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by John Stossel

        Politicians shut down businesses because of COVID-19.
        But the rules don't apply to everyone.
        In San Francisco, gyms were forced to close, but government gyms stayed open.
        In my new video, we see a Dallas woman being jailed for keeping her salon open and a New Jersey man getting arrested after working out indoors.
        Ordinary people who break the rules get punished.
        But not House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
        Politicians are special.
        Now, politicians have allowed more businesses to open. Dallas relaxed its rules for most businesses a few months ago.
        But not for Dale Davenport's car wash. Dallas won't allow Dale to reopen because, shortly before the epidemic, they decreed his car wash a "hub for drug sales and crime."
        His car wash is indeed in the middle of a high-crime neighborhood, and many cities have laws that let them close a business if the owners conceal crime.
        But Davenport didn't do that. When he saw crime, he called 911. Dallas politicians then used his 911 calls against him, saying his frantic phone calls were evidence his business was a "public nuisance."
        "This is absolutely crazy," complains Davenport.
        Still, Davenport "bent over backwards" to do almost everything the politicians asked him to do.
        "They said (to reduce crime), build a six-foot fence. I built an eight-foot fence," he tells me. "Then they said, put up signs. I already had signs up, so I put up more signs. Then they told me to put up lights. I already had lights up, so I put up more lights."
        That still wasn't enough. The city came in and closed his business, anyway. "They murdered my business," says Davenport.
        Closing it didn't reduce crime. Crime in the neighborhood stayed about the same.
        But the community lost a center. For 20 years, people drove to Dale's car wash, and then visited other local businesses while their cars were washed.
        "The businesses next to my car wash, their business is down 40-50%," says Davenport.
        Why did politicians go after just one business that was well lit and where the owner did most of what the politicians requested?
        Davenport suspects the politicians shut him down because he won't give money to their friends. The city told him to hire armed guards, but when he hired them, he says he was told, "You've hired the wrong guard company." He hadn't hired a guard company owned by a city councilman.
        Could it be that corrupt Dallas politicians want the money for themselves?
        "This is extortion," says Davenport.
        We contacted all 14 city council members. Not one agreed to an interview.
        Dallas has a rich history of political corruption. The guard company Davenport says the city wanted him to hire was owned by former councilman James Fantroy. In 2008, Fantroy went to prison for stealing $20,000 from a college.
        Former Dallas city council members Dwaine Caraway, Paul Fielding and Don Hill were all jailed after being convicted of bribery or extortion.
        Instead of paying car wash employees, Davenport now spends his money on lawyers, hoping to fight city hall. "This is wrong," says Davenport. "This is tyranny."
        It's bad enough when politicians kill businesses with COVID-19 shutdowns. It's worse if they kill a business because the owner won't give money to their friends.
        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 John Stossel

    "I'm more anti-China than you!"
    That's a new theme of this election.
    Joe Biden says, "We will never again be at the mercy of China!" Donald Trump replies, "China would own our country if Joe Biden got elected!"
    It's strange to hear competition, because just a few administrations ago, presidents were eager to celebrate China. "A future of greater trade and growth and human dignity is possible!" said George W. Bush. Bill Clinton praised China's "positive change" and "great progress."
    What changed? That's the subject of my new video.
    Presidents Clinton and Bush were excited about China because its dictators had finally opened up China's economy. They got rid of price controls, broke up collective farms, allowed foreign investment and privatized state-run business. China, suddenly, prospered.
    "People were so happy to finally see China being set on this path," says Melissa Chen, who reports on China for the Spectator. The reforms "lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty for the very first time."
    Then, three years ago, Xi Jinping got himself named president for life.
    He cracked down on speech, even jokes. After someone noted his resemblance to Winnie the Pooh, all mentions of the character were deleted from China's internet.
    I had thought the internet couldn't be censored. Bill Clinton said it would be like "trying to nail Jell-O to the wall."
    "The Chinese figured out how to nail Jell-O to the wall," says Chen. "They built an almost perfectly walled-in internet."
