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by Walter E. Williams

        Parents, legislators, taxpayers and others footing the bill for college education might be interested in just what is in store for the upcoming academic year. Since many college classes will be online, there is a chance to witness professors indoctrinating their students in real-time. So, there's a chance that some college faculty might change their behavior. To see recent examples of campus nonsense and indoctrination, visit the Campus Reform and College Fix websites.
        George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley warned congressional lawmakers that antifa is "winning" and that much of academia, whether wittingly or unwittingly, is complicit in its success." In his testimony before Congress Turley said: "To Antifa, people like me are the personification of the classical liberal view of free speech that perpetuates a system of oppression and abuse. I wish I could say that my view remains strongly implanted in our higher educational institutions. However, you are more likely to find public supporters for restricting free speech than you are to find defenders of free speech principles on many campuses."
        The leftist bias at our colleges and universities has many harmful effects. A University of California, Davis, mathematics professor faced considerable backlash over her opposition to the requirement for "diversity statements" from potential faculty. Those seeking employment at the University of California, San Diego, are required to admit that "barriers" prevent women and minorities from full participation in campus life. At American University, a history professor wrote a book calling for the repeal of the Second Amendment. A Rutgers University professor said, "Watching the Iowa Caucus is a sickening display of the over-representation of whiteness." A Williams College professor has advocated for the inclusion of social justice in math textbooks. Students at Wayne State University are no longer required to take a single math course to graduate; however, they may soon be required to take a diversity course.
        Maybe some students will be forced into sharing the vision of Professor Laurie Rubel, a math education professor at Brooklyn College. She says the idea of cultural neutrality in math is a "myth," and that asking whether 2 plus 2 equals 4 "reeks of white supremacist patriarchy." She tweeted, "Y'all must know that the idea that math is objective or neutral IS A MYTH." Math professors and academics at other universities, including Harvard and the University of Illinois, discussed the "Eurocentric" roots of American mathematics. As for me, I would like to see the proof, in any culture, that 2 + 2 is something other than 4.
        Rutgers University's English department chairwoman, Rebecca Walkowitz, announced changes to the Department's graduate writing program emphasizing "social justice" and "critical grammar." Leonydus Johnson, a speech-language pathologist and libertarian activist, says Walkowitz's changes make the assumption that minorities cannot understand traditional and grammatically correct English speech and writing, which is "insulting, patronizing, and in itself, extremely racist."
        Then there is the nonsense taught on college campuses about white privilege. The idea of white privilege doesn't explain why several historically marginalized groups outperform whites today. For example, Japanese Americans suffered under the Alien Land Law of 1913 and other racist, exclusionary laws legally preventing them from owning land and property in more than a dozen American states until the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952. During World War II, more than 120,000 Japanese Americans were interned. However, by 1959, the income disparity between Japanese Americans and white Americans had almost disappeared. Today, Japanese Americans outperform white Americans by large margins in income statistics, education outcomes and test scores, and have much lower incarceration rates.
        According to Rav Arora, writing for the New York Post, several black immigrant groups such as Nigerians, Trinidadians and Tobagonians, Barbadians and Ghanaians all "have a median household income well above the American average." We are left with the question whether the people handing out "white privilege" made a mistake. The other alternative is that Japanese Americans, Nigerians, Barbadians, Ghanaians and Trinidadians and Tobagonians are really white Americans.
        The bottom line is that more Americans need to pay attention to the miseducation of our youth and that miseducation is not limited to higher education.
        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

    Most people who call themselves Marxists know very little of Karl Marx's life and have never read his three-volume "Das Kapital." Volume I was published in 1867, the only volume published before Marx's death in 1883. Volumes II and III were later edited and published in his name by his friend and collaborator Friedrich Engels. Most people who call themselves Marxist have only read his 1848 pamphlet "The Communist Manifesto," which was written with Engels.
    Marx is a hero to many labor union leaders and civil rights organizations, including leftist groups like Black Lives Matter, antifa and some Democratic Party leaders. It is easy to be a Marxist if you know little of his life. Marx's predictions about capitalism and the "withering away of the state" turned out to be grossly wrong. What most people do not know is that Marx was a racist and an anti-Semite.
    When the U.S. annexed California after the Mexican-American War, Marx wrote: "Without violence nothing is ever accomplished in history." Then he asked, "Is it a misfortune that magnificent California was seized from the lazy Mexicans who did not know what to do with it?" Friedrich Engels added: "In America we have witnessed the conquest of Mexico and have rejoiced at it. It is to the interest of its own development that Mexico will be placed under the tutelage of the United States." Many of Marx's racist ideas were reported in "Karl Marx, Racist" a book written by Nathaniel Weyl, a former member of the U.S. Communist Party.
    In a July 1862 letter to Engels, in reference to his socialist political competitor, Ferdinand Lassalle, Marx wrote: "It is now completely clear to me that he, as is proved by his cranial formation and his hair, descends from the Negroes from Egypt, assuming that his mother or grandmother had not interbred with a nigger. Now this union of Judaism and Germanism with a basic Negro substance must produce a peculiar product. The obtrusiveness of the fellow is also nigger-like."
    In 1887, Paul Lafargue, who was Marx's son-in-law, was a candidate for a council seat in a Paris district that contained a zoo. Engels claimed that Paul had "one eighth or one twelfth nigger blood." In an April 1887 letter to Paul's wife, Engels wrote, "Being in his quality as a nigger, a degree nearer to the rest of the animal kingdom than the rest of us, he is undoubtedly the most appropriate representative of that district."
    Marx's anti-Semitic views were no secret. In 1844, he published an essay titled "On the Jewish Question." He wrote that the worldly religion of Jews was "huckstering" and that the Jew's god was "money." Marx's view of Jews was that they could only become an emancipated ethnicity or culture when they no longer exist. Just one step short of calling for genocide, Marx said, "The classes and the races, too weak to master the new conditions of life, must give way."
    Marx's philosophical successors shared ugly thoughts on blacks and other minorities. Che Guevara, a hero of the left, was a horrific racist. He wrote in his 1952 memoir, "The Motorcycle Diaries": "The Negro is indolent and lazy and spends his money on frivolities, whereas the European is forward-looking, organized and intelligent."
    British socialist Beatrice Webb griped in The New Statesmen about declining birthrates among so-called higher races, which would lead to "a new social order" that would be created "by one or other of the colored races, the Negro, the Kaffir or the Chinese." The Soviets espoused the same "Jewish world conspiracy" as the Nazis. Joseph Stalin embarked upon a campaign that led to the deaths of Jewish intellectuals for their apparent lack of patriotism. By the way, the Soviet public was not told that Karl Marx was Jewish. Academics who preach Marxism to their classes fail to tell their students that his ideology has led to the slaughter of tens of millions of people. What's worse, they fail to even feign concern over this fact.
    White liberals are useful idiots. BLM, antifa and other progressive groups use the plight of poor blacks to organize left-leaning, middle-class, college-educated, guilt-ridden suburbanite whites. These people who topple statues and destroy public and private property care about minorities as much as their racist predecessors. Their goal is the acquisition and concentration of power and Americans have fallen hook, line and sinker for their phony virtue signaling.
    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

    Black Lives Matter protests led many people to want to do something useful to reduce racial injustice. Racial justice groups are being flooded with money.
    Big companies made multimillion-dollar donations.
    "Bad idea," says Black radio host Larry Elder in my new video.
    "It is condescending... and not helpful. I urge white people to chill. Stop helping us, because you're making things worse!"
    Making things worse, he says, because it supports the activists' claim that "Blacks are victims of racism. (But) if racism were in America's DNA, Obama never could have got elected. Racism has never been more insignificant a factor in one's success than right now."
    I push back. "It must be a huge problem or there wouldn't be all this protest!"
    "Well, they're being lied to," Elder responds. Teachers, Black activists and the media give "young people the impression that racism remains this huge problem in America when it is not."
    It's not, he says, because today any person who does three things can succeed: "Finish high school, don't have a kid until you get married, get a job. Do those things, you will not be poor."
    The biggest problem facing the Black community today, says Elder, is the absence of fathers. In the 1960s, most Black children were raised in two-parent households. That changed when our government's War on Poverty began.
    The handouts sent the message that it's the government's job, not your responsibility, to take care of you and your kids. "A mother with two children makes more money than she would make on minimum wage because of all the goodies she gets through the welfare state!"
    Now, he says, Black Lives Matter actually encourages the breakup of families. Their website does say, "disrupt the Western-prescribed, nuclear family."
    That's a Karl Marx idea straight from "The Communist Manifesto." Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors proudly describes herself as a "trained Marxist."
    Elder calls her and the anti-capitalist protesters "phonies."
    "Do they really want socialism?" Elder asks. "Do they really want inferior products? They are all wearing Nike and using Apple products. They're hypocrites."
    But they're winning!
    They are even redefining what racism means. Today's "anti-racists" says racism means "any policy with an effect that is disproportionate." So even a tax deduction is racist because on average, whites deduct more than Blacks.
    "Anti-racism presumes things about the world that simply can't be true," says Kmele Foster, lead producer at Freethink. "We are all at bottom, whatever our race, individuals. Anti-racism takes that and flips it on its head."
    Recently, Washington's Museum of African American History and Culture, part of the taxpayer-funded Smithsonian Institute, posted that "white culture" means things like "nuclear family," "self-reliance," "rigid time schedule" and "delayed gratification."
    The poster is "despicable," says Foster. "It's offensive to suggest that Black people can't aspire to or possess all the values outlined in a document like this. Black people can be punctual. Black people are, in fact, successful in this country."
    The poster was removed, after complaints.
    I wanted to ask Black Lives Matter about things like that. We contacted all 14 U.S. chapters. Not one would agree to an interview.
    Too bad. I wanted to ask the "anti-racists" if they notice that they and white supremacists now support similar segregationist policies, like Blacks- (or whites-) only spaces. Foster points out that both white supremacists and anti-racists believe "race is an immutable attribute of who we are."
    He prefers Martin Luther King Jr.'s vision: a nation where "people are judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."
    "Black Lives Matter leaders don't really want the vision of MLK," says Elder. "They want a color-coordinated society -- as long as they're the ones who do the coordinating."
    John Stossel is author of "Give Me a Break: How I Exposed Hucksters, Cheats, and Scam Artists and Became the Scourge of the Liberal Media." For other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com.
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by Taylor Kovar, KovarCapital.com

Hey Taylor: Are there any home improvement projects that actually “pay for themselves”? I never believe contractors when I hear that pitch, and yet I keep on hearing it so I’m wondering if it’s true in some cases. Can I break even with new windows or a better HVAC?

Hey Jeremiah: Can’t blame you for not taking every contractor at their word. However, I will side with some of them on this issue; if you buy the right product at the right time, you stand to get your money back over the course of a few years.

There are a lot of different variables, but you should start by considering these elements.

1. Utility savings. Naturally, whether or not an upgrade pays for itself will depend on the type of upgrade. If you install solar panels, you will save money on your electricity bill. Assuming you have a medium or large home and use a fair amount of electrical appliances, it’s not uncommon to save upwards of $200 a month. That means you’ll save around $10,000 in just four years ‑ and that’s not including the tax rebate you might be entitled to. You mentioned new windows, and the math can be broken down in a similar way. If you get quality, energy-efficient frames, most experts say you can reduce your utility bill by about 30%. If you live somewhere with extreme weather, cutting your utility bills by ⅓ makes a big difference and adds up over the course of a year. 

2. Resale value. It can be misleading to hear that something “pays for itself.” That phrasing makes a lot of people think the upgrade will be free and that’s definitely not true. However, a new HVAC unit, a remodeled kitchen, a renovated bathroom and any other home improvement projects should be viewed as investments. Once your house is paid off, it’s an asset, and the better it looks and functions as a living space, the more it’s worth. As long as you’re not getting swindled or paying for bad work, renovations can retain their value.

3. Maintenance Reduction. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, right? Paying for metal roofing that won’t need repairs after each storm doesn’t exactly pay for itself, but it could save you from countless repair payments that cost a fortune over time. The value of an upgrade often depends on what’s being replaced; don’t lose sight of that as a contractor or salesperson pitches some fancy, expensive renovation.

You aren’t being lied to every time someone says a renovation will save you money in the long run. Sometimes it’s not the case, but you shouldn’t dismiss the notion right away. It just depends on what you need fixed. Hope this helps!

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by John Stossel

        This week, American astronauts returned to earth. Their trip to the space station was the first manned launch from the U.S. in 10 years.
        By NASA? No. Of course, not.
        This space flight happened because government was not in charge.
        An Obama administration committee had concluded that launching such a vehicle would take 12 years and cost $36 billion.
        But this rocket was finished in half that time -- for less than $1 billion (1/36th the predicted cost).
        That's because it was built by Elon Musk's private company, Space X. He does things faster and cheaper because he spends his own money.
        "This is the potential of free enterprise!" explains aerospace engineer Robert Zubrin in my newest video.
        Of course, years ago, NASA did manage to send astronauts to the moon.
        That succeeded, says Zubrin, "because it was purpose-driven. (America) wanted to astonish the world what free people could do."
        But in the 50 years since then, as transportation improved and computers got smaller and cheaper, NASA made little progress.
        Fortunately, President Obama gave private companies permission to compete in space, saying, "We can't keep doing the same old things as before."
        Competition then cut the cost of space travel to a fraction of what it was.
        Why couldn't NASA have done that?
        Because after the moon landing, it became a typical government agency -- overbudget and behind schedule. Zubrin says NASA's purpose seemed to be to "supply money to various suppliers."
        Suppliers were happy to go along.
        Zubrin once worked at Lockheed Martin, where he once discovered a way for a rocket to carry twice as much weight. "We went to management, the engineers, and said, 'Look, we could double the payload capability for 10% extra cost.' They said, 'Look, if the Air Force wants us to improve the Titan, they'll pay us to do it!'"
        NASA was paying contractor's development costs and then adding 10% profit. The more things cost, the bigger the contractor's profit. So contractors had little incentive to innovate.
        Even NASA now admits this is a problem. During its 2020 budget request, Administrator Jim Bridenstine confessed, "We have not been good at maintaining schedule and ... at maintaining costs."
        Nor is NASA good at innovating. Their technology was so out of date, says Zubrin, that "astronauts brought their laptops with them into space -- because shuttle computers were obsolete."
        I asked, "When (NASA) saw that the astronauts brought their own computers, why didn't they upgrade?"
        "Because they had an entire philosophy that various components had to be space rated," he explains. "Space rating was very bureaucratic and costly."
        NASA was OK with high costs as long as spaceships were assembled in many congressmen's districts.
        "NASA is a very large job program," says Aerospace lawyer James Dunstan. "By spreading its centers across the country, NASA gets more support from more different congressmen."
        Congressmen even laugh about it. Randy Weber, R-Texas, joked, "We'll welcome (NASA) back to Texas to spend lots of money any time."
        Private companies do more with less money. One of Musk's cost-saving innovations is reusable rocket boosters.
        For years, NASA dropped its boosters into the ocean.
        "Why would they throw it away?" I ask Dunstan.
        "Because that's the way it's always been done!" he replies.
        Twenty years ago, at Lockheed Martin, Zubrin had proposed reusable boosters. His bosses told him: "Cute idea. But if we sell one of these, we're out of business."
        Zubrin explains, "They wanted to keep the cost of space launch high."
        Thankfully, now that self-interested entrepreneurs compete, space travel will get cheaper. Musk can't waste a dollar. Space X must compete with Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin, Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic, Boeing, Lockheed Martin and others.
        The private sector always comes up with ways to do things that politicians cannot imagine.
        Government didn't invent affordable cars, airplanes, iPhones, etc. It took competing entrepreneurs, pursuing profit, to nurture them into the good things we have now.
        Get rid of government monopolies.
        For-profit competition brings us the best things in life.
        John Stossel is author of "Give Me a Break: How I Exposed Hucksters, Cheats, and Scam Artists and Became the Scourge of the Liberal Media." For other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com.
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