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    The media keep telling us: There's no difference between male and female brains.

    I don't believe it. Many of you must be skeptical, too. Seventeen million people watched my old ABC show on sex differences, almost as many as watched "Game of Thrones."

    Nonetheless, people now fill auditoriums to hear neuroscientist Gina Rippon talk about her new book that claims "New Neuroscience Explodes the Myths of the Male and Female Minds."

    Rippon says it's important to tell people that sex isn't an important indicator in how brains work so we don't fall prey to stereotypes. "You don't want an idea that this (difference) is something that's natural," she says in my new video.

    "It's not natural," I ask, "that in school, more boys want to play football and more girls want to do ballet? I want to run and bang into people."

    "Actually, girls might want to run and bang into people, but because there's an image that girls don't do that, they're stopped from doing that," she replies.

    But in my reporting, I've covered research that shows innate differences.

    In one experiment, students were blindfolded and then walked through tunnels running underneath a college campus. When the women were asked the direction of a college building, they weren't so sure. One said: "How would I know? I'm blindfolded!"

    Men, however, tend to have better spatial awareness and retained a sense of which direction they'd moved.

    On the other hand, women have a better memory for detail.

    In one test, students were told to wait in a cluttered room and later asked what was in that room.

    Women often gave long answers like, "There were envelopes, university envelopes, a thing of Clearasil, a Bazooka Joe comic..."

    Men were more likely to say, "I don't know ... some stuff."

    Of course, maybe they'd been molded by our sexist society -- conditioned to do what's expected of men and women.

    But I reminded Rippon that even tests on infants find differences. Baby boys look longer at objects, such as tractor parts. Infant girls stare at faces.

    "A third of the girls actually seem to respond more to the tractor parts," said Rippon.

    When I pointed out that meant two-thirds of the girls did not, Rippon said that the experiment should be redone "with a bigger set of newborns."

    Maybe. But scientists shouldn't keep redoing experiments until they get results they like.

    Some female scientists acknowledge that men's and women's brains are different.

    "You can tell, looking at brains, whether they belong to a male or a female 80% of the time," says evolutionary psychologist Diana Fleischman.

    Also: "Cultures around the world show very similar differences between men and women. Men are more likely to seek status; women are more likely to take care of children. Women are more likely to stay in the home; men are more likely to do dangerous, aggressive things like go to war."

    I suggest that perhaps the sexes are alike and all cultures have imposed similar biases.

    "Look at nonhuman animals, monkeys: They don't have culture, yet there's still very large differences between males and females," she responds.

    Among scientists, that's common opinion. The Journal of Neuroscience Research says 70 studies found differences. Boys, for example, are more likely to be autistic, to be colorblind and to have speech problems.

    Even Gina Rippon says, "I'm definitely not a brain difference denier."

    But her media coverage suggests she's discovered that male and female brains are the same.

    "It's an incredibly alluring message," says Fleishman with a laugh. "It's really sad that it's not right!"

    Of course, science shouldn't seek an alluring message. It should just be about the truth.

    But the truth doesn't stop politicians from demanding absolute equality in all things -- even if men and women have different interests.

    "Saying that men and women have different aptitudes isn't sexism. It's a statement about the true nature of the world," says Fleischman. "If we keep saying that those differences ... are because of sexism, nobody's going to end up happy with what they're doing, and we're going to keep making laws to remedy what's actually the result of freedom."

    John Stossel is author of "No They Can't! Why Government Fails -- But Individuals Succeed." For other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com.

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by Walter E. Williams

    If you need an accurate update on some of the madness at the nation's institutions of higher learning, check out Minding the Campus, a nonprofit independent organization. John Leo, its editor in chief, says that the organization's prime mission is dedicated to the revival of intellectual pluralism and the best traditions of liberal education at America's colleges and universities. Leo's most recent compilation of campus madness leaves one nearly breathless.

