.

Regions of the country where the housing bubble grew biggest, such as California, Nevada and Florida, are heavily populated by Latinos, many of whom worked in the construction industry during the housing boom. When these markets began to weaken, bad loans depressed the value of neighboring properties, creating a downward spiral. Neighborhoods are now dotted with vacant homes.

So yeah... the MSM now knows where to point to finger.

But taking this even further is an column in National Review:
"The Upside of Obama"

Hey, I voted for Obama for a variety of reasons. But one of the more subtle reasons was to demonstrate to the world and minorities that the US is not a racist nation. Looks like someone got the message.

If the election of Barack Obama — a 47-year-old black man with a political resume as ephemeral as a Mets pennant drive and a governing philosophy as dubious as Paris Hilton’s choice of boyfriends — accomplishes nothing else, it should illustrate the peculiar distorting effect on American society of white liberal guilt.

Ouch. But it gets better.

Whatever caused the current fiscal crisis, therefore, must be considered a prime factor in McCain’s defeat. The seeds of the crisis date back the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 — which initiated a concerted, decades-long effort by the federal government to coerce banks into making loans to lower-income borrowers.

The sentiment was noble, albeit rooted in a desperate race consciousness: If more black families owned their homes, the theory went, they’d accumulate wealth as the properties increased in value. They would pass that wealth down to their children, and the financial inequalities stemming from America’s sordid racial past would gradually diminish.

The problem, of course, is that mathematical probabilities don’t bend to noble sentiments. The reason banks weren’t lending to black borrowers as frequently, or on as good of terms, as to white borrowers, had nothing to do with racism. It had to do with risk analysis. Writing loans to lower-income, lower-collateral borrowers means more defaults.

Oh man. I sense something tough coming.

Ironies abound. The most bitter is that a disproportionate number of foreclosures have affected black homeowners, because they were riskier buyers to begin with. But the most profound is that the fiscal crisis precipitated decades ago by the Community Reinvestment Act has contributed decisively to the election of the first black president, Barack Obama.

The fallacy behind the Community Reinvestment Act, AFDC expansion, forced busing, and affirmative action is that government intervention can accelerate the natural progress of blacks in American society. Experience has shown, time and again, that the government can only ensure equal opportunities. It cannot compel equal outcomes. That’s the work of generations — just as the subjugation and exploitation of blacks was the work of generations. The white-liberal-guilt-besotted desire for quick remedies to racial inequities has produced more far more misery than redress.

Then he goes on to describe the elation people felt on election night. I felt it too when partying in DC and yelling with the mobs near the white house.

On election night, at the moment Barack Obama’s electoral vote count surpassed the necessary 270, I was walking down Ninth Avenue in midtown Manhattan, a bar-and-restaurant district. People streamed out onto the street, screaming and cheering; men and women, friends and strangers, black and white, young and old, began hugging. A number were weeping with joy. Amid the commotion, a 30-ish black man came running up the sidewalk and yelled, “There’s a new sheriff in town!” I didn’t realize he’d directed the remark to me until I saw him pass a young black couple with a knowing nod, then yell it again at a group of three white women.


No one has ever assumed the presidency with the unrealistic expectations Obama faces.
Obama, therefore, is certain to disappoint as soon as he passes from promiser to decider. But he’s also uniquely situated to effect a genuine change in America’s race consciousness.
The best-case scenario, though the least likely, is that President Obama, in a Nixon-to-China moment, turns to the NAACP, the Congressional Black Congress, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and the entire ethno-grievance chorus and says, “Enough.” There are, he explains in a primetime speech, no governmental quick fixes to the collective inequalities in American society. Indeed, every time the government intervenes, it sets back the cause of justice for generations. Over time, without government interference, through parental sacrifice and individual initiative, inequalities will even out — unless, of course, you believe that black people and white people are INNATELY DIFFERENT IN THEIR POTENTIALS.

Caps mine. But, look at the tone in the paragraph. This guy who wrote this reads Sailer and Lynn. He knows what's up and is directly taunting people to challenge him.

Obama isn’t being kept down by the Man. He is the Man. How will that fact sit with the subset of blacks, especially black men, who attribute their personal failures to invisible racist conspiracies working against them? The thought has to cross each of their minds: If nothing stopped a black man from becoming president, then maybe the reason my life is screwed up is because I’ve screwed it up.

In the final analysis, if an Obama presidency accomplishes any of the above — if it brings an end to the politics of white liberal guilt, or provides a role model for struggling blacks — it could serve a cause that outweighs and outlasts whatever wrongheaded policies the president-elect might pursue.

People, this is what I have been saying since I wrote this after the election.

This is important. Obama's election should demonstrate a simple fact that I've long discovered over and over again while traveling: the United States is not a fundamentally racist country. In fact, the rest of the world is much, much more wedded to race than we are. Even before the election, an Indian American, Neal Kashkari, was chosen to run the bailout program.

So, what happens if African Americans are confront with this?

Despite the admirable openness of the American people, the achievement gap and high prison population remains. Africa remains a basket case. While Saletan's landmark piece on race and intelligence was widely condemned, the data remains and the state of the modern African American is still dismal.

I think this election will allow moderates and those tired of Al Sharpton's rants a chance to shed their guilt and instead focus on perfecting the Union for ALL americans.

So what happens when HBD clashes with the reality of the American promise? People will start asking questions. And people will demand solutions.

People, this Singularity starts here. At the very moment that Obama is inaugurated.

Anyway, continuing on the notion of a difficult world, just some more comments.

Fareed Zakaria on Samuel Huntington

Look around. So many of the world's problems—from terrorists in Waziristan to the devastating AIDS epidemic in Africa to piracy in Somalia—are caused or made worse by governments that are unable to exercise real authority over their lands or people. That was the central insight of Samuel P. Huntington, the greatest political scientist of the last half-century, who died on Christmas Eve.

Living through change, people have often stuck with their oldest and most durable source of security: religion. That was the most important message of "The Clash of Civilizations." While others were celebrating the fall of communism and the rise of globalization, he saw that with ideology disappearing as a source of human identity, religion was returning to the fore.

Nation states don't rise up out of nothing. People will not pay taxes or put their lives on the line to support an entity that has little relevance to them. And that's why we won't have world government for quite some time.

So, how does Huntington close his book?

He closed one of his books, another classic, by noting of such critics, "[They] say that America is a lie because its reality falls so far short of its ideals. They are wrong. America is not a lie; it is a disappointment. But it can be a disappointment only because it is also a hope."

But you know what? I actually have another comment. The one sidedness of the Israel-Hamas war, in both moral authority and military power, will continue to humiliate the Muslim world and force them to confront the reason for resentment of Israel:

The presence of a successful, open, democratic society in the middle of the dysfunctional Middle East.

The essential dilemma Israel faces is this: It can't ignore Hamas's attacks, not only because of the damage they inflict, but also because of the terrible precedent they set. Israel has always been a state that is one battle away from destruction, and it cannot allow its enemies to think that it can be attacked with impunity. But at the same time Israel cannot do what it takes to wipe out the enemy, because of the constraints imposed by its own public, which is far less willing than in the past to suffer or inflict bloodletting.

IQ disparities in the Middle East cause a portion of resentment towards Israel. Enter the Singularity. Solve the unsolveable.

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