March 28, 2007

Cock-up is Brit for SNAFU, and if you believe news reports the capture of their marines and sailors was a perfect example of the genre.

The decision to offer no resistance to Iran, although the Britons were said to have been operating in Iraqi waters, was down to the commander of the two boats. There was no air cover at the time because a helicopter had just returned to HMS Cornwall after watching the successful boarding of a merchant vessel.

Here’s a map of the engagement from the Brit Ministry of Defense, published by the Daily Telegraph.

Daily Telegraph Map

The helicopter is a Lynx, which should have carried 4 Sea Skua missiles, this is quite capable of taking on the Iranians before they got too close to grab hostages.

HMS Cornwall was too far from the boarding parties to come to their rescue.

A court martial will no doubt address why the Cornwall stood off so far (about 7 nautical miles) given the Marines were intercepting a vessel just 1.7 nautical miles outside Iranian territorial waters; why the helo left them unprotected; and why the marines didn’t have the means and/or orders to fight.

But first we have to bust Iran and get the hostages back.


Muslim Genetics (2)

March 28, 2007

An earlier post suggested the incompetence of Muslim societies may have a genetic root. Here’s an example of the incompetence, and some more evidence.

The example:

The “lords of war” will decide Israel’s future if it rejects a blueprint for peace crafted by the entire Arab world, Saudi Arabia’s veteran foreign minister warned yesterday…

“What we have the power to do in the Arab world, we think we have done,” he said. “So now it is up to the other side because if you want peace, it is not enough for one side only to want it. Both sides must want it equally.”

But Israel’s Muslim neighbors have broken every agreement they’ve made with it, used every Israeli territorial concession to mount new attacks, and are committed to its destruction. So it will never sign up to this.

So how come a presumably educated member of the Saudi elite reasons like a 5-year old?

An earlier post suggested the Muslim practice of cousin marriage will tend to limit genetic diversity and preserve damaged genetic material. That would explain the incompetence of the many races that have adopted Islam.

Opponents argue that races don’t differ genetically, but that’s bunk – for example you have an increased risk of glaucoma if you’re:

…of African-American, Irish, Russian, Japanese, Hispanic, Inuit, or Scandinavian descent.

Here’s a piece on the effects of cousin marriage on immigrants to the UK:

Part of what makes Ballard’s 1990 “Migration and kinship” piece so powerful is that he has identified Punjabi migration to Britain as something like a natural controlled experiment, with cousin marriage as the key variable.

Somewhere between two-thirds and three-quarters of all South Asians in Britain are Punjabis. The Punjab sits athwart the border of India and Pakistan and is home to substantial communities of Muslims, Hindus, and Sikhs. Muslims live almost exclusively in the Pakistani half of Punjab, while Sikhs and Hindus live largely in Indian Punjab. Whatever their religion, Punjabi migrants to Britain have a great deal in common.

In family life, Punjabis of whatever religion organize themselves into patrilineal descent groups

Despite these many similarities, the position of Punjabi Muslim, Sikh, and Hindu immigrants in Britain dramatically differs.

Ballard focuses his comparison on two immigrant groups: Punjabi Muslims from the Mirpur region of Pakistan and Punjabi Sikhs from the Jullundur region of India.

So what’s the difference between Jullunduri Sikhs and Mirpuri Muslims? Quite simply, Jullunduri Sikh’s have moved relatively far down the road of assimilation, while Mirpuri Muslims have not.

Now largely middle class, many British Sikhs have abandoned manual labor to start their own businesses, have moved from the inner city to the suburbs, and currently see their children performing academically at the same level as other middle-class Britons.

British Mirpuri Muslims, on the other hand, move between unemployment and manual labor, are still largely confined to poor, inner-city ethnic enclaves, and rear children with a limited grasp of English and a notably low level of academic achievement…

The factors that inhibit assimilation have less to do with Muslim beliefs per se than with the distinctive, non-textual practices that organize Muslim society.

In particular, the practice of cousin marriage has served to create a culturally insulated community of Mirpuri Muslims in Britain.

The writer suggests the Muslim deficiency is behavioral, not genetic. That can be tested by holding cousin marriage constant and changing the culture. If that results in smarter Muslims, we’re dealing with a cultural problem, and if not, it’s probably genetic.

The behavior of Muslim immigrants approximates such an experiment, and the failure of the very different policies of the French, Brits and Germans to civilize second and third generation Muslim immigrants suggests a genetic rather than a cultural cause.

None of which is to say that all Muslims are incompetent – as with all populations, there’ll be a bell curve of competence, and some Muslims will be very smart.

There just won’t be many of them, as Saudi Arabia’s veteran foreign minister demonstrates.

The War On Smart Kids From Poor Families

March 28, 2007

The Brit education system discriminates against smart poor kids, and Brit companies compensate by hiring smart immigrants from abroad. That’s dumb.

Brits used to send smart 11-year olds to “grammar” schools – I (along with my brothers and sister) went to one, in spite of coming from a poor blue collar family – my father, a coal miner at 15, had risen to be a master welder.

Grammar school was tough – my main competition was with a kid who at 15 won an Open Scholarship from Cambridge University to read mathematics (it’s very rare for 18 year olds to achieve that distinction). His father was a blue collar railway worker, and his mother a cleaner.

So I wasn’t surprised by a Tokyo University study found that between 1945 and 1990, 45% of all technical innovations worldwide came from the UK.

However the Labour Party has progressively eliminated grammar schools, and now the opposition Tories opposes them too (the Tory elite all went to the same private school). So bright kids from poor families suffer:

One of the top comprehensives in the country for exam results has been found guilty and fined for selecting hard-working pupils from good homes.

Lady Margaret, the Church of England girls’ school which was one of three considered by Tony Blair for his daughter, has also been censured for weighting admissions in favour of the brightest children.

The inquiry by the Local Government Ombudsman followed complaints from two families that their daughters had been unfairly denied places.

Pupils applying for places were assessed on a points system which awarded marks for such things as primary school references, the child’s attendance record and punctuality, and the extent of parental support.

The children were also asked to write a description of themselves and their family lives which Mr Redmond said was very likely to have favoured the more articulate family and more able child.

And so:

Britain’s most prestigious manufacturing firm has admitted that it is being forced to look overseas for talented graduates.

The boss of Rolls-Royce – a byword for excellence around the world – warned of the skills crisis in this country.

The company is already getting about a quarter of its annual intake of graduates from overseas, mainly America and Germany…

Since 1990, the Institute of Physics said…the number of people taking physics A-level has fallen nearly 40 per cent from 45,334 to 28,119.

A Rolls Royce managed by Germans and Americans won’t stay in the UK.