User Rating: 0 / 5

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive
by Walter E. Williams

        My longtime friend and colleague Dr. Thomas Sowell has just published a revised and enlarged edition of "Discrimination and Disparities." It lays waste to myth after myth about the causes of human differences not only in the United States but around the globe. Throughout the book, Sowell shows that socioeconomic outcomes differ vastly among individuals, groups and nations in ways that cannot be easily explained by any one factor, whether it's genetics, sex or race discrimination or a history of gross mistreatment that includes expulsion and genocide.
        In his book "The Philadelphia Negro" (1899), W.E.B. Du Bois posed the question as to what would happen if white people lost their prejudices overnight. He said that it would make little difference to most blacks. He said: "Some few would be promoted, some few would get new places -- the mass would remain as they are" until the younger generation began to "try harder" and the race "lost the omnipresent excuse for failure: prejudice."
        Sowell points out that if historical injustices and persecution were useful explanations of group disadvantage, Jews would be some of the poorest and least-educated people in the world today. Few groups have been victimized down through history as have the Jews. Despite being historical targets of hostility and lethal violence, no one can argue that as a result Jews are the most disadvantaged people.
        Jews are not alone in persecution either. The number of overseas Chinese slaughtered by Vietnamese mobs and the number of Armenians slaughtered by mobs in the Ottoman Empire in just one year exceeds the number of black Americans lynched in the history of the U.S. From 1882-1968, 4,743 total lynchings occurred in the United States, of which 3,446 of the victims were black. Sowell concludes this section suggesting that it is dangerous for society to depict outcome differences as evidence or proof of malevolent actions that need to be counterattacked or avenged. Politicians and others who are now calling for reparations to blacks for slavery should take note of Sowell's argument.
        There's considerable handwringing among educational "experts" about the black/white academic achievement gap. Part of the persistence of that gap can be laid at the feet of educators who replaced what worked with what sounded good. One notable example of success is the achievement of students at the all-black Dunbar High School in Washington, D.C., from 1870 to 1955. During that period, Dunbar students frequently outscored white students on achievement tests in the Washington, D.C., area. Sowell, who studied Dunbar and other high-achieving black schools, says, Dunbar "had unsparing standards for both school work and for such behavioral qualities a punctuality and social demeanor. Dunbar's homework requirements were more than most other public schools. Some Dunbar parents complained to the D.C. Board of Education about the large amount of homework required."
        Dunbar High School was not the only black school with a record of success that would be the envy of today's public schools. Schools such as Frederick Douglass (Baltimore), Booker T. Washington (Atlanta), PS 91 (Brooklyn), McDonogh 35 (New Orleans) and others operated at a similar level of excellence. By the way, these excelling students weren't solely members of the black elite; most had parents who were manual laborers, domestic servants, porters and maintenance men.
        Observing the historical success of these and other black schools, one wonders about the catchwords of Chief Justice Earl Warren's statement that separate schools "are inherently unequal." That vision led to racial integration going from being a means to an end to racial integration becoming an end all by itself. Sowell doesn't say this, but in my view, integration becoming the goal is what has made diversity and inclusion the end all and be all of today's educators at many levels.
        Dr. Thomas Sowell's "Discrimination and Disparities" is loaded with pearls of wisdom from which we can all benefit, and as such, this will not be my final discussion of his masterpiece.
        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.
COPYRIGHT 2019 CREATORS.COM

