November Diary
NR cruise, , Caribbean, no; immigration morality; and more.


John Derbyshire

From the 1990s on, and especially since George W. Bush’s asinine 2002 speech (“We want 5.5 million more homeowners by 2010 — million more minority homeowners by 2010 . . . ”), mortgage lenders were on clear notice that they’d be in trouble with the feds if they didn’t scrap rational risk-assessment standards. They duly scrapped them, and the result followed.

The evil and sentimental Diversity ideology led to the politicization of mortgage lending. That in turn led to the housing crisis and subsequent financial ructions.

Let’s ask the question: (a) Just how much of a factor was Diversity ideology in driving the implosion?

My responses would be: (b) I don’t know, (c) Surely some, and (d) How odd that no respectable commentator has shown any interest in researching (a).

Math Corner
     The solution to last month’s puzzle is here.

For this month’s puzzle, a reader draws my attention to the following passage in Chapter 2 of Charles Murray’s book Real Education. Charles is trying to illustrate what “below average” actually means when it comes to academic ability. For this purpose he borrows a number of test questions from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), the program used by the federal Department of Education to track student accomplishment. Murray:

. . . Now consider some items that more specifically identify what it means to be below average in math as an eighth-grader.

Example 2. Amanda wants to paint each face of a cube a different color. How many colors will she need?     

(A) Three    (B) Four    (C) Six    (D) Eight

Twenty percent of eighth-graders did not choose C. Approximately 27 percent did not know the right answer.

Charles is quite correct; but how did he get from the 20 percent of the penultimate sentence to the 27 percent of the last one?