    China does this by employing a million censors. They block Google, Facebook, Twitter and most Western news media. A few computer-savvy Chinese citizens use forbidden apps to get around the censorship, but most don't get to see the same internet that we see.
    People caught accessing banned sites are punished. Police may barge into your home, threaten your family or just restrict your choices.
    "You can't make doctor's appointments," explains Chen. "You can't travel... they'll block you from buying a train ticket or a plane ticket."
    Life is far worse for religious minorities such as the Muslim Uighurs. The government is waging cultural genocide against them.
    About a million Uighurs are locked up in "reeducation" camps, "sometimes for years," says Chen. "Their family never hears back from them."
    China won't allow reporters near the camps, but drone footage shows rows of blindfolded people with their heads shaved and their hands tied behind their backs.
    Radio Free Asia adds that China's "reeducation" methods even include having Chinese men replace the Uighur men in families. They "come in and live with a family (and) sleep in the same bed as the wife," says Chen.
    In short, today's China is, once again, a vicious communist dictatorship.
    So, I'm amazed to watch American protesters and hear them say, "America is the world's biggest problem."
    Even a recent New York Times editorial board member wrote that it was difficult to know whether the United States is "better, worse, or the same" as China.
    That equivalence is "bonkers," replies Chen. "There should be no doubt about the moral equivalence between the two countries."
    For one thing, we Americans are free to criticize our government.
    "You can hold up a sign at a protest, saying, 'Screw Donald Trump; the United States sucks!'" explains Chen. "You cannot do anything remotely similar in China."
    People in Hong Kong tried. Millions attended protests, often waving American flags. Chen says it shows they "have a hankering for American values. They crave this freedom that we take for granted."
    Now they, too, have been silenced by China's government.
    The American protesters who carry "democratic socialism" banners and wave Communist flags (Soviet Communists used to call people like them "useful idiots") should know what people in Hong Kong know: Socialism leads to real government oppression.
    "Why would Americans want this?" asks Chen. "Why would they be waving these Communist flags, wanting socialism?"
    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 Walter E. Williams

        In matters of race and other social phenomena, there is a tendency to believe that what is seen today has always been. For black people, the socioeconomic progress achieved during my lifetime, which started in 1936, exceeded anyone's wildest dreams. In 1936, most black people lived in gross material poverty and racial discrimination. Such poverty and discrimination is all but nonexistent today. Government data, assembled by Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation, shows that "the average American family ... identified as poor by the Census Bureau, lives in an air-conditioned, centrally heated house or apartment ... They have a car or truck. (Indeed, 43% of poor families own two or more cars.)" The household "has at least one widescreen TV connected to cable, satellite, or a streaming service, a computer or tablet with internet connection, and a smartphone. (Some 82% of poor families have one or more smartphones." On top of this, blacks today have the same constitutional gu!
 arantees as everyone else, which is not to say that every vestige of racial discrimination has been eliminated.
        The poverty we have today is spiritual poverty. Spiritual poverty is an absence of what traditionally has been known as various human virtues. Much of that spiritual poverty is a result of public and private policy that rewards inferiority and irresponsibility. Chief among the policies that reward inferiority and irresponsibility is the welfare state. When some people know they can have children out of wedlock, drop out of school and refuse employment and suffer little consequence and social sanction, one should not be surprised to see the growth of such behavior. Today's out-of-wedlock births among blacks is over 70%, but in the 1930s, it was 11%. During the same period, out-of-wedlock births among whites was 3%; today, it is over 30%. It is fashionable and politically correct to blame today's 21% black poverty on racial discrimination. That is nonsense. Why? The poverty rate among black husband-and-wife families has been in the single digits for more than two decades. Can!
  anyone produce evidence that racists discriminate against black female-headed families but not black husband-and-wife families?
        For most people, education is one of the steppingstones out of poverty, and it has been a steppingstone for many black people. Today, decent education is just about impossible at many big-city public schools where violence, disorder, disrespect and assaults on teachers are routine. The kind of disrespectful and violent behavior observed in many predominantly black schools is entirely new. Some have suggested that such disorder is part of black culture, but that is an insulting lie. Black people can be thankful that double standards, and public and private policies rewarding inferiority and irresponsibility, were not broadly accepted during the 1920s, '30s, '40s and '50s. There would not have been the kind of intellectual excellence and spiritual courage that created the world's most successful civil rights movement.
        Many whites are ashamed, saddened and guilt-ridden by our history of slavery, Jim Crow and gross racial discrimination. They see that justice and compensation for that ugly history is to hold their fellow black Americans accountable to the kind of standards and conduct they would never accept from whites. That behavior and conduct is relatively new. Meet with black people in their 70s or older, even liberal politicians such as Charles Rangel (age 90), and Reps. Eddie Bernice Johnson (85), Alcee Hastings (83) and Maxine Waters (82). Ask them whether their parents would have tolerated their assaulting and cursing of teachers or any other adult. I bet you the rent money their parents and other parents of that era would not have accepted the grossly disrespectful behavior seen today among many black youngsters who use foul language and racial epithets at one another. These older blacks will tell you that, had they behaved that way, they would have felt serious pain in their hin!
 d parts. If blacks of yesteryear would not accept such self-destructive behavior, why should today's blacks accept it?
        Black people have made tremendous gains over the years that came as a result of hard work, sacrifice and a no-nonsense approach to life. Recovering those virtues can provide solutions to many of today's problems.
        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

        The media obsess about Trump/Biden, but another candidate will be on every state ballot: Libertarian Party nominee Jo Jorgensen.
        Dr. Jorgensen, a psychology lecturer at Clemson University, is very different from Donald Trump and Joe Biden. Instead of promising government solutions, she tells people, "You can spend your money better than the politicians."
        I like that. So, she's the subject of my video this week.
        I start with COVID-19. Libertarians are skeptical of government action, but a pandemic may be the rare situation when government should act. People need protection from contagious people. No one wants medical facilities overwhelmed.
        When politicians issued lockdown orders, their actions were praised by most media. "There are no libertarians in a pandemic," smug people said to me.
        Jorgensen says that's nonsense, that COVID-19 became one more excuse for authoritarian politicians to boss people around.
         "Is it right for the government to take away tens of millions of jobs? I say no. Young people could be out there and have no more risks than having the flu."
        If government stepped back, she says, the private sector would lead the way. She points out that Walmart required masks be worn in all their stores. "It shows that, yes, we can be adults without government telling us we need to be adults."
        I tell Jorgensen that my former Fox Business colleague Lou Dobbs calls libertarianism "an absurd philosophy."
        "What I think is crazy," she replies, "is spending a lot more than you take in... having troops in the Middle East, which makes us more at risk, just like we saw with 9/11... crazy is actually having taxpayers pay for the defense of Germany and France."
        Good points. Why does America need to be the whole world's policeman?
        Vice President Biden helped get America into many of its endless wars. President Trump said he'd like to bring our soldiers home, but he hasn't done much of it.
        "Instead of fighting wars and having military bases all over the world," Jorgensen says, she'd "make America one giant Switzerland, armed and neutral."
        Biden says he would "end gun violence" and that "the Second Amendment is limited." Jorgensen replies, "we limit gun violence by allowing peaceful citizens to arm themselves."
        Trump taxed imports, claiming America "loses" when we have a trade deficit.
        Jorgensen calls that laughably ignorant. "I have a trade deficit with my gas station because I buy gas from them and they buy nothing from me," says Jorgensen. "It doesn't matter what one country does."
        Biden says increasing the minimum wage to $15 is "just a start." Jorgensen quips: "Yeah. A start to minorities not being able to get a rung on the ladder to successful employment."
        Jorgensen opposes Trump's immigration restrictions.
        I push back: "There are billions of poor people all over the world. Some want to come here to freeload."
        Jorgensen replies that welfare programs have rules to prevent freeloading, "Many... have a five-year waiting list." Also, "if you look at people who have the initiative to come here, they typically have the initiative to work."
        Biden would spend $2 trillion to try to delay climate change. Jorgensen says the free market is the better way. "Wherever there's big government, there's more pollution."
        Neither Trump nor Biden wants to stop the war on drugs. Jorgensen believes that (for adults) all drugs should be legal.
        I agree with Jorgensen about most things. But people say a vote for a Libertarian candidate is wasted.
        In addition, Jorgensen will be accused of taking votes from Trump at a time when "only Trump might stop big government Democrats." She'll be accused of taking votes from Biden, when "we need to get this clown (Trump) out of office."
        "We need to get both clowns away from the presidency," Jorgensen replies.
        Jorgensen won't win, but I hope her campaign inspires some Americans to think about the proper role of government.
        Jorgensen is absolutely correct when, at the end of our interview, she says: "We've got Washington in everything we do. It's just causing more problems."
        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 Walter E. Williams

     Check out any professional and most college basketball teams. Their starting five, and most of their other 10 players, are black, as is 80% of the NBA. This does not come anywhere close to the diversity and inclusion sought by the nation's social justice warriors. Both professional and college coaches have ignored and threw any pretense of seeking diversity and inclusiveness. My question to you is: Would a basketball team be improved if coaches were required to include ethnically diverse players for the sake of equity? I have no idea of what your answer might be but mine would be: "The hell with diversity, equity and inclusion. I am going to recruit the best players and do not care if most of them turn out to be black players." Another question: Do you think that any diversity-crazed college president would chastise his basketball coach for lack of diversity and inclusiveness?
        Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (National Accelerator Laboratory) is home to the world's most powerful experiments, fastest supercomputers and top-notch physics researchers. Much of SLAC's research is on particle accelerators that are complicated machines that are designed, engineered and operated to produce high-quality particle beams and develop clues to the fundamental structure of matter and the forces between subatomic particles. You can bet that their personnel makeup exhibits very little concern about racial diversity, equity and inclusion. The bulk of their scientists is not only Americans of European and Asian ancestry but mostly men. My question to you is: What would you do to make SLAC more illustrative of the racial, ethnic and sexual diversity of America? As for me, my answer would be the same one that I gave in the basketball example: I am going to recruit the brightest scientists and I do not care if most of them turn out to be men of European and Asian an!
 cestry.
        In the hard sciences, one will find black Americans underrepresented. For example, a 2018 survey of the American Astronomical Society, which includes undergraduates, graduate students, faculty members and retired astronomers, found that 82% of members identified as white and only 2% as black or African American. Only 3% of bachelor's degrees in physics go to black students. In 2017, some fields, such as structural engineering and atmospheric physics, graduated not a single black Ph.D. The conspicuous absence of black Americans in the sciences have little or nothing to do with racism. It has to do with academic preparation. If one graduates from high school and has not mastered a minimum proficiency in high school algebra, geometry and precalculus, it is likely that high-paying careers such as engineering, medicine, physics and computer technology are hermetically sealed off for life.
        There are relatively few black fighter jet pilots. There are stringent physical, character and mental requirements, which many black applicants could meet. But fighter pilots must also have a strong knowledge of air navigation, aircraft operating procedures, flight theory, fluid mechanics, meteorology and engineering. The college majors that help prepare undergraduates for a career as a fighter pilot include mathematics, physical science and engineering. But if one graduates from high school without elementary training in math, it is not likely that he will enroll in the college courses that would qualify him for fighter pilot training.
        At many predominantly black high schools, not a single black student tests proficient in math and a very low percentage test proficient in reading; however, these schools confer a diploma that attests that the students can read, write and compute at a 12th-grade level and these schools often boast that they have a 70% and higher graduation rate. They mislead students, their families and others by conferring fraudulent diplomas.
        What explains the fact that over 80% of professional basketball players are black, as are about 70% of professional football players? Only an idiot would chalk it up to diversity and inclusion. Instead, it is excellence that explains the disproportionate numbers. Jewish Americans, who are just 3% of our population, win over 35% of the Nobel prizes in science that are awarded to Americans. Again, it is excellence that explains the disproportionality, not diversity and inclusion. As my stepfather often told me, "To do well in this world, you have to come early and stay late."
        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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