I don't think I'll post about Mormons this week. Alas, less traffic. Y chromosomes of Vlax Roma. Is it a coincidence that all these Roma genetics papers are coming out at the same time that the Roma are at the center of E.U. politics? Probably. Not So Hidden Influences. Christopher Hitchens asks "Is it so offensive to note the effectiveness of the Jewish lobby?" One could read the publications of Hadassah or J. J. Goldberg's Jewish Power to get a good sense of the effectiveness and power of American Jews. And anyone who knows basic figures can see that Jews are well overrepresented in the Ivy League. Personally, I became aware of the overrepresentation of Jews among power elites by reading Norman Cantor's The Sacred Chain as a teenager. This is an issue where obviously context matters, and it isn't as much what you say as how you say it (I was curious as to why Hitchens didn't mention his mother's Jewish heritage to insulate him from charges of insensitivity, but it turns out that he's only 1/32 Jewish by ancestry). The Uncanny Accuracy of Polling Averages*, Part III: This Time, It’s Different? The liberal objections to polling this year remind me of conservative objections in 2008, and liberal objections in 2004. Can't we learn from history? Nope. Las Vegas Faces Its Deepest Slide Since the 1940s. As someone with a libertarian sympathy in politics I can't find it in my heart to be too distressed by this; the blooming of the desert was a a big government project. And the long term sustainability of the economy of Nevada is to a great extent a case of regulatory arbitrage (e.g, prostitution, gambling, quickie-marriage licenses). Are We Still Evolving? The author references a paper on which he was a co-author (I blogged it, look in the archives). The funny thing is that he makes it seem as if in the long run people in developed nations are turning themselves into fast-breeding monkeys.