User Rating: 5 / 5

Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar Active
by John Stossel

        I now make my living by releasing short videos on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
        I assumed you who subscribed to my feed or became Facebook "friends" would receive that video every Tuesday.
        Wrong! Turns out social media companies send our posts to only some of our friends. (That's why I ask for your email address. Then they can't cut us off.)
        Why might they cut us off?
        One reason is that we'd drown in a fire hose of information if they showed us everything. The companies' algorithms cleverly just send us what the computer determines we'll like.
        Another reason may be that the companies are biased against conservative ideas.
        They deny that. But look at their actions. Social media companies say they forbid posts that "promote violence," including ones that encourage violence offline.
        But antifa groups that promote violence still have accounts. The Twitter account of the group in Portland, Oregon, that recently beat up journalist Andy Ngo. leaving him with brain damage, is still up.
        "In Austin, they were calling for a paramilitary operation!" says Glenn Beck. That antifa group's Facebook account is also still up, even though it links to a manifesto calling for opponents to be "beaten bloody."
         In my newest video, Beck, who runs a big media operation called The Blaze, says social media companies push a leftist agenda.
        "They manipulate algorithms to reshape our world."
        Beck himself hasn't been banned, but he says Facebook limits his reach, putting him in a "digital ghetto."
        "They're shaping you," he warns.
        Is it true?
        Although I'm not a conservative, sometimes I do notice odd things happening with my posts.
        On average, my videos get more than a million views. But when I did a one that criticized Facebook, that video got half as many views.
        Because Facebook didn't show it to many people?
        I can't know. Facebook won't say.
        Today, social media companies are pressured to cut off anyone spreading hate. In response, YouTube and Facebook say they now even demote content that almost violates policies.
        But those antifa accounts are still up.
        By contrast, Beck says, conservative accounts are censored merely for making fun of Democrats.
         "Remember the person who slowed down (a video of House Speaker Nancy) Pelosi?" he asked.
        The video made Pelosi sound drunk. It went viral, but once Facebook got complaints, the company announced it "dramatically reduced its distribution."
        When Facebook did that, notes Beck, "The person in charge happened to be one of the leaders in Nancy Pelosi's office who had just left to go to work for Facebook."
        I told Beck that Facebook hires some Republicans. "They do," he replied, "but only about 20%, and not in top level positions."
        The site Spinquark did the research Beck cites, finding dozens of Democratic campaign workers who now work for social media companies.
        Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg once invited Beck and some others to come to his offices to talk about bias.
        "I sat with him and he said, 'Why would we do that?' And I said, 'I want to believe you, but your actions don't match.'"
        Beck was also unhappy with conservatives at that meeting. "Some said, 'Mark, solve this by having affirmative action. ... For every liberal you hire, hire a conservative.'"
        "I don't want that!" Beck said. "We don't need more regulation!"
        We don't.
        But it's human nature, when people see a problem, to demand government do something.
        Beck himself fell prey to that when Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez claimed she saw border guards telling migrants to drink water from toilets. On his radio show, Beck said government should "prosecute anyone making outrageous charges like this!"
        I gave him a hard time about that. "You want prosecution of members of Congress who say nonsense?!"
        Beck laughed and quickly walked his statement back. "John, I speak five hours off script every day. ... There's a lot that I vomit out."
        The solution?
        "No censorship," says Beck.
        "Publish everything?" I asked.
        "Yes!" answered Beck. "We can handle it. Stop treating us like children."
        I agree. On at least some platforms, all speech should be free. The more that is blocked, the less we learn.
        John Stossel is author of "No They Can't! Why Government Fails -- But Individuals Succeed." For other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit

User Rating: 0 / 5

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive
by John Stossel

    When political arguments aren't getting you anywhere, what can you do?
    Start your own country!
    Unfortunately, most of the world's land is controlled by rapacious governments unwilling to let others experiment.
    But fortunately, that still leaves oceans.
    If people move 12 miles offshore (or 24 miles in the case of the U.S.), they can, in theory, live free from existing governments' suffocating rules. People then could try new things -- find better forms of government.
    The idea is called seasteading. My latest video shows what offshore countries might look like.
    The idea already makes some governments nervous.
    This year, Chad Elwartowski and Nadia Summergirl set up a small seastead 13 miles off the coast of Thailand.
    "We're looking forward to freedom-loving people to come join us out in the open ocean," says Chad.
    Unfortunately, the Thai government wasn't happy about it. More on what happened to Chad and Nadia's seastead, below.
    "We need a new place to experiment with new rules appropriate for modern technologies," says Joe Quirk, who runs the Seasteading Institute. "As long as people create seasteads voluntarily and people can quit them voluntarily, you'll have a market of competing governance providers."
    The seasteading approach avoids people trying to agree on a single set of laws.
    "Seasteaders don't have a problem with regulations per se," says Quirk. "Humans need rules to interact. We have a problem with the monopoly over the provision and enforcement of regulations. We don't need politicians. They're not smart enough to make decisions for us."
    I pushed back when I interviewed him, saying some people might use lawless seasteads to do things like abuse heroin -- or kids.
    "We have that in our country right now," said Quirk. "But if I move 12 miles offshore, I'm going to be so incentivized to set a better example because the world's eyes are on me. I've got to convince investors to invest ... convince people to move there ... (I)n such an environment, it's going to be much more difficult to create evil islands of heroin-shooting than to create positive innovations that improve people's lives."
    Quirk argues that the world already likes a form of seastead: cruise ships.
    "Most cruise ships fly the flag of, say, Panama or Liberia, and they're de facto self-governing. Liberia has no capacity to enforce rules on the 3,000 ships that fly its flag. So a captain is a de facto dictator. Why doesn't he become a tyrant? Because people can choose another cruise line."
    The Seasteading Institute tries to create competing governance experiments by approaching politicians from land-based governments.
    Quirk tells them: "We'll bring our own land; we'll float just offshore. If it succeeds, we share the prosperity. If it fails, we absorb the cost."
    There are historical parallels. Minds were opened in mainland China when the tiny island of Hong Kong showed that having fewer regulations could bring prosperity.
    "China very rapidly, because of the example set by Hong Kong, started creating these special economic zones," says Quirk.
    Special economic zones are similar to seasteads because they have fewer rules.
    "At least a half-billion Chinese people have exited extreme poverty by moving to these new jurisdictions," recounts Quirk.
    Unfortunately, the Chinese government did not expand such experiments to the whole country. People in power rarely want to give it up.
    Seasteads could give the world experimental evidence that can't easily be censored by land-based politicians. Chad and Nadia hoped their seastead would be the first of many.
    "They thought nobody would care," says Quirk.
    They were wrong. Although they were more than 12 miles off the coast, Thailand's politicians sent their navy to tow away the couple's small floating island. Chad and Nadia got nervous when they saw a reconnaissance plane overhead and left their seastead just before the navy raided it. Now they are in hiding. If caught and tried in Thailand, they were told they might face the death penalty for violating Thai sovereignty.
    But good for Chad and Nadia for trying.
    "It's irresponsible not to improve society by setting better examples," says Quirk. "People with the best ideas should be given an opportunity to do that voluntarily and pay the consequences of their failures ... and get the profits if they succeed."
    John Stossel is author of "No They Can't! Why Government Fails -- But Individuals Succeed." For other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit

User Rating: 0 / 5

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive
by Walter E. Williams

    Camille Paglia is a professor of humanities and media studies at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, where she has been a faculty member since 1984. Paglia describes herself as transgender, but unlike so many other transgender people, she is pro-capitalism and hostile to those who'd restrict free speech. She's a libertarian. As to modern ideas that include "gender-inclusive pronouns" such as zie, sie and zim, Paglia says it is lunacy. In a 2017 interview, Paglia was especially irritated by the thought police running college campuses today. In defending University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson, who has become a pariah for his refusal to cave in to nonsensical gender-inclusive pronouns, Paglia said that the English language was created by great artists such as Chaucer and Shakespeare, Wordsworth and Joyce. She added: "How dare you, you sniveling little maniac, tell us how we're gonna use pronouns! Go take a hike."
    On feminism, Paglia criticizes what she calls the "antisex and repressively doctrinaire side of feminism." She calls it "victim feminism" and complains that "everything we'd won in the 1990s has been totally swept away. Now we have this endless privileging of victimhood, with a pathological vulnerability seen as the default human mode." Everyone must yield to it "in the workplace, in universities, in the demand for safe spaces." Paglia adds, "What I am saying throughout my work is that girls who are indoctrinated to see men not as equals but as oppressors and rapists are condemned to remain in a permanently juvenile condition for life."
    Paglia's bold statements got her in a bit of hot water last April. University of the Arts students demanded that she be fired over public comments she'd made that were not wholly sympathetic to the #MeToo movement, as well as for an interview with the Weekly Standard that they called "transphobic." That latter denunciation is particularly slapstick, since Paglia describes herself as "transgender," writes Tunku Varadarajan, Hoover Institution's institutional editor, in his Aug. 30 Wall Street Journal article "A Feminist Capitalist Professor Under Fire."
    The students' demand that Paglia be fired fell on deaf ears. Fortunately, there are a few college presidents with guts and common sense. President David Yager is one of them. He wrote in an open letter to students: "Artists over the centuries have suffered censorship, and even persecution, for the expression of their beliefs through their work. My answer is simple: not now, not at UArts."
    There's another part of this story that's particularly interesting considering today's young peoples' love of socialism. Paglia says that children now "are raised in a far more affluent period. Even people without much money have cellphones, televisions, and access to cars. They're raised in an air-conditioned environment. I can still remember when there was no air-conditioning."
    Paglia says: "Everything is so easy now. The stores are so plentifully supplied. You just go in and buy fruits and vegetables from all over the world." Young people ignorant of history and economics "have a sense that this is the way life has always been. Because they've never been exposed to history, they have no idea that these are recent attainments that come from a very specific economic system." Young people led by the likes of Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez fail to realize that capitalism has "produced this cornucopia around us. But the young seem to believe in having the government run everything, and that the private companies that are doing things for profit around them, and supplying them with goods, will somehow exist forever." For the feminists, Paglia says, "I insist that capitalism has produced the glorious emancipation of women." Today, they can "support themselves and live on their own, and no longer must humiliatingly depend on father!
  or husband."
    Reading Varadarajan's article made my day knowing that there's at least one intelligent radical feminist. But what else is to be expected from anyone who's a libertarian capitalist?
    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

User Rating: 0 / 5

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive
by Taylor Kovar

Hi Taylor - I know you’ve managed to have a family and a successful career. My wife and I are getting to the point of talking about kids, but we always come back to the question of how we balance work and a family. How are you able to do both? - George

Hey George - One of my favorite topics and questions! I’ve got a longer post about this very thing at that you should check out. While there are a million things to think about and plan, the short answer is: you’re ready. Here’s why.

It will never feel like the perfect moment. Having children is a massive undertaking. Every second of it is a blessing, but to think it won’t completely reshape your life is naive. Because of that, it’s pretty improbable you’d ever feel like it was the perfect moment and situation to have a child. You can only hope you’ll be able to adjust to a growing family without letting go of things you love. It will be a big adjustment, but I promise you won’t regret a thing as you make room for the newest member(s) of your family. If you’re both excited about parenthood, stop waiting for things to fall into place and embrace the life you want.

“Necessity is the mother of invention.” It’s not a direct connection, but I think about this phrase a lot when it comes to parenting. Until you have children, it’s hard to fathom how you can make it all work. Once they arrive, brightening your day and taking up all your time, you don’t remember what life was like before. Without thinking twice, you’ll make the necessary changes and keep moving forward. It may seem counterintuitive, but I’ve seen countless people find more fulfillment in their careers after having a baby. You gain perspective about what’s really important, and that helps focus you within your family and profession. Having kids teaches you more about yourself than you could ever imagine.

You deserve both. The fact that you’re asking these questions and wondering if it’s the right time is an indicator, to me, that you’re ready. This kind of thoughtful approach will only help you in your parenting, and we could use more moms and dads who really want to engage in the process of raising their children. You’ll be able to make time for a good career and a loving family, even though you’ll have a little less time for sleeping.
As much as a successful career matters, nothing should come before family. Trust in yourself and your wife and go after the life you want. Best of luck, George!

User Rating: 0 / 5

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive
by John Stossel
    I rarely watch cable news anymore. It's all hysteria, all the time.
    CNN: "We are destroying the planet."
    MSNBC: "The middle class is disappearing!"
    President Donald Trump says drug trafficking "is worse than ever!"
    I'm glad my favorite magazine, Reason, cuts through the gloom and tells us the truth:
    There is less war and more food. We live healthier and longer lives. HIV will soon be history. We are increasingly free to be whoever we are and love whom we want. Even work has become more pleasant.
    It's a surprising message, since most journalists tell us everything's terrible.
    "They're wrong," says Katherine Mangu-Ward, Reason's editor-in-chief, in my new video.
    Why is the media so negative?
    Mangu-Ward says evolution wired us to see a world in which things are bad. "If you are a caveman who hears a little rustling in the weeds and you say, 'Oh, it's probably fine' and the other guy says, 'It's probably a tiger!' that's the guy who lives. That guy was our ancestor."
    So today, as life gets better, my profession wins clicks and ratings points by hyping whatever makes us afraid. Reporters ignore gradual improvement and, sometimes, miracles.
    "We live in a world of reliable miracles," says Mangu-Ward. "When I'm having a bad day, I trawl the internet for videos of happy cyborgs ... hearing-impaired people getting cochlear implants turned on for the first time ... paraplegics walking with the help of adaptive prosthetics, infants getting their first pair of coke-bottle glasses ... things that, in another era, would have caused the founding of an entire religion!"
    Even food is better. Meatless meat tastes as good as meat from an animal because "people want to make money by selling you a burger that didn't hurt a cow," says Mangu-Ward.
    OK, so science moves forward, but how will we pay for it? News anchors tell us "the middle class is shrinking."
    That's true, says Mangu-Ward, "because people are getting richer!" A chart in Reason shows that Americans moving out of the middle class mostly moved up. There are more high-income people than ever before and fewer low-income households.
    Another Reason article points out that "pestilence, war, famine and death are all on the decline." You wouldn't know it from other news sources, but it's true. Deaths from war have declined dramatically.
    I pushed back, pointing out that American life expectancy dropped recently. Suicide among white men is up about 40%.
    "Still, overall, that is the tiniest blip," said Mangu-Ward. "People are living longer, healthier lives."
    Even work got better.
    "If you watch the news, you would think absolutely everyone is America is laboring in an Amazon factory, crying while they fill boxes. That's just not, on average, what work looks like," says Mangu-Ward.
    "A couple hundred years ago, work was dangerous. It was very easy to die at work," she reminds us. "Work was extremely boring, even for people that had good jobs. Jobs are pretty interesting now, and they mostly don't kill you, and we should be grateful for that."
    Reason's writers aren't dumb. They don't pretend everything is rosy.
    The magazine includes reporting on "the terrifying rise of authoritarian populism," threats to a free internet and worries that "Americans aren't saving nearly enough." But Reason is the rare publication that also points out good news.
    When looking at that, Mangu-Ward sees a pattern.
    "Everything that's bad is politics; everything that's good is the market."
    Markets allow every individual a choice. Products and services must improve, or you won't buy them. That's why market competition brings us gradual improvements.
    Politics, by contrast, gives us just two choices. Then it forces everyone to obey whatever the majority chose.
    "At Reason (we) describe why everyone should have less power over each other ... because people are going to make mistakes and hurt each other. Better that they shouldn't do it with the force of the state behind them," concludes Mangu-Ward.
    She suspects life will continue to get better "if we can just manage to keep politicians from screwing it up."
    John Stossel is author of "No They Can't! Why Government Fails -- But Individuals Succeed." For other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit