Podhoretz, Junior vs. Steve Sailer

I recently

pointed out
that even though actress

Jodie Foster
reportedly had carefully searched out a
sperm donor with an IQ of 160 to father her two
children, the expected boost in her kids` IQ over what
she would have gotten from a typical 100 IQ donor would
fall in a range centering around merely 12 points. This
is due to a pervasive phenomenon that its discoverer,
Sir Francis Galton, called "regression
toward mediocrity
" and we now call

"regression toward the mean."

Interacting with John Podhoretz,
the son of long-time

Commentary editor Norman
inevitably calls to mind
Galton`s great discovery.

Last week, I noted on my

blog some of the younger Podhoretz`s

bumptious comments
on National Review Online`s
"Corner" free-for-all. In reaction to John Derbyshire`s
concerns about the current interpretation of the

14th Amendment

automatic birthright citizenship
to the

children of illegal aliens
, Podhoretz blustered:

pal. You`re born here, you`re a citizen here. Period.
That`s how it works, and thank God for it, otherwise a
great deal of the advances made in the 20th century by
immigrant children to the United States would not have
come to pass…"


this "birthright pundit" might
extend his logic like this:

pal. If you`re

born a Podhoretz
, you get to make a living offering
your opinions, no matter how big of a jerk and

you are. Period. That`s how it works, and thank
God for it, otherwise a great deal of the money made in
the 21st century by Podhoretz relatives would not have
come to pass."

Later, out of the blue, I received
an email from Podhoretz


keep attacking me. It`s how I know I`m not a bigoted,
racist scum."

Peter Brimelow has observed how
often a "racist" turns out to be someone who is

winning an argument with a liberal.
But with a
neocon of

Podhoretz the Lesser`s
quality, well, you don`t even
have to be arguing with him to be "a bigoted, racist
scum." I`m not exactly sure what "a … scum" is, but,
clearly, Pod No Like. I replied:

wit, such eloquence, such insight!"

He fired back:

"If you
think I lack them, I imagine you think I have too much

in my skin."

Hoo-boy! You got me there!

Thoroughly enjoying shooting fish
in a barrel, I answered:

"How do
you come up with such devastating comebacks? Do you keep
a half-dozen

Nobel Laureates
on staff, or do you, somehow, just
make these up all by yourself?"

While Podhoretz Minor might be an
extreme example, he reflects the intellectual decline of

from the first generation to the
second. While the

formidable father
has often provoked

, the son has mostly elicited laughter.

Hanna Rosin
reported in 1998:

around the Washington Times offices, the [Podhoretz]
column was often read out loud in Podhoretz`s absence,
for comic value, in a ritual famously called

Norman Podhoretz was somewhat
anomalous among the first generation of

, such as

Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Nathan Glazer
, and

James Q. Wilson
, because he was trained as a
literary critic rather than a social scientist. But like
them, and like later neoconservatives such as

Charles Murray,
he had some audacious things to

about race.

In his 1963 essay in Commentary,
Negro Problem—And Ours
," the elder Podhoretz


a long time I was puzzled to think that Jews were
supposed to be rich when the only Jews I knew were poor,
and that Negroes were

supposed to be persecuted
when it was the Negroes
who were doing the only persecuting I knew about—and
doing it, moreover,

to me
… [It] was the whites, the

Italians and Jews,
who feared the Negroes, not the
other way around."

Thirty years later, the elder

on the controversy his article about
"black thuggery" had caused:

1963 those descriptions were very shocking to most white
liberals. In their eyes Negroes were all long-suffering
and noble victims of the kind who had become familiar
through the struggles of the civil rights movement in
the South, the "heroic period" of the movement, as one
if its most heroic leaders,

Bayard Rustin
, called it. While none of my white
critics went so far as to deny the truthfulness of the
stories I told, they themselves could hardly imagine
being afraid of Negroes (how could they when the only
Negroes most of them knew personally were

and cleaning women?). In any case they very
much disliked the emphasis I placed on

black thuggery



black-on-white violence
is much more common than it
was then, many white readers could easily top those
stories with worse. And yet even today

few of them would be willing
to speak truthfully in
public about their entirely rational fear of black
violence and black crime. Telling the truth about blacks
remains dangerous to one`s reputation: to use that now
famous phrase I once appropriated from D.H. Lawrence in
talking about ambition, the

fear of blacks
has become the dirty little secret of
our political culture. And since a dirty little secret


in those who harbor it, I suppose it can still
be said that most whites are sick and twisted in their
feelings about blacks, albeit in a very different sense
that they were in 1963."

Time for John Podhoretz to email to
his father accusing him of being "a bigoted, racist

[Steve Sailer [email
him] is founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute and

movie critic

The American Conservative
His website

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