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by John Stossel

     If you are an American college professor, the way you get a raise or tenure is by getting papers published in "academic journals."
        The stupidity of these journals says a lot about what's taught at colleges today.
        Recently, three people sent in intentionally ridiculous "research" to prominent journals of women studies, gender studies, race studies, sexuality studies, obesity studies and queer studies.
        "The scholarship in these disciplines is utterly corrupted," says Dr. Peter Boghossian of Portland State University. "They have placed an agenda before the truth."
        To show that, hoaxer and mathematician James Lindsay says, "We rewrote a section of 'Mein Kampf' as intersectional feminism" and got it published in Affilia: Journal of Women and Social Work.
        For another paper, they claimed to have "closely" examined genitals of 10,000 dogs in dog parks to learn about "rape culture and queer performativity."
        Boghossian had assumed, "There's no way they're gonna believe that we did this!"
        But the journal Gender, Place & Culture did, calling the paper "excellent scholarship."
        Seven journals accepted the absurd papers, as I show in my latest video.
        Hoaxers Boghossian, Lindsay and Areo Magazine editor Helen Pluckrose explain the reason for their trick.
        "We think studying topics like gender, race and sexuality is worthwhile and getting it right is extremely important," says Lindsay
        But researchers of these topics have gotten lazy and political, they say. "A culture has developed in which only certain conclusions are allowed -- like those that make whiteness and masculinity problematic," Lindsay says.
        Reach politically "correct" conclusions and you can get most anything published.
        "Kind of a last straw happened," says Lindsay. "There was this paper well-funded by the National Science Foundation that studied 'feminist glaciology.' It said glacier science is sexist."
        As a glaciologist giving a TED Talk put it, "the majority of glaciological knowledge that we have today stems from knowledge created by men about men within existing masculinist stories."
        What?
        One paper suggested the solution to sexism in glacier science is "feminist paintings of glaciers and feminist art projects," says Lindsay. They praised art projects like one where they "hooked up a phone line to a glacier so you could call the glacier on the phone and listen to it." That was "the last straw" for him.
        Lindsay adds, "What appears beyond dispute is that making absurd and horrible ideas sufficiently politically fashionable can get them validated at the highest levels of academic grievance studies."
        The hoaxers didn't get to finish their experiment because The Wall Street Journal's Jillian Kay Melchior noticed the absurdity of the paper on dog humping. She exposed the hoax before all 20 journals weighed in.
        What upsets me most is what happened -- or rather, didn't happen -- next.
        No university said it would stop using those journals, and no journal editor publicly said, "We must raise our standards."
        "Think about if you did this to civil engineers with bridge building," says Boghossian. "They would've thanked us, right? Because they're driving over the bridges with their families, so they don't want the bridges to collapse."
        But the journal editors, instead of admitting that they sometimes publish nonsense, attacked the hoaxers. They accused them of doing "unethical research."
        A dozen of Boghossian's colleagues at Portland State University criticized him anonymously in the school newspaper, which depicted him as a clown. He's become a pariah at his own school.
        "I've been spat on ... physically threatened," he says.
        Instead of applauding him for exposing nonsense, Portland State threatened him.
        I called the school asking for an interview, but it declined.
        How can a college criticize the hoaxers but revere ridiculous journals that publish nonsense?
        "When you live in these tight ecosystems, this stuff makes total sense," says Boghossian. For people in the tiny bubble of academic thinking, "there's a pervading rape culture; men are bad -- the whole ball of wax."
        It's been going on for some time. A physicist once submitted a nonsense paper claiming gravity is just a "social construct." The journal Social Text published it. That embarrassed the journal, but 20 years later, it is still going strong.
        At universities, "scholarship" has gotten even crazier.
        The real "hoax" is on students who pay thousands of dollars for useless degrees in fields that end in "studies."
        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

    Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez claims that "the world is going to end in 12 years if we don't address climate change." The people at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change agree, saying that to avoid some of the most devastating impacts of climate change, the world must slash carbon emissions by 45 percent by 2030 and completely decarbonize by 2050.
    Such dire warnings are not new. In 1970, Harvard University biology professor George Wald, a Nobel laureate, predicted, "Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind." Also in 1970, Paul Ehrlich, a Stanford University biologist, predicted in an article for The Progressive, "The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years." The year before, he had warned, "If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000." Despite such harebrained predictions, Ehrlich has won no fewer than 16 awards, including the 1990 Crafoord Prize, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences' highest award.
    Leftists constantly preach such nonsense as "The world that we live in is beautiful but fragile." "The 3rd rock from the sun is a fragile oasis." "Remember that Earth needs to be saved every single day." These and many other statements, along with apocalyptic predictions, are stock in trade for environmentalists. Worse yet, this fragile-earth indoctrination is fed to the nation's youth from kindergarten through college. That's why many millennials support Rep. Ocasio-Cortez.
    Let's examine just a few cataclysmic events that exceed any destructive power of mankind and then ask how our purportedly fragile planet could survive. The 1883 eruption of the Krakatoa volcano, in present-day Indonesia, had the force of 200 megatons of TNT. That's the equivalent of 13,300 15-kiloton atomic bombs, the kind that destroyed Hiroshima in World War II. Before that was the 1815 Tambora eruption, the largest known volcanic eruption. It spewed so much debris into the atmosphere that 1816 became known as the "Year Without a Summer." It led to crop failures and livestock death in the Northern Hemisphere, producing the worst famine of the 19th century. The A.D. 535 Krakatoa eruption had such force that it blotted out much of the light and heat of the sun for 18 months and is said to have led to the Dark Ages. Geophysicists estimate that just three volcanic eruptions -- Indonesia (1883), Alaska (1912) and Iceland (1947) -- spewed more carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide !
into the atmosphere than all of mankind's activities during our entire history.
    Our so-called fragile earth survived other catastrophic events, such as the floods in China in 1887, which took an estimated 1 million to 2 million lives, followed by floods there in 1931, which took an estimated 1 million to 4 million lives. What about the impact of earthquakes on our fragile earth? Chile's 1960 Valdivia earthquake was 9.5 on the Richter scale. It created a force equivalent to 1,000 atomic bombs going off at the same time. The deadly 1556 earthquake in China's Shaanxi province devastated an area of 520 miles.
    Our so-called fragile earth faces outer space terror. Two billion years ago, an asteroid hit earth, creating the Vredefort crater in South Africa, which has a diameter of 190 miles. In Ontario, there's the Sudbury Basin, resulting from a meteor strike 1.8 billion years ago. At 39 miles long, 19 miles wide and 9 miles deep, it's the second-largest impact structure on earth. Virginia's Chesapeake Bay crater is a bit smaller, about 53 miles wide. Then there's the famous but puny Meteor Crater in Arizona, which is not even a mile wide.
    My question is: Which of these powers of nature could be duplicated by mankind? For example, could mankind even come close to duplicating the polluting effects of the 1815 Tambora volcanic eruption? It is the height of arrogance to think that mankind can make significant parametric changes in the earth or can match nature's destructive forces. Our planet is not fragile.
    Occasionally, environmentalists spill the beans and reveal their true agenda. Barry Commoner said, "Capitalism is the earth's number one enemy." Amherst College professor Leo Marx said, "On ecological grounds, the case for world government is beyond argument."
    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 John Stossel

        When I hear "welfare payments," I think "poor people."
        But America's biggest welfare recipients are often politically connected corporations -- like America's sugar producers.
        The industry gets billions of dollars in special deals while deceitfully running ads that say, "American farmers don't get subsidy checks."
        That ad confused me. If they "don't get subsidy checks," then what is America's multibillion-dollar sugar program?
        "It costs taxpayers nothing," claim ads from the American Sugar Alliance. "We are a no-cost program, no cost to the taxpayer."
        "That's absolutely bogus," says Ross Marchand of the Taxpayers Protection Alliance in my newest video. Americans "pay as customers and they pay as taxpayers." He's right.
        We pay several billion dollars extra every year, with "all of that money going to that handful of rich politically connected growers."
        Several companies -- Amalgamated Sugar, Michigan Sugar and Western Sugar Cooperative -- get three forms of handouts:
        1. Subsidies when sugar prices fall below a certain level.
        2. Protection from foreign competition (a limit on imports).
        3. A guarantee that prices stay high (the sugar program imposes quotas on how much sugar may be produced in America).
        "These are Stalin-style price controls and supply controls," says Marchand. "It does not help anyone."
        Well, it helps Big Sugar.
        The price of its product is roughly doubled by these rules, so Americans pay the politically connected owners about $4 billion dollars extra.
        Why does such a scam persist?
        One reason it hasn't been repealed is, well, Washington rarely repeals any handout. But also, this one costs most of us just $10 or $20 a year. We won't go to Washington to lobby over that.
        But companies that get the subsidies sure do. Creighton University economist Diana Thomas says, "Each American sugar farmer made roughly $3 million a year extra" from America's sugar program. "Each is willing to spend a lot of time and money making sure that the law stays that way."
        Finally, Big Sugar is very good at deceiving politicians and the media.
        The American Sugar Alliance has the nerve to run ads claiming that without its corporate welfare Americans will suffer food shortages. They use images of World War II food rationing while an announcer proclaims, "Depending on other countries for a food staple was a recipe for disaster... Does America really want to give foreign countries control over its food?"
        Give me a break. Imports obviously increase our supply of food. There are no import restrictions on most other foods. Yet America doesn't suffer shortages.
        In fact, if there's a problem, it's that Americans eat too much, and much too much sugar.
        This multibillion-dollar handout is simply Welfare for the Rich.
        Protecting the handouts provides welfare for politicians, too -- pols from both parties.
        Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and Reps. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, and Collin Peterson, D-Minn., get the most money from Big Sugar. No. 9 on the list is Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who has criticized welfare payments to poor people, saying (correctly) that handouts discourage honest work.
        "I'm prepared to get rid of the sugar program tomorrow," says Rubio, "if the countries we compete against get rid of theirs." In other words: "Since other countries subsidize sugar, America must retaliate!"
        Marchand had a good answer to that: "Is it fair for customers to pay double the world rate for sugar? Is it fair for taxpayers to have to bail out a handful of super-rich, super-connected sugar processors? No!"
        It's also not fair that all businesses that buy sugar must pay the sugar-makers' artificially inflated prices. Candy-makers are hurt most. "There is only one candy cane producer left in Ohio. That's absolutely ridiculous," says Marchand. "Look at all those jobs!"
        About 20,000 American jobs are lost every year because politicians keep sugar prices artificially high, says a University of Iowa study.
        It's not just candy-makers who suffer. There's added sugar in bread, beer, yogurt, ketchup, cereal and lots of other foods.
        Consumers pay more and almost every food business suffers because a few big sugar companies have the political clout to get themselves a sweet deal.
        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

       Jussie Smollett, "Empire" actor, claimed that on Jan. 29, two masked men identifying themselves as Donald Trump supporters and using racial and homophobic insults attacked him. Smollett said the assailants yelled "This is MAGA country," bashed his face, crushed his ribs, splashed him with bleach and put a noose around his neck. Smollett's telling of the hate crime was gobbled up hook, line and sinker by the anti-Trump news media, but Chicago police say it was a hoax. This type of hoax is part and parcel of the left's broad agenda of victimology, fraudulence and gimmickry, plus gross media gullibility, incompetence and political attention seeking. What's so troublesome is the fact that despite considerable evidence that the incident was a hoax, no apologies have been issued to either the public or the targets of their malfeasance -- President Trump and the Americans who voted for him.
        Racial hoaxes have been a major part of the leftist agenda going back decades. In 1987, the Rev. Al Sharpton created the Tawana Brawley hoax, wherein four white men were falsely accused of rape. For perpetrating the hoax, Sharpton was rewarded by receiving national recognition, millions of dollars and a career as a television/radio talk show host, and he ran for president in 2004. He also received 82 invitations to advise Barack Obama's White House on matters of race.
        Most of the nation's racial hoaxes take place on college campuses. Recall the 2006 Duke lacrosse rape case, in which three affluent white male Duke students were falsely accused of raping a black female stripper. Police exposed Bowling Green State University student Eleesha Long as a liar after she complained about being attacked by Trump supporters the day after his election. At Goucher College in Maryland, scrawlings depicted swastikas and also spelled out the N-word and the names of four black students -- including the perpetrator. The Maryland police found out that the perp was a 21-year-old black lacrosse player seeking victimhood. Nonetheless, the incident led to protests, demands for designated safe spaces and demands that incoming freshmen and transfers be required to take a "cultural competency" course.
        The Daily Caller News Foundation has compiled some of the most outrageous hate crime hoaxes since Trump was elected (http://tinyurl.com/y2xcc3co). The hate crime hoaxes include claims of attacks on Muslim men and women by Trump supporters. A bisexual woman falsely claimed that Trump supporters were sending her nasty notes. Most of the hate crime hoaxes have been committed by black students. Their charges include the posting of KKK signs, the sending of racist notes and the writing of racist graffiti on a black person's door with the words "Go Home N----- Boy" and "Whites Only." A black man was caught on camera spray-painting doors and vehicles with racial slurs, vulgar words and swastikas.
        Even professors create hoaxes. Indiana State University professor Azhar Hussain sent bogus anti-Muslim emails to himself, according to police, "trying to gain sympathy by becoming a victim of anti-Muslim threats which he had created himself." He was arrested for filing a false police report.
        Here's the good news about the racial hoaxes on the nation's college campuses: Left-wing college students have a difficult time finding the actual racism they claim permeates college campuses. Thus, they have to invent it. Though it has not been proved yet, these students may have support for their racial hoaxes by diversity-crazed administrators, who nationwide spend billions of dollars on diversity and a multiculturalist agenda. Racial discord and other kinds of strife are their meal tickets.
        Black people, as well as homosexuals, should condemn these hoaxes, but so far, most have remained silent. If police are right that Smollett's claims were a dastardly hoax, it will cause doubt to be cast on future real claims of assault based on race and sexual orientation. It also will have a negative impact on race relations. This is not something to be taken lightly. If Smollett is found guilty of a felony as he is charged, he should suffer heavy penalties, including jail time. There's a lesson to be learned from one of Aesop's fables, "The Boy Who Cried Wolf."
        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 John Stossel

Last week Rep. Nancy Pelosi warned President Donald Trump that if he declared an "emergency" to build a wall, "think what a president with different values can present... Why don't you declare (the epidemic of gun violence in America) an emergency, Mr. President? I wish you would... A Democratic president can declare emergencies as well."
        Her fellow Democrats Sen. Kamala Harris and Sen. Elizabeth Warren quickly agreed.
        Warren tweeted: "Gun violence is an emergency. Climate change is an emergency..."
        Yikes.
        Not every problem in America should be declared an emergency -- or used by a president to justify acting without Congress.
        But why are guns on the Democrats' "emergency" list anyway?
        One reason is sloppy reporting by lazy media.
        Last year, they claimed that there were school shootings at "hundreds of schools." It was "an almost daily occurrence" in the U.S., some said.
        This was nonsense. NPR reporters looked into the 235 shootings reported by the U.S. Dept of Education and were only able to confirm 11 of them.
        It turned out that schools were added to the list merely because someone at a school heard there may have been a shooting. Good for NPR for checking out the Education Department's claim.
        Economist John Lott, president of the Crime Prevention Research Center (and father of one of my producers) spends much of his time researching gun use and correcting shoddy studies.
        A few years ago, much of the media claimed that the U.S. has "the most mass shootings of any country in the world." President Barack Obama added it's "a pattern now that has no parallel anywhere else."
        CNN and The L.A. Times wrote about "Why the U.S. Has the Most Mass Shootings." ("The United States has more guns.")
        But the U.S. doesn't have the most mass shootings, says Lott. It's a myth created by University of Alabama associate professor Adam Lankford, a myth repeated by anti-gun media in hundreds of news stories.
        "Lankford claimed that since 1966 there were 90 mass public shooters in the United States, more than any other country," says Lott. "Lankford claimed 'complete data' were available from 171 countries."
        But how could that be? Many governments don't collect such data and even fewer have information from before the days of the internet.
        A shooting in say, India, would likely be reported only in local newspapers, in a local dialect. How would Lankford ever find out about it? How did he collect his information? What languages did he search in?
        He won't say.
        "That's academic malpractice," says Lott in my video about the controversy.
        I'm not surprised that Lankford didn't reply to Lott's emails. Lott is known as pro-gun. (He wrote the book "More Guns, Less Crime.") But Lankford also won't explain his data to me, The Washington Post or even his fellow gun control advocates.
        When Lott's research center checked the data, using Lankford's own definition of a mass shooting, "four or more people killed," the center found 3,000 shootings around the world. Lankford claimed there were only 202.
        Lankford said he excludes "sponsored terrorism" but does not define what he means by that. To be safe, Lott removed terrorism cases from his data. He still found 709 shootings -- more than triple the number Lankford reported.
        It turns out that not only did the U.S. not have the most frequent mass shootings, it was number 62 on the list, lower than places like Norway, Finland and Switzerland.
        There was also no relationship between the rate of gun ownership in different countries and the rate of mass shootings.
        If journalists had just demanded Lankford explain his study methods before touting his results, his "more mass shootings" myth would never have spread.
        So if Nancy Pelosi, Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren ever follow through on their threat to declare gun violence a "national emergency," be sure to check their math.
        Or just remember the wisdom of the Second Amendment.
        Government's desire to control us -- and to lie to make its case -- is the real emergency.
        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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