User Rating: 0 / 5

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive
by John Stossel

    The Green New Deal's goal is to move America to zero carbon emissions in 10 years.
    "That's a goal you could only imagine possible if you have no idea how energy is produced," James Meigs, former editor of Popular Mechanics magazine, says in my latest video.
    "Renewable is so inconsistent," he adds. "You can't just put in wind turbines and solar panels. You have to build all this infrastructure to connect them with energy consumers."
    Because wind doesn't always blow and the sun doesn't always shine, "renewable" energy requires many more transmission lines, and bigger batteries.
    Unfortunately, says Meigs: "You have to mine materials for batteries. Those mines are environmentally hazardous. Disposing of batteries is hazardous."
    "Batteries are a lousy way to store energy," adds physicist Mark Mills, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. Also, the ingredients of green energy, like battery packs, are far from green.
    "You have to consume 100 barrels of oil in China to make that battery pack," he explains. "Dig up 1,000 pounds of stuff to process it. Digging is done with oil, by big machines, so we're consuming energy to 'save' energy -- not a good path to go."
    Still, wind turbines and solar batteries are 10 times more efficient than when they were first introduced! That's not good enough, writes Mills, to make "the new energy economy" anything more than "magical thinking."
    "They hit physics limits. In comic books, Tony Stark has a magic power source, but physics makes it impossible to make solar 10 times better again."
    The dream of "green" causes us to misdirect resources. Even after billions in government subsidies, solar still makes up less than 1 percent of America's energy -- wind just 2 percent. And even that energy isn't really "clean."
    "We use billions of tons of hydrocarbons to make the windmills that are already in the world, and we've only just begun to make them at the level people claim they would like them to be built," says Mills. "Pursue a path of wind, solar and batteries, we increase how much we dig up and move by a thousand-fold."
    "You gotta clear-cut the forest. These machines kill a lot of birds," says Meigs. "I agree that we should bring down our carbon emissions ... but we should also make sure we're spending money on stuff that really works."
    There is one energy source, though, that efficiently produces lots of power with no carbon emissions: nuclear.
    But people fear it. They point to the Chernobyl plant accident in Ukraine, and Fukushima in Japan.
    "The Chernobyl plant design was idiotically bad," says Meigs. They don't make nuclear plants like that anymore.
    What about Fukushima?
    "Fukushima helps prove how safe nuclear power really is. No one was killed."
    I pointed out that people were killed during the evacuation.
    Fear of radiation killed people," responded Meigs. They evacuated older people who didn't need to go.
    People fear what they don't understand and what they can't see.
    "A dam breaks, and hundreds of thousands of people die. Nuclear plants, their safety, ironically, is actually evident in their accidents!" says Mills.
    "More people have fallen off of roofs installing solar panels than have been killed in the entire history of nuclear power in the U.S.," adds Meigs.
    Yet after Fukushima, Germany shut down its nuclear plants. That led to higher electricity prices and increased carbon emissions because Germany burned coal to make up for the loss of nuclear power.
    Likewise, "in Bernie Sanders' home state of Vermont, they shut down their nuclear plant. Guess what happened? Carbon emissions went up," recounts Meigs. "This supposedly green state, ultra-liberal Vermont, went backwards."
    If a Green New Deal is ever implemented, says Mills, it would rob the poor by raising energy costs, while "giving money to wealthy people in the form of subsidies to buy $100,000 cars, to put expensive solar arrays on their roofs or to be investors in wind farms."
    "It's upside-down Robin Hood," he adds. "That's a bad deal."
    Yet a majority of Americans -- including Republicans surveyed -- say they support some version of it.
    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.
COPYRIGHT 2019 BY JFS PRODUCTIONS INC.
DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM
        