    In a USA Today op-ed, Emily Walton, a sociology professor at Dartmouth University, said that all college students should take a mandatory course on black history and white privilege. She says that by taking her class, white students "come to understand that being a good person does not make them innocent but rather they, too, are implicated in a system of racial dominance." Walton adds, "After spending their young lives in a condition of 'white blindness,' that is, the inability to see their own racial privilege, they begin to awaken to the notion that racism has systematically kept others down while benefiting them and other white people." This is inculcating guilt based on skin color. These young white kids had nothing to do with slavery, Jim Crow or other horrible racial discriminatory acts. If one believes in individual responsibility, he should find the indoctrination by Walton offensive. To top it off, she equates the meritocratic system of hard work with white discrimination against minorities.

    If you thought integration was in, check out the University of Nevada. Based on a report in the College Fix, John Leo describes how integration on that campus is actively discouraged -- and at taxpayer expense. The university provides separate dorms for different identities including Howell Town for black students, Stonewall Suites for LGBTQ students, the women-only housing of Tonopah community, the Healthy Living Floor for tofu and kale lovers and study-intensive floors for those who want to graduate.

    According to a New York Post report, New York City school administrators have been taught that pillars of Western Civilization such as objectivity, individualism and belief in the written word all are examples of white supremacy. All school principals, district office administrators and superintendent teams were required to attend the anti-white supremacy training put on by the city Department of Education's Office of Equity and Access. They learn that a belief in an "ultimate truth" (objectivity) leads to a dismissal of "alternate viewpoints or emotions" as "bad" and that an emphasis on the written word overlooks the "ability to relate to others" and leads to "teaching that there is only 'one right way' to do something." Administrators learn that other "hallmarks" of white supremacy include a "sense of urgency," "quantity over quality" and "perfectionism." Richard Carranza, New York City school superintendent, says the workshops are just about "what are our biases and how we work with them."

    Michael Bloomberg, former New York City mayor, says that political rage and increasingly polarized discourse are endangering our nation. Americans used to move forward productively after elections regardless of which side won. Now, we seem paralyzed by absolute schism and intolerance. Bloomberg pointed to colleges as a prime example of a rising level of intolerance for different ideas and free speech. Steven Gerrard, a professor at Williams College in Massachusetts, serves as an example of campus intolerance. Students declared Gerrard "an enemy of the people" after he suggested that Williams College join other schools in signing onto what's called the Chicago Principles. The statement, published by the Committee of Freedom of Expression at the University of Chicago, calls for free speech to be central to college and university culture. Williams college students said free speech is a part of a right-wing agenda as a "cover for racism, xenophobia, sexism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism and classism." Bloomberg pointed out that fewer than 70 of America's 4,000 colleges and universities have endorsed or adopted the Chicago statement.

    State governors and legislators can learn something from their Alaskan counterparts, who slashed public spending on the University of Alaska by 41%. There's nothing better than the sounds of pocketbooks snapping shut to bring a bit of sanity to college administrators.

    Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University. To find out more about Walter E. Williams and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.

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by Walter E. Williams

        The Competitive Enterprise Institute has published a new paper, "Wrong Again: 50 Years of Failed Eco-pocalyptic Predictions." Keep in mind that many of the grossly wrong environmentalist predictions were made by respected scientists and government officials. My question for you is: If you were around at the time, how many government restrictions and taxes would you have urged to avoid the predicted calamity?

        As reported in The New York Times (Aug. 1969) Stanford University biologist Dr. Paul Erhlich warned: "The trouble with almost all environmental problems is that by the time we have enough evidence to convince people, you're dead. We must realize that unless we're extremely lucky, everybody will disappear in a cloud of blue steam in 20 years."

        In 2000, Dr. David Viner, a senior research scientist at University of East Anglia's climate research unit, predicted that in a few years winter snowfall would become "a very rare and exciting event. Children just aren't going to know what snow is." In 2004, the U.S. Pentagon warned President George W. Bush that major European cities would be beneath rising seas. Britain will be plunged into a Siberian climate by 2020. In 2008, Al Gore predicted that the polar ice cap would be gone in a mere 10 years. A U.S. Department of Energy study led by the U.S. Navy predicted the Arctic Ocean would experience an ice-free summer by 2016.

        In May 2014, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius declared during a joint appearance with Secretary of State John Kerry that "we have 500 days to avoid climate chaos."

        Peter Gunter, professor at North Texas State University, predicted in the spring 1970 issue of The Living Wilderness: "Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions. ... By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine."

        Ecologist Kenneth Watt's 1970 prediction was, "If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000." He added, "This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age."

        Mark J. Perry, scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and professor of economics and finance at the University of Michigan's Flint campus, cites 18 spectacularly wrong predictions made around the time of first Earth Day in 1970. This time it's not about weather. Harrison Brown, a scientist at the National Academy of Sciences, published a chart in Scientific American that looked at metal reserves and estimated that humanity would run out of copper shortly after 2000. Lead, zinc, tin, gold and silver would be gone before 1990. Kenneth Watt said, "By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate ... that there won't be any more crude oil."

        There were grossly wild predictions well before the first Earth Day, too. In 1939, the U.S. Department of the Interior predicted that American oil supplies would last for only another 13 years. In 1949, the secretary of the interior said the end of U.S. oil supplies was in sight. Having learned nothing from its earlier erroneous energy claims, in 1974, the U.S. Geological Survey said that the U.S. had only a 10-year supply of natural gas. However, the U.S. Energy Information Administration estimated that as of Jan. 1, 2017, there were about 2,459 trillion cubic feet of dry natural gas in the United States. That's enough to last us for nearly a century. The United States is the largest producer of natural gas worldwide.

        Today's wild predictions about climate doom are likely to be just as true as yesteryear's. The major difference is today's Americans are far more gullible and more likely to spend trillions fighting global warming. And the only result is that we'll be much poorer and less free.

        Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University. To find out more about Walter E. Williams and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.

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        Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is controversial within her party.

        She says the U.S. should talk to its enemies. She was criticized for meeting with Syrian dictator Bashar Assad.

        But Democrats were supposed to be the anti-war party, I say to her in my newest video.

        "They're heavily influenced by a foreign policy establishment ... whose whole power base is built around continuing this status quo," Gabbard tells me. "So much so, to the point where when I'm calling for an end to these wasteful wars, they're saying, 'Well, gosh, Tulsi, why are you such an isolationist?' As though the only way that we can relate with other countries in the world is by bombing them."

        Gabbard is a veteran, and now says, "Honor our servicemen and women by only sending them on missions that are worthy of their sacrifice."

        She enlisted because of the 9/11 attacks. However, there, too, she thought a limited response was necessary but now says that our government has "used that attack on 9/11 to begin to wage a whole series of counterproductive regime-change wars, overthrowing authoritarian dictators in other countries, wars that have proven to be very costly to our servicemembers."

        She blames both parties. "I call out leaders in my own party and leaders in the Republican Party (and all) who are heavily influenced by the military-industrial complex that profits heavily off of us continuing to wage these counterproductive wars."

        She also wants to end our big domestic war, the war on drugs. She'd start by legalizing marijuana.

        "I've never smoked marijuana," she says. "I never will. I've never drunk alcohol. I've chosen not to in my life, but this is about free choice. And if somebody wants to do that, our country should not be making a criminal out of them."

        Even if they use stronger drugs? Heroin? Meth?

        "That's the direction that we need to take," she says.

        Although Gabbard just barely polls well enough to make the Democratic debates, she made a big impact at one debate by basically knocking Sen. Kamala Harris out of the race.

        Gabbard simply pointed out Harris' hypocrisy in suddenly becoming a criminal justice reformer.

        Gabbard said, "She put over 1,500 people in jail for marijuana violations and then laughed about it when she was asked if she ever smoked marijuana."

        That debate clash crushed Harris in betting predictions about who the Democratic nominee would be. Harris' numbers started dropping from that moment, and she quickly fell from first place to, as I write this, seventh.

        Good for Gabbard for bringing up the drug war -- and for running an ad that at least mentions America's huge federal debt.

        But like most Democrats, Gabbard would spend billions on expensive new programs, funding it with military cuts.

        But Bernie Sanders admits that "Medicare for All" alone would cost $3 trillion. The budget for the entire military, by comparison, is $700 billion per year.

        "The money that we are going to save by ending these wasteful wars -- you're right, it won't cover every other thing that we need to accomplish," Gabbard admits.

        At least she's willing to debate with me. No one else polling over 1% has been willing so far.

        "Our leaders are increasingly unwilling to sit down with those who may be 'on the other team,'" she explains. "Look, I love my country. You love our country. Let's come together as Americans with appreciation for our constitution, our freedoms, civil liberties and rights, and have this civil discourse and dialogue about how we can move forward together."

        John Stossel is author of "No They Can't! Why Government Fails -- But Individuals Succeed." For other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com.

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by Walter E. Williams

        During my student days at a UCLA economics department faculty/graduate student coffee hour in the 1960s, I was chatting with Professor Armen Alchian, probably the greatest microeconomic theory economist of the 20th century. I was trying to impress Alchian with my knowledge of statistical type I and type II errors. I explained that unlike my wife, who assumed that everyone was her friend until they prove differently, my assumption was everyone was an enemy until they proved otherwise. The result: My wife's vision maximized the number of her friends but maximized her chances of betrayal. My vision minimized my chances of betrayal at a cost of minimizing the number of my friends.
        Alchian, donning a mischievous smile asked, "Williams, have you considered a third alternative, namely, that people don't give a damn about you one way or another?" Initially, I felt a bit insulted, and our conversation didn't go much further, but that was typical of Alchian -- saying something profound, perhaps controversial, without much comment and letting you think it out.
        Years later, I gave Alchian's third alternative considerable thought and concluded that he was right. The most reliable assumption, in terms of the conduct of one's life, is to assume that people don't care about you one way or another. It's an error to generalize that people are friends or enemies, or that people are out to either help you or hurt you. To put it more crudely, as Alchian did, people don't give a damn about you one way or another.
        Let's apply this argument to issues of race. Listening to some people, one might think that white people are engaged in an ongoing secret conspiracy to undermine the achievement and well-being of black people. Their evidence is low black academic achievement and high rates of black poverty, unemployment and incarceration. For some, racism is the root cause of most black problems including the unprecedentedly high black illegitimacy rate and family breakdown.
        Are white people obsessed with and engaged in a conspiracy against black people? Here's an experiment. Walk up to the average white person and ask, "How many minutes today have you been thinking about black people?" If the person isn't a Klansman or a gushing do-gooder liberal, his answer would probably be zero minutes. If you asked him whether he's a part of a conspiracy to undermine the achievement and well-being of black people, he'd probably look at you as if you were crazy. By the same token, if a person asked me: "Williams, how many minutes today have you been thinking about white people?" My answer would probably be, "Not even a nanosecond." Because people don't care about you one way or another doesn't mean they wish you good will, ill will or no will. They just don't give a damn.
        What are the implications of the people-don't-care vision of how the world works? A major implication is that one's destiny, for the most part, is in one's hands. How you make it in this world depends more on what you do as opposed to whether people like or dislike you. Black politicians, civil rights leaders and white liberals have peddled victimhood to black people, teaching them that racism is pervasive and no amount of individual effort can overcome racist barriers. Peddling victimhood is not new. Booker T. Washington said: "There is a class of colored people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs." In an 1865 speech to the Anti-Slavery Society in Boston, abolitionist Frederick Douglass said that people ask: "'What shall we do with the Negro?' I have had but one answer from the beginning. D!
 o nothing with us! Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us. Do nothing with us!" Or as Patrick Moynihan urged a century later in a 1970 memo to President Richard Nixon, "The time may have come when the issue of race could benefit from a period of 'benign neglect.'"
        Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University. To find out more about Walter E. Williams and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com .
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