The agitated Mr. Skripal: Connecting more dots in the Skripal case

In Part 1 of this series, I stated why I believe the official narrative on the Skripal case does not appear to hold water. Firstly, the nerve agent A-234 (Novichok) can and has been produced outside Russia, in a number of places, thus disproving the claim that it must have come from Russia. Secondly, the fact that the effects experienced by the Skripals – four hours of moving freely around Salisbury, followed by no irreparable damage – do not remotely fit what the scientific literature says about that substance – almost instantaneous death or a short life with irreparable damage to the central nervous system -, makes it highly unlikely that they were indeed poisoned by it. Indeed, the burden of proof is on those making the claims to show how and why the scientific literature was wrong. Then in Part 2, I mentioned four aspects of the case, which are undoubtedly significant, but which seem to have been ignored or forgotten. I ended that piece by saying that I hoped to discuss what I consider to be an even bigger aspect of the case; something that may well begin to join some dots together. And this is what I intend to do in this piece. However, before I do, I should start by saying that what I am about to say is speculative. That is not to say that it is not based on facts. It is. It is based on witness testimony that appeared very early on in the case – three days after the poisoning – and which I deem to be credible since it appeared before the case became completely politicised, which is sadly what subsequently happened. I am then using that testimony to construct what I consider to be the best explanation for what the witness described. And so it is very much a theory. One based on facts, but a theory nevertheless. As such it is of course open to challenge.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook denies access to Facebook user data – CNET

“We’ve never been in the data business,” Cook told NPR , responding to a New York Times report Sunday that Facebook had agreements to provide access to large amounts of user data to at least 60 different device makers — including companies like Apple, Microsoft, Samsung and “The things mentioned in the Times article about relationship statuses and all these kinds of stuff, this is so foreign to us, and not data that we have ever received at all or requested — zero,” Cook told NPR. “What we did was we integrated the ability to share in the operating system, make it simple to share a photo and that sort of thing,” Cook added.

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Mayor says he was asked to leave gun store after having words with owner. Store says mayor is lying.

Mayor John Ditslear of Noblesville, Indiana — where a seventh-grader opened fire in a classroom last week and injured two people before a teacher tackled him — is a Republican and told WTTV-TV he considers himself “a Second Amendment guy.”

Image source: WTTV-TV video screenshot

But all the same he didn’t like what was happening at a new gun store in town, which held its grand opening the day after the shooting, the station said.

You see, Hoosier Armory also had a National Rifle Association tent set up outside its new store Saturday, and Ditslear thought that was going too far. So he had a little chat with the owner, WTTV reported.

Image source: WTTV-TV video screenshot

“I did approach the owner, and I just told him that, ‘No one expected this, but you’re hurting your business in my opinion, strongly, and you’re hurting our city,’ and I asked them to maybe just think about it and take the tent down,” the mayor told the station.

And then Ditslear added, “I was asked to leave,” WTTV noted.

“The NRA needs to realize that they have a place in this to protect gun owners, but they also have to make sure that gun owners are responsible,” Ditslear added to the station. “I was not happy that I was asked to leave.”

Ditslear told WTTV he hopes Hoosier Armory “learned a lesson” but that he hasn’t “talked to them. Again, I was asked to leave, so I won’t go in there until I’m asked to come back.”

The NRA will hold its 2019 national convention in Indianapolis, WTTV said.

What did the gun store have to say?

Ralph Ripple, Hoosier Armory’s managing partner, said in a statement that the mayor “literally lied” about being asked to leave, the station reported:

Hello everyone. I am a partner at Hoosier Armory. Firearms are our passion and this business lets my partners and I share that passion with fellow shooters.

After the school shooting, my partners and I had a long, heartfelt discussion about what to do about our grand opening on Saturday. If anyone thinks we made the decision to continue with something we had been planning for months without a lot of concern and anxiety, you are mistaken. This was a hard decision for us. We feel horrible for those injured in the shooting. We thank God for the fact that no one was killed. At the same time, we are getting tired of gun owners and the NRA being blamed for every shooting that occurs in this country. For this reason, we decided to continue with our plans.

Some members of the team from the NRA had flown in the night before to attend our grand opening. They had time and money invested in the visit and it had been planned months ago. They offered to stand down but we asked them to set up anyways. They made an offer to not accept new registrations at their booth and to only answer questions about what the NRA does and we accepted that offer. No new NRA members were registered that day.

This has been a painful few days for us here at Hoosier Armory. The mayor of Noblesville literally lied about his visit to the shop. He was never asked to leave and he ended the conversation mid-stream and left without allowing us to plead our case. In other words, he told us his feelings about the situation and then left to join the protesters because the news media had arrived.

We know we will take a hit on this, our facebook page is already lighting up with bad reviews from people who have never been in the shop and don’t know what we are all about. No news media has mentioned any of our charitable activities involving helping injured police officers and helping with firearm suicide prevention.

I want you all to know, we are devastated every time there is a shooting like the one in Noblesville. My partners have kids and grandkids so we know the concerns of parents everywhere. However, we also see the black eyes given to legal law-abiding gun owners everytime something like this happens, We all know that in reality, gun owners are the most law-abiding group of people out there. We see the NRA villainized for school shootings when they offer more ideas to prevent them than our politicians ever do.

I will say that the majority of gun owners have supported us so far through this. I hope we can count on all of you.

Many thanks and God bless.

What did a protesting student have to say?

Clara Lawson — a junior at Noblesville High School where middle school students were reunited with their parents after the shooting — helped organize a protest outside the Hoosier Armory and spent four hours carrying signs with friends, WTTV said.

Image source: WTTV-TV video screenshot

“We’re not trying to take away your guns. We understand that’s a right, and I understand that, too,” the 17-year-old told the station. “I was protesting the NRA booth, not the Hoosier Armory, because I understand that’s their store, they’re fine if they’re there, that’s their right. But I thought it was really inappropriate that the NRA booth would be there when they saw what had happened the day before — but they still set up, and they continued what they were doing right across the town from a tragedy.”

Image source: WTTV-TV video screenshot

Lawson added to the station the she believes “gun control shouldn’t be a conservative versus liberal idea. I think it’s kind of a common sense thing because it’s all of us. We’re all involved. We can be safe and people can keep their guns.”

(H/T: Bearing Arms)

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Parkland shooter: ‘When you see me on the news, you’ll know who I am’

Cell phone videos taken by Nikolas Cruz before the Parkland shooting show that he was planning the attack in detail and looking forward to people seeing him on the news. The Sun-Sentinel reports:

In three chilling cellphone video clips, at least one of which appears to have been recorded on the day of the Feb. 14 shooting, Cruz, 19, calmly outlines his plans.

“When you see me on the news you’ll know who I am,” he says, chuckling. “You’re all going to die. Pew pew pew pew pew. Ah yeah. Can’t wait.”…

“My name is Nik, and I’m going to be the next school shooter of 2018,” he said. “My goal is at least 20 people.”…

“Today is the day. The day that it all begins. The day of my massacre shall begin,” Cruz says. “All the kids in school will run in fear and hide. From the wrath of my power they will know who I am.”…

Cruz offered only vague hints about his motive.

“I’ve had enough being told what to do and when to do. … Telling me I’m an idiot and a dumbass,” he says. “In real life, you’re all the dumbass. You’re all stupid and brainwashed.”

It seems to me the author of this piece is skipping over one obvious motive which Cruz mentioned repeatedly in these brief videos. First, everyone in school would know who he was. Second, everyone would see him on the news and know who he was. Third, in the last video below he says, “With the power of my AR, you will all know who I am.” He goes on to say, “You will all see. You will all know who my name is.”

Cruz seems pretty confident he’s about to become famous, so maybe we shouldn’t overlook that as part of his motive. As I suggested here, there’s a good argument to be made that school shooters, especially since Columbine, are inspired by the idea of becoming notorious killers. The media repeating their names and showing their faces on television, essentially making them instantly famous, inspires more troubled kids with few real prospects to aim for similar fame.

Watch this clip and notice that when he says “When you see me on the news you’ll know who I am,” is the only time he smiles. I’m contributing in a small way to that process but I think the larger issue is the network news and cable shows. I’m not looking for a any kind of law but maybe ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, and Fox should consider not playing clips like this or referring to these shooters by name. If notoriety, even in death is their goal, maybe denying them that will result in fewer school shooters.

The post Parkland shooter: ‘When you see me on the news, you’ll know who I am’ appeared first on Hot Air.

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Anti-Gun Vets, Training, And Other Nonsense

One of the latest gun control trends are the veterans screaming about gun control. The media loves so shower them with attention. Gun control groups bankroll opportunities to put them front and center in your social media. The anti-gun zealots love to prop these men and women up and allow them to speak as veterans, granting them some kind of gravitas because of that status, as if their opinion on gun control matters all that much.

Over at Gun Free Zone, it seems the guys over there have had it with these folks.

Just finished reading J.Kb’s post about NBC hiring some military Gun Control dude and I am done with the incredible smugness of those former officers that feel more akin to have the rules of Banana Republic that actual respect for the Constitution and the Bill of Rights

So, you are an expert in guns and should be the only one allowed to have them because you had military training ? Please then explain this to me about military firearms training:

In World War II, an average of 20,000 rounds were used to kill an enemy.
In Vietnam. the number jumped to 50,000 round per enemy kill.
In the War on Terror, the numbers leaped to 250,000 per enemy kill.

How f**king accurate are you guys?

Interesting enough, Civilian use of firearms in self-defense runs with a very low count. How low? You will be hard pressed to find enough cases where a round count above 15 (standard magazine capacity) is even mentioned anywhere. We train reloads as much a response to weapon’s malfunction  as of need to continue to be in the fight.

Now, I urge you to read the original post, as well at the GFZ post linked in the first line.

This is in response to someone claiming to be a veteran who referred to the American gun culture as “dysfunctional” on Friday, just a short time after the Santa Fe High School shooting. Of course, the gun culture is to blame for everything and this supposed veteran will save the day by talking about how the military treats firearms.

Yes, the military actually is a big case of gun control. Only people who need firearms for duty purposes get to carry guns.

But as the guys at GFZ argue, so what?

I agree.

However, I’d also like to point out some things that these anti-gun veterans keep ignoring when they talk about how these kinds of things generally don’t happen within the military.

Not just everyone gets to enlist. There are physical requirements to be in, but there are also mental health requirements. Anyone who gives off red flags for this kind of behavior has a tendency to find themselves either being treated or on a street corner as a PFC (permanent freaking civilian). They don’t get to stick around long enough to shoot up the base.

They do the same with people who are repeated behavioral problems. Doing a single crime might not get you kicked out, but create a pattern of behavior and you’ll find yourself on a bus back to the real world before you can say, “I didn’t do nuffin.”

That’s simply not an option for the civilian world. We can’t eject people just because they don’t meet standards. As a result, we’re going to risk things the military doesn’t have to risk. They can remove problem behavior from their midst on a permanent basis. We can’t.

And that difference changes a lot of things.

The military has a low rate of violence on base not because of strict gun control, but because of their strict policies on people control. Gang members may enlist, but they also generally play nice while they’re in. If they don’t, they’re removed from that society permanently. Mentally disturbed people rarely last long. The violent, contrary to what many think, don’t last long either.

Keep that in mind the next time one of these supposed veterans opens his or her pie-hole to pontificate on just how much better the military’s policies on guns actually are.

Also keep in mind that the vast majority of combat vets support the Second Amendment.

The post Anti-Gun Vets, Training, And Other Nonsense appeared first on Bearing Arms.

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YouTube Censors MEMRI for a Harmful or Dangerous Contenta

Khaled Hany Morshid: “Allah mentioned the enmity of the Jews toward Islam and the Muslims in His book.” A MEMRI TV clip posted on April 24 on the MEMRI TV YouTube channel translated and exposed anti-Semitic statements by Gaza religious scholar Khaled Hany Morshid.

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Columnist warns NFL that a ban on kneeling would be “hollow”

The NFL has a league meeting this week, kicking off today, where they will discuss a number of items relating to the rules of the league and various business interests. One possible item on the agenda has to do with the National Anthem protests which several players were still engaged in last season. It’s possible that the league may reverse its previous stance of leaving personnel decisions to the individual teams and place a ban on kneeling covering all 32 teams. That would be a total flipflop on the part of Roger Goodell if it happened, but it’s far from a sure thing.

Weighing in on the subject is Jarrett Bell, NFL correspondent for USA Today Sports and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee. Bell clearly has some strong feelings on the subject and he implores the league to do precisely nothing. He questions whether or not the league really “gets it” when it comes to the Anthem protests and then goes on to declare that any such ban would be a “hollow” gesture now that the two main antagonists (Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid) are no longer employed.

[A]n anti-kneeling policy would seem rather hollow with Colin Kaepernick and his former San Francisco 49ers teammate, safety Eric Reid, out of work as they pursue collusion cases against the NFL. That Kaepernick, a quarterback in his prime, can’t land a job in a league with a fair share of sorry passers, is about as un-American as it gets. Reid’s only legitimate sniff on the free agent market abruptly ended when he wouldn’t promise Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown that he wouldn’t kneel to further protest police brutality and other social injustices victimizing African-Americans.

The NFL is fashioned as a meritocracy, open for the best players to claim jobs based on competition. Yet in the case of Kaepernick and now Reid, we know better. Whether they can prove collusion or not, this is what being blackballed looks like.

While it may come as a surprise, Bell and I are pretty much on the same page as to what the NFL as a whole should do, though we obviously come at the question from completely opposite perspectives. Bell goes on for an additional dozen paragraphs railing against the unfairness of it all and how players who use the platform of the playing field to espouse their own personal politics shouldn’t be “blacklisted.” He shrugs off the idea that the protests are bad for business without offering any other explanation for football’s tanking ratings over the past two seasons. He further insists that it’s somehow an invasion of a player’s privacy to ask them how they plan to behave (with regards to the Anthem) during hiring interviews. Apparently, the business interests of the franchise are of no consequence in Mr. Bell’s view.

As to what the author would like to see done by Goodell this week (aside from the aforementioned “nothing”), he curiously suggests that Goodell avoid a new position where, “teams can devise their own anthem policies.” That’s an odd reading of the rules from an expert. As we discussed back when Eric Reid was bringing his grievance, NFL rules simply state that the league “takes precedence in the event of ‘conflicting club rules.’” But when there is no rule in place at the league level, the teams are free to run their operations as they see fit. The NFL has no rule about Anthem protests, so the situation Bell seeks to avoid is actually already the status quo.

And that point brings me back to where we started. Though for very different reasons, I too feel that Roger Goodell should “do nothing” about Anthem protests at this point. The time to do so would have been when Kaepernick first started this entire mess. But too much water has gone under the bridge at this point and Goodell lacked the spine to bring the situation under control when it would have counted. Now it would look like cowardice or failure finally drove him to do his job.

Jarrett Bell sings the praises of the NFL for traditionally being a meritocracy, where the best players claim jobs through a process of competition. But there’s more than simple, raw numbers of completed passes, yards gained, tackles or interceptions which go into deciding which player is the best fit for each team. The teams should be left to pick who they want to start and, in the same spirit, be able to make their own rules about player behavior on the field. Then, as in a true meritocracy, the fans will vote with their wallets and television viewing habits as to who got it right.

The post Columnist warns NFL that a ban on kneeling would be “hollow” appeared first on Hot Air.

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Media Favor California Solar Mandate That Will Cost $10K Per Home

<p>California is king when it comes to environmental regulations, but the latest decision to mandate solar panels comes at a high price. For homeowners.</p>

<p>Those costs of freedom of choice and almost $10,000 higher construction expenses per home didn’t matter much to California’s proponents of solar panels or the liberal media which downplayed costs and critics when they mentioned them at all.</p>

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‘I now actually do want to take your guns. All of your guns. Right now,’ magazine editor declares

Esquire’s editor-at-large penned a letter of sorts to the National Rifle Association and blasted the organization in the wake of the Santa Fe High School massacre in Texas.

In his Friday piece for the magazine, Dave Holmes accused the NRA of having “bought our government” and convincing its “members that the occasional school shooting, the odd literal slaughter of innocents, is an unfortunate but inevitable quirk of American life, a thing that is necessary to preserve freedom.”

His main point?

But Holmes’ thesis was summed up in the following three lines:

Anyway, I just wanted to drop you a line and let you know that I now actually do want to take your guns.

All of your guns.

Right now.

‘It wasn’t always this way’

“It wasn’t always this way,” he added in the magazine piece. “I have responsible gun owners in my family. I’ve never been a fan of shooting at things myself, but guns sure do seem to have brought joy into the lives of some people I love, and as long as they were stored properly, I never had a problem with them being around. I believed that we should place a hurdle or two between a psychopath and an AR-15, but that’s about as ardent as I got. Live and let live, that was my policy. Even with death machines.”

He continued, “That has all changed. And you changed it.”

Holmes said the NRA “had the opportunity to work with the vast majority of Americans who support the sensible reform of our gun laws. You have had the chance to preserve your own rights as we work together to keep our gun regulations in step with gun technology. You haven’t.”

He mentioned that bump-stock manufacturing could have been banned and minimum ages for gun ownership could have increased and gun-safety studies could’ve been done — but instead the NRA battled against such changes and took “to our television screens to tell us that the world is an apocalyptic hellscape, and that the only way to be safe from gun violence is to stock our homes with guns.”

‘The ground is shifting. Get ready’

More from Holmes’ piece:

I was stunned and sad after Parkland. I was heartened by the efforts of the young people who watch their friends get murdered in front of them. I watched you make nice with them on CNN and then, behind their backs, call them terrorists. And then this morning I watched the same goddamn thing happen again, only this time at a high school in Santa Fe, Texas, where at least ten people are dead. As though all of the marching and organizing and common-sense talking had never happened. As though this ever growing pile of young bodies is worth nothing.

So now I’m angry. Now I’m finished trying to reason with you. So now I, a guy who was ambivalent about guns just a few years ago, want to take your guns away. All of them. I want to take them all and melt them down and shape them into a giant sphere and then push it at you so you have to run away from it like Indiana Jones for the rest of your lives. I want Ted Nugent to roam the halls of his gunless house, sighing wearily until he dies. I want to end this thing once and for all, so that all of you who have prioritized the sale of guns over the lives of children have to sit quietly and think about what you’ve done. God help me, I want to take all of your guns out of your hands, by myself, right now.

He concluded by saying, “It’s happening. We tried it your way, and it really did not work. The ground is shifting. Get ready.”

Read more from The Blaze…

Catching Up With Michael Levin

Michael Levin, who teaches philosophy at the City University of New York, is the author of the race-realist classic Why Race Matters. It remains to this day one of the most rigorous and exhaustive treatments of the evidence for racial differences in IQ and what those differences mean for social policy.

Prof. Levin paid a high price for taking up this subject. From the late 1980s to the mid 1990s, Prof. Levin was the “academic racist” liberal New York loved to hate. The forward to the 2005 edition of his book describes what happened when word of his racial views first became public:

“The uproar was immense. It did not matter that Prof. Levin’s students of all races pronounced him scrupulously fair; or that in philosophy lectures he never mentioned race. Demonstrators disrupted his classes and physically prevented him from speaking in public. The faculty senate called a meeting for which they did not give him enough notice to attend, and convicted him, in absentia, of “racism.” For a time, he was forbidden to teach introductory philosophy. Once, when he went to his office he found the door covered with swastikas and the message, ‘You F***ing Jew.’ A New York City editorial writer wrote that he was ‘a horse’s ass.’

“Perhaps most disturbing, City University’s then-president Bernard Harleson, who is black, made every possible effort to break Prof. Levin’s tenure. Americans are supposed to treasure freedom of speech, and universities are supposed to foster debate, but Prof. Levin had to hire a lawyer to keep from being gagged and fired. It was tenure that saved him. If Prof. Levin had been a junior faculty member he would almost certainly have lost his job.”

Why Race Matters

Why Race Matters appeared in 1997 but after its initial print run of just 500 books sold out, Praeger Publisher inexplicably failed to reprint. By 2005, second-hand copies — when they were available at all — were for sale on Amazon.com at $500 each. In 2005, the New Century Foundation, which publishes American Renaissance, brought Why Race Matters back into print, and it continues to be one of the foundation’s top sellers. We recently caught up with Prof. Levin and found his views as provocative as ever.

American Renaissance: After having written one of the classic studies of race and IQ, as well as several seminal articles on the subject, you appear to have moved on to other things. In what direction are your efforts directed these days?

Michael Levin: I’ve been spending my time on standard academic philosophy. I’ve said everything I think I have to say on race, and I see no point in repeating myself. A broad philosophical view of race is not like a scientific view, which is liable to change in significant details with new empirical research.

More important, perhaps, the country’s reaction to 9/11 made me think that the push for racial egalitarianism was far from the worst problem the country faced, and liberal egalitarians far from the worst and most dangerous people. Liberal egalitarians began to seem to me to be sentimental fools, whereas conservatives were obviously malevolent and murderous. Liberals I saw as driven by silly ideas that led them to advocate measures that were silly (Black History Month), or annoying (speech codes) or unjust (affirmative action). Conservatives I saw as driven by rage and hate.

The liberal mantra is “Wouldn’t it be nice if we all got along and didn’t notice each others’ colors.” The conservative mantra is “Those hippies were having fun while I was busting my balls in school and now I’m getting even. No communists any more? Fine, let’s kill some Moslems. More aircraft carriers, more bombers, we’re Number One. And guns. Everyone should have lots of guns to protect himself from the government. And we need spies everywhere because we’re at war and everyone is trying to kill us.” The belligerence and destructiveness of the right struck me as much more dangerous than the pipe dreams about integration of the left, which had already been popped.

AR: The country as a whole still does not accept the scientific findings on race and IQ. In your view, why is there so much resistance?

ML: My opinion is no better than anyone else’s, since I’m not a social scientist. I suspect a big part is and always has been the sportsmanlike impulse of whites not to kick someone who is down. Blacks already do so poorly in terms of crime, income, employment, and sheer day-to-day existence — everyone knows how much rattier black neighborhoods are than white — that it sounds like gloating to say, “And you’re also dumber.” Decent people aren’t bullies and don’t gloat. White Americans in this respect are pretty decent.

AR: Some people speculate that even many liberals actually understand that genes account, at least in part, for racial differences in achievement but go along with the egalitarian myth because they think some things are best left unsaid. Do you agree?

ML: Yes. I can’t imagine at this point, with so much data flooding in about the importance of genes for virtually every aspect of life, that anybody actually believes that large group differences do not have a significant genetic component. This flood is only going to continue to rise. “Egalitarians” may say they don’t believe it, but they are increasingly just going through the motions. Their denial of the importance of genes is becoming wearier and more perfunctory. They don’t even try to sound as if they believe it any more. They sound like Rumsfield saying the Iraqis have hidden atomic bombs. The subtext is: “Look, you don’t believe it, I don’t believe it, you know I don’t believe it, and I know you know I don’t believe it. We both know it’s b.s., but I’ve got to say it because . . . well, what am I supposed to say ? Am I supposed to admit I was lying all along?”

AR: How do you assess the prospects for public acceptance of the facts about race and IQ? Some day, geneticists will surely discover the alleles associated with high intelligence and will find that they are not distributed equally in all groups. Will our society ever accept these findings and, if so, how will Americans react?

ML: The capacity to deny the facts about race is very robust. I suspect it will manifest in the short term in a look-away strategy. News outlets simply will not cover these discoveries. They will be non-events. Another tactic will be treatment of even decisive breakthroughs as though they are part of the same old interminable nature-vs.-nurture debate. Talking heads from both sides will say, and their saying will be used to show, that it’s the same old, same old. One ploy which has still not reached its sell-by date is to assert that the genes- or-environment dichotomy has been transcended and only ignorant morons still think the influence of genes can be separated out. Geneticists will be found to say this gravely for the camera even though every hereditarian knows that genes do not work in a vacuum, and techniques for isolating genetic influence are well known. The basic holding action will be to convince everyone that nothing is new under the sun.

In the long run new knowledge will be irresistible. In 20 years, maybe a lot less, the genetic basis for race differences in intelligence will be common knowledge. Even today, liberals are having a hard time with medically significant genetic differences. If racial categories are social constructs, how come these socially constructed categories get different genetically controlled diseases and respond differently to the same medications? At some point liberals and egalitarians, confronted with the new genetic data will begin saying, “Oh, everybody knows that,” without ever admitting having been 100 percent wrong. All the old environmentalist shibboleths will disappear down the memory hole.

At the same time, exact knowledge of the genes that control IQ and other traits will likely erode current crude racial classifications. It will become more common to think of people as descended from populations carrying this or that gene than as Africans or Europeans. This will not obliterate large-scale patterns but it may obscure them.

AR: What are the policy implications, if any, of racial differences in average IQ?

ML: What they always were. Whites are not responsible for the relatively poor performance of blacks (and other groups) along socially important dimensions. Blacks do less well than whites educationally because they are less intellectually able. Blacks have lower incomes than whites for the same reason, and very likely because of genetic differences in motivation as well. This does not mean that whites are better than blacks in some absolute sense, although egalitarians are anxious to pin that belief on hereditarians, but it does mean that whites do not owe blacks compensation for deficits that whites did not cause.

AR: In your view, have race relations improved, deteriorated, or stayed the same since the mid 1990s, when you were writing about race?

ML: My sense is that race relations have improved. On a personal level, I find I can jog through Harlem without being bothered, something unthinkable fifteen years ago. At the same time, my sense is that whites are becoming more comfortable dealing with blacks on a day-to-day basis, as day-to-day interracial contact becomes more common.

AR: What are you impressions of Barack Obama, and of the outpouring of enthusiasm that greeted his election?

ML: He impresses me very favorably. He is obviously extremely intelligent. It is a pleasure listening to him, after his stupid, bullying predecessor. He has not gone nearly far enough in apologizing to the world for America’s wars of aggression, and indeed he seems bent on continuing them. This is understandable, perhaps. He is president of a country almost half of whose citizens seem to like the idea of endless war with some Threat to Mankind. If he announced “enough is enough” he might face rebellion. At the same time, as of this writing, he seems to understand that he must cancel Israel’s blank check. It will be interesting to see what happens when Israel attacks Iran. Will he cut off military aid, all aid, diplomatic relations? Will he be able to withstand AIPAC?

The enthusiasm that greeted Obama was probably due to the contrast between him and Bush. He is a grown-up who speaks in complete sentences and actually seems to have given some thought to things. The sheer relief at being rid of Bush and the conservatives accounted for most of the elation.

AR: How will American society change as the proportions of both Hispanics and Asians continue to increase?

ML: I fear we will face the worst of two worlds. On one hand, America will become poorer and dingier and more Third World-like. On the other hand, we will still retain a larger arsenal of weapons than the rest of the world combined. There may well be something in the old European character, inherited by American whites (but perhaps not by contemporary Europeans), that makes them enjoy fighting. Combined with a sense on the part of whites of loss and betrayal at the passing of the old order, and encouraged by Israel-firsters who are good at manipulating this impulse, they may lash out in destructive ways. Apart from 1919-1939, the white America that is passing has been continuously at war with some real or imaginary global enemy for a century. Worse, since it has been protected by two oceans, its casualties have been light. What is going to happen as that changes?

AR: At one time, you were regularly decried in the media as a vicious racist and had a high profile as someone liberals loved to hate. Has this reputation stayed with you? Do your students or colleagues ever mention this?

ML: Occasionally a student mentions it — usually with admiration. It is difficult to know what people say about you behind your back, but what they say to me to my face shows very little concern about my lurid past.

Editor’s Note: You can purchase Why Race Matters by clicking here.

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