Former Head Of Iraqi Anti-Corruption Agency Now An Undocumented Immigrant

Disturbing news, shared on Google Reader by Nkyrindc:

Think Progress » U.S.-Backed Head Of Iraqi Anti-Corruption Agency Now A ‘Destitute’ Undocumented Immigrant In U.S.
After the 2003 Iraq invasion, Coalition Provisional Authority chief Paul Bremer created a major anti-corruption ministry in Iraq, the Public Integrity Commission (CPI). Last October, former CPI commissioner Judge Radhi al-Radhi, who was appointed by Bremer and whose work has been praised by top U.S. officials, told Congress about the “rampant” corruption in Iraqi ministries that had cost Iraq as much as $18 billion.


But today, Radhi is living as a undocumented immigrant in Virginia. In a Democratic Policy Committee hearing yesterday, former State Department official James Mattil told Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) that Radhi has no “official status” in the U.S. Currently, only a group of Quakers and Arthur Brennan, the former head of the department’s Office of Accountability and Transparency, are funding Radhi, he said:

The Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State may two the two worst-run agencies in the federal government. When they work together, things get truly bad.

The Obama Movement

Obama’s loss in West Virgnia and Jim’s love letter to the man (h/t Sean) make one wonder what will make the American people sick of Barack Obama.

Because if he’s lucky enough to win, the people will be glad when he is gone.

Like most stable countries with functioning economies, America’s best and brightest rarely go into politics.

Obama’s smart, clearly. He gives great speeches, abandons friends who may embarras him (Jeremiah Wright, Robert Malley [2]), took on the Clinton, and massages bigotry

So, a typical politician.

The Obama Cult is kind of creepy, but as he’s already begun the process of screwing over supporters as he concentrates on what he believes is really important, it will fade. Clinton was all things to all people, until his union and environmental supporters realized he really cared about the global trading regime. Bush reached even higher popularity, but it turns out that developing counter-insurgency capacity is a long hard slog.

If your goal is immediate emotional gratification, lose yourself. It’s a lot of fun. If you want to know if you’ll be happy by the time he’s done (assuming he wins and gets re-elected), ask yourself what he’s willing to alienate the majority of Americans to get, and ask if you’re happy with that.

Cognitive Function and our Genetic Code

Courtesy of Razib

Developing Intelligence : 99% Genetic? Individual Differences in Executive Function Are Almost Perfectly Heritable
Your ability to control thought and behavior relative to your peers – a set of capacities known as “executive functions” – is almost entirely genetic in origin, according to a newly in-press paper from Friedman et al. Over 560 twins completed tests to measure fundamental components of these executive functions, and the results were analyzed in terms of how similar identical twins performed to one another relative to fraternal twins (all twins in the study were reared together). Astonishingly, the results show that the variance common to all executive functions is correlated roughly twice as much between identical twins as between fraternal twins, and that individual variance in executive function falls directly in line with what would be expected from a perfectly heritable trait.

Furthermore, Friedman et al. integrated measures of general intelligence (“g”, estimated through the WAIS IQ test) and perceptual speed (essentially the speed with which subjects can complete very simple tasks) to show that the genetic contribution to executive function is not completely explained by genetic contributions to those more commonly-studied abilities. This is consistent with previous work showing that IQ is only moderately heritable (with 50-70% of variance explained due to genetic factors, far short of the 99% explained here).

99.9% is huge. The only study I can remember that came close is one of the studies that found working memory is 96% correlated with g. The conclusion that study and others received is that working memory was g. If the 99.9% number holds up for this study, then it will be accurate to say that executive function is genetically determined.

Fun stuff, and doubtless some serious money here for the pharmaceutical industry. True social equality looks like it will have to wait until gene therapy (Eugenics While You Wait(TM)) becomes common.

5GWish Links

The Cold War (the 5GW against Communism, which kept going long after public and elite support collapsed) was the topic of Purpleslog’s interview on Covert Radio (his reflections on the interiew are up at Dreaming 5GW).

skilluminati was kind enough to comment on this blog with his observations of the Cold War 5GW. And over at his own blog, he chats about resilient communities.

The only dark lining to these silver crowds is that Skilluminati believes (as to some other novices in the field) that John Robb has written about 5GW somewhere. Robb hasn’t. He’s used the term, but uses it inconsistently to the rest of the world, and (if I remember correctly) never bothered to define it anyway. (This is a pattern).

John clearly has a good marketing mind (agitprop against the status quo is always a seller), though I feel sorry for those who are introduced to serious topics through his writing. (Ditto for Michelle Malkin, or Duncan Black). His recent post on Singapore is an example of the confusion you can run into when you replace understanding with Abandon hope simplicity.