User Rating: 0 / 5

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive
by Walter E. Williams

    George Mason University's Antonin Scalia Law School hired Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh to co-teach a course this summer called Creation of the Constitution. The course will be held 3,668 miles away, in Runnymede, England, where the Magna Carta was sealed 800 years ago. Some George Mason University students and faculty have become triggered. One student told George Mason's Board of Visitors, "It has affected my mental health knowing that an abuser will be part of our faculty." Another said, "The hiring of Kavanaugh threatens the mental well-being of all survivors on this campus." The Washington Post reports that a petition to fire Kavanaugh has gathered almost 3,500 signatures and has the endorsement of George Mason Democrats. GMU students have created separate forms for parents and alumni to pledge that they will not donate to the university so long as Kavanaugh is teaching.
    Part of student demonstrations included defacing a statue of the university's namesake George Mason by putting blue tape on his mouth and attaching anti-Kavanaugh signs. The university's spokesman Michael Sandler gave The College Fix a mealy-mouthed excuse saying, "We allow students to dress up the statue, so this doesn't violate any policies that I'm aware of." He said the university "strongly supports freedom of expression and this would seem to fall into that category." His vision suggests that freedom of expression includes defacing university property.
    Youngsters with little understanding might be forgiven for their protest of a U.S. Supreme Court associate justice sharing his wisdom with law students. But faculty members cannot be excused. Professor Bethany Letiecq, the head of the George Mason chapter of the American Association of University Professors, endorsed a call by UnKoch My Campus, another leftist group, for a congressional investigation of GMU's law school's hiring of Justice Kavanaugh as an adjunct faculty member. Fortunately for civility, Dr. Angel Cabrera, the university's president, said that there were no legitimate grounds for an investigation by the university. He threw a bit of pablum to the protesters by saying: "I respect the views of people who disagreed with Justice Kavanaugh's Senate confirmation due to questions raised about his sexual conduct in high school. But he was confirmed and is now a sitting Justice." Considering that a college president is also a politician, that statement demonstrates !
good judgment. According to The College Fix, after listening to the student protestors speak during the board meeting, Cabrera and Board of Visitors rector Tom Davis said they were proud of the students and appreciated that they spoke up and acted as engaged citizens. That's nonsense.
    I receive many questions from people around the nation who are surprised by the happenings at GMU. As I have advised on numerous occasions, George Mason University erroneously earns a reputation as a conservative/libertarian university because of its most distinguished and internationally known liberty-oriented economics department, which can boast of two homegrown Nobel laureates in economics. Its Antonin Scalia Law School has a distinguished faculty that believes in personal liberty and reveres the U.S. Constitution -- unlike many other law schools that hold liberty and our Constitution in contempt. The rest of the university is just like most other universities - liberal, Democratic Party-dominated. The chief difference between my GMU colleagues and liberals at some other universities is that they are polite, respectful and congenial, unlike what one might find at places like U.C. Berkeley or University of Massachusetts.
    GMU students and faculty may also be disturbed about what Justice Kavanaugh is going to teach. In the course, Creation of the Constitution, he will explain how much the Magna Carta influenced the founders of our nation. The 1215 Magna Carta limited the power of central government and it forced a reigning monarch to grant his English subjects rights. It contained a list of 63 clauses drawn up to limit King John's power, resulting in making royal authority subject to the law instead of reigning above it. It laid the foundations for limited constitutional governments, an idea offensive to most leftists.
    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.
COPYRIGHT 2019 CREATORS.COM

User Rating: 5 / 5

Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar Active

 

by Walter E. Williams

       There's a push to change laws to permit both criminals serving time and ex-criminals the right to vote. Guess which party is pushing the most for these legal changes. If you guessed that it was the Democrats, go to the head of the class. Bernie Sanders says states should allow felons to vote from behind bars. Elizabeth Warren doesn't go that far but believes felons should have the right to vote. Democrats want the criminal class to have voting rights restored because they could become a significant part of the Democratic base.
        These are America's murderers, rapists, burglars, child molesters and drug dealers. Over two million of these people are in prison. If we add in the number of people on probation and parole, there are 6.7 million people currently under correctional control. If cons and ex-cons get the right to vote, it's almost a guarantee that most of these people will cast their vote for a Democratic candidate.
        Democrats don't stop with wanting cons and ex-cons to vote. It turns out that more than 50 percent of Democrats surveyed want illegal immigrants to have the right to vote, as they already do in some Democratic-controlled cities.
        America's gun control advocates have the belief that outlawing guns would drastically reduce crime. Almost all handguns have been outlawed from private citizen use in the U.K. since 1996. Nonetheless, violent crime in the U.K. has risen almost every year since the ban. Criminals love the idea of a disarmed populace. While there are few gun crimes in the U.K., there's a recent report that in 2018 there were over 40,000 knife crimes committed. It's gotten so bad that some stores have stopped selling kitchen knives.
        America's gun control advocates might have some solutions for the citizens of the U.K. They might advocate a thorough MI5 (U.K.'s secret service) background check for anyone wishing to purchase any kind of knife, including kitchen knives. They might advocate knife registration. There might be lengthy prison sentences for anyone caught with an illegal unregistered knife. With London's murder rate higher than New York City's, Mayor Sadiq Khan has implemented knife control policies as violent crime surges. Khan deployed over 300 additional London police officers to stop and search anyone they suspect is carrying a knife.
        Here's something else to ponder: Democratic candidates for the 2020 presidential elections are calling for reparations for slavery or for the study of reparations. Senators Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren are leading the charge. Slavery was a gross violation of human rights. Justice would demand that slave owners make compensatory payments to slaves. Since both slaves and slave owners are no longer with us, such punishment and compensation is beyond our reach.
        So which white Americans owe which black Americans how much? Reparations advocates don't want that question asked, but let's you and I ask it. Are the millions of European, Asian and Latin Americans who immigrated to the U.S. in the 20th century responsible for slavery? What about descendants of Northern whites who fought and died in the War of 1861 in the name of freeing slaves? Should they cough up money for black Americans? What about non-slave-owning Southern whites, who were a majority of Southern whites -- should their descendants be made to pay reparations?
        On black people's side of the ledger, thorny questions arise. Some blacks purchased other blacks as a means to free family members. But other blacks owned slaves for the same reason whites owned slaves -- to work farms or plantations. Would descendants of these blacks be eligible for reparations?
        The bottom line is because blacks are doing well in the economic arena under the Trump administration, Democrats fear losing a significant portion of the black vote. Their call for reparations is another attempt to use the promise of handouts to insure that the black vote remains in their pocket. Reparations talk is simply another insulting Democratic rope-a-dope strategy.
        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.
COPYRIGHT 2019 CREATORS.COM

User Rating: 0 / 5

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive
by John Stossel

        Are you very afraid? 3D-printed guns are coming.
        "Virtually undetectable!" shrieked CNN.
        "This changes the safety of Americans forever!" shrieked MSNBC.
        Does it?
        Six years ago, a company called Defense Distributed posted blueprints for 3D-printed guns on the web. The Obama State Department said that violated the Arms Control Act because allowing foreigners to see them is equivalent to exporting a missile launcher, and that's illegal.
        Defense Distributed withdrew the blueprints. Gun control advocates were relieved.
        "We have enough guns in this country already," Massachusetts legislator David Linsky tells me in my new video about 3D-printed guns. 
        But this debate is about free speech, too.
        "You can't ban lawful U.S. citizens from sharing information with other lawful U.S. citizens," says Defense Distributed's lawyer, Josh Blackman.
        "After the Oklahoma City bombing, Congress asked the Department of Justice, 'Can we make a law that bans putting bomb-making instruction on the internet?' The DOJ said, 'No, you can't ban putting files on the internet.'"
        Not even files showing how to make a nuclear weapon?
        "Nuclear bomb's ... different because it's classified information," he said. Courts have upheld restrictions on publishing classified information.
        But the web is filled with unclassified information about how to make all sorts of deadly things.
        "Should 'The Anarchist Cookbook' be banned"? I asked Linsky. It contains deadly recipes.
        "There's no reason to ban books," he replied. "The genie is out of the bottle a long, long time ago on 'The Anarchist Cookbook.' But this is a very different thing whereby all you have to do is download a file, press a button and a printer gives you a gun."
        It's actually not that easy.
        U.S. Senator Ed Markey, D-Mass., made it sound as if anyone could make a 3D gun. "Bad people can go to Instagram and get an insta-gun!"
        But that's silly, like so much of what Markey says.
        "It's actually a very complicated process," explains Blackman. You need technological expertise and very specific materials. "It might take a full day of printing. You have to treat the plastic with chemicals so that they're strong enough. Even then, odds are, the gun's pretty crappy."
        True. When my TV show tried one, it wouldn't fire.
        But the technology will improve.
        It's said that 3D guns will be "a windfall for terrorists."
        "Terrorists have access to far more dangerous weapons," responds Blackman. "The notion that ISIS is ... making these stupid little plastic guns that can fire one shot at a time strains credulity."
        But can't plastic guns sneak past airport security?
        "Bullets are made out of metal," notes Blackman. "Plastic and rubber bullets are not very effective."
        America has a long tradition of people making their own guns, often for good reasons.
        "If we had a ban on home manufacture of weapons during the time of the American Revolution, we would probably still be under the King's rule," cracked Blackman.
        "It was a very different society," argues Linsky. "Now we have AR-15s."
        Blackman had an answer for that: "Rights were enshrined in the Constitution for permanence ... They're there for the long haul."
        Although Defense Distributed withdrew its blueprints, it continues to fight for the right to publish them online.
        Seems kind of like a pointless fight to me, because in the short time before Defense Distributed withdrew its post, hundreds of other websites had copied it. They still host the blueprints.
        Linsky hadn't realized that. When I showed some to him, he said, "I understand that some people might think that the genie is out of the bottle, but let's put as much of that genie back into the bottle as we possibly can."
        But we can't put the genies back. Today, once information is out, it's out there forever. No government can pull it back.
        Nevertheless, gun control advocates and the childish media will demand that "something be done!"
        CNN warned, "Tomorrow morning, the sun will be shining, the birds will be singing and anyone will be able to legally download instructions to 3D-print their own fully functional plastic gun!"
        I liked Blackman's response:
        "That happened. The world's the same," he said. "People are just fear-mongering."
        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.
COPYRIGHT 2019 BY JFS PRODUCTIONS INC.
DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM