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by John Stossel

    Watching this video upset me. Students and even faculty members won't let Dave Rubin speak. They constantly interrupt, shouting "hate speech!" and "black lives matter!"
    Rubin was once a man of the left. He even was a co-host on The Young Turks network.
    But then he started a podcast.
    He did long interviews with people like talk show host Larry Elder. In that interview, Rubin referred to "systemic racism" and said that "cops are more willing shoot if the perpetrator is black."
    "What's your data for that?" replied Elder. Then he gave Rubin answers the left doesn't like to hear, like, "Seventy percent of homicides are black-on-black..." and "The idea that a racist white cop shooting black people is a peril to black people is complete and total b.s."
    "He just beat me with fact over fact about how systemic racism doesn't exist -- not that racism doesn't exist," Rubin told me.
    The more people Rubin interviewed, the more he became convinced something was missing in the left's picture of the world.
    "I realized not everyone that (the left) disagreed with could be a racist and a bigot and a homophobe and a sexist. That was the argument constantly being laid out. If a Republican gave a speech and said, 'We should lower taxes,' their answer was, 'he's racist'. Now that actually makes no sense."
    Rubin now considers himself a classical liberal. That means he believes in liberalism roughly as it was before today's liberals added big government to the philosophy and subtracted belief in individual freedom. "If you believe in the individual, then you fundamentally understand that individuals are different, so you are willing to sit down with someone different than you," says Rubin.
    He still disagrees with conservatives about many things -- he's a married gay man who is pro-pot and pro-criminal justice reform. But he found that conservatives are willing to debate those topics. "For all the differences that we have -- I'm pro-choice; most of them are pro-life. I'm against the death penalty; most of them are for the death penalty -- they're all willing to sit down and discuss ideas."
    Some of his podcasts last one or more hours. I never thought people would be interested in such long interviews, but I was wrong. Millions listen and watch his YouTube videos.
    "I didn't know what was going to happen, but I started doing these long-form interviews, and people kept watching. Suddenly, I realized, 'Whoa, there're a lot of people thinking the things that I'm thinking.'"
    Today, his former left-wing colleagues hate him.
    "He's a puppet for the right wing," said Ana Kasparian on Rubin's old Young Turks network. "He was lazy when he worked here. He's lazy now with his ridiculous show."
    To me, she sounded jealous.
    "I lose friends now," says Rubin. "This goes to the laziness of the argument of the left. They truly believe that if you disagree, you're evil."
    Many on the left have also come to believe that words themselves are a form of violence, so some now said Rubin's words must not be heard.
    As he tried to speak at the University of New Hampshire, a women's studies professor  screamed, "We don't want you in the LGBT community, so get the f--- out!"
    "It's an oppression Olympics," Rubin told me. "The more marginalized you claim to be, the more political clout you have on campus or in left-wing circles... If you have a limp, you're this much oppressed; if you're a Jew, this much oppressed; Muslim, this much oppressed. Everyone wants to be oppressed."
    Of course, many minorities have suffered genuine oppression. Rubin acknowledges that but says the left misses what's special about America.
    "No society's perfect, but the United States, by and large, has given more freedom to more people from every walk of life, regardless of your skin color, your sexuality... Do we have problems? Yes. We can talk about those things, but to tell me those are because you are 'oppressed'?! It ain't true. And that idea needs to be decimated."
    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

    I'm thankful that increasing attention is being paid to the dire state of higher education in our country. Heather Mac Donald, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute, has just published "The Diversity Delusion." Its subtitle captures much of the book's content: "How Race and Gender Pandering Corrupt the University and Undermine Our Culture." Part of the gender pandering at our universities is seen in the effort to satisfy the diversity-obsessed National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health, each of which gives millions of dollars of grant money to universities. If universities don't make an effort to diversify their science, technology, engineering and math (known as STEM) programs, they risk losing millions in grant money.
    A UCLA scientist says, "All across the country the big question now in STEM is: how can we promote more women and minorities by 'changing' (i.e., lowering) the requirements we had previously set for graduate level study?" Mac Donald says, "Mathematical problem-solving is being deemphasized in favor of more qualitative group projects; the pace of undergraduate physics education is being slowed down so that no one gets left behind."
    Diversity-crazed people ignore the fact that there are systemic differences in race and sex that influence various outcomes. Males outperform females at the highest levels of math; however, males are overrepresented at the lowest levels of math competence. In 2016, the number of males scoring above 700 on the math portion of the SAT was nearly twice as high as the number of females scoring above 700. There are 2.5 males in the U.S. in the top 0.01 percent of math ability for every female, according to the journal Intelligence (February 2018).
    In terms of careers, females are more people-centered than males. That might explain why females make up 75 percent of workers in health care-related fields but only 14 percent of engineering workers and 25 percent of computer workers. Nearly 82 percent of obstetrics and gynecology medical residents in 2016 were women. Mac Donald asks sarcastically, "Is gynecology biased against males, or are females selecting where they want to work?"
    "The Diversity Delusion" documents academic practices that fall just shy of lunacy at many universities. Nowhere are these practices more unintelligent and harmful to their ostensible beneficiaries than in university efforts to promote racial diversity. UC Berkeley and UCLA are the most competitive campuses in the University of California system. Before Proposition 209's ban on racial discrimination, the median SAT score of blacks and Hispanics at Berkeley was 250 points below that of whites and Asians. This difference was hard to miss in class. Renowned Berkeley philosophy professor John Searle, who sees affirmative action as a disaster, said, "They admitted people who could barely read." Dr. Thomas Sowell and others have discussed this problem of mismatching students. Black and Hispanic students who might do well in a less competitive setting are recruited to highly competitive universities and become failures. Black parents have no obligation to make academic liberals fe!
el good about themselves by allowing them to turn their children into failures.
    Many readers know that I am a professor of economics at George Mason University. A few readers have asked me about "Black Freshmen Orientation," held Aug. 25 and advertised as an opportunity for students to learn more about the black community at George Mason University. GMU is not alone in promoting separation in the name of diversity and inclusion. Harvard, Yale, UCLA and many other universities, including GMU, have black graduation ceremonies. Racial segregation goes beyond graduation ceremonies. Cal State Los Angeles, the University of Connecticut, UC Davis and UC Berkeley, among others, offer racially segregated housing for black students.
    University administrators and faculty members who cave to the demands for racially segregated activities have lost their moral mooring, not to mention common sense. I'm sure that if white students demanded a whites-only dormitory or whites-only graduation ceremonies, the university community would be outraged. Some weak-minded administrators might make the argument that having black-only activities and facilities is welcoming and might make black students feel more comfortable. I'm wondering whether they would also support calls by either white or black students for separate (themed) bathrooms and water fountains.
    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

   I just zipped down a city street on an electric scooter. It cost me 15 cents a minute. Fast and fun!
    My scooter was just lying on the ground. I picked it up, activated it with my phone and rode away. When I was done, I simply abandoned it.
    Won't it be stolen? No, because you need an app to activate the scooter and a GPS device keeps track of it.
    My wife loves using the newish Citi Bike shared bicycles that are locked in a big dock near our apartment. They were a good innovation.
    But then entrepreneurs came up with "dockless" bikes. They're even better.
    Better still are these shared scooters. They're small, flexible, cheap and convenient. Maybe these scooters will be the next revolution in urban transit!
    But politicians may kill them off before we get a chance to find out how useful they are.
    Some places have already banned the scooters. San Francisco said they "endanger public health and safety." City attorney Dennis Herrera complained about "broken bones, bruises, and near misses."
    Sigh. Yet San Francisco also complains about not having enough transportation options.
    In San Francisco and other cities, scooter companies tried doing what Uber and Airbnb did: They dodged destructive regulation by simply putting their services out on the street, hoping that by the time sleepy regulators noticed them, they would be too popular to ban.
    That worked for Uber and Airbnb. We consumers got cool new ways to travel and alternatives to hotels, and investors got rich -- all because they didn't ask for permission. Permissionless innovation brings good things.
    But flying under the radar is harder for scooter companies. Scooters on sidewalks are very visible.
    "Unfortunately," Mercatus Center tech policy analyst Jennifer Skees told me for my latest video, "cities haven't learned from their experiences with companies like Uber and Airbnb. They want innovators to come ask for permission and go through the regulatory processes."
    But the "regulatory processes" take years. "That prevents consumers from accessing a transportation option that could be accessible now!" said Skees.
    After a four-month ban, San Francisco granted permits to two small scooter companies. The politicians stiffed Lime and Bird, the innovators that started the business -- presumably because they didn't kiss the politicians' rings and beg for permission first.
    Still, even I acknowledge that there may be a role for government here. A public square needs some rules. Scooters, especially speedy electric scooters, can be dangerous.
    "We haven't seen a large number of accidents or injuries," says Skees. "We don't ban bicycles because somebody might get hurt. ... Social norms (like hand signals) will evolve."
    Whenever there's something new, the media hype the problems. The L.A. Times reports that some people hate the scooters so much that they "have been crammed into toilets, tossed off balconies and set on fire." Internet videos show scooters abandoned in the Pacific Ocean.
    But scooter companies say the vandalism isn't so bad.
    "It's a low percentage," said Lime's Maggie Gendron. In one city, "we had 10,000 rides and 18 vandalism complaints."
    I wanted to try out scooters in my state, New York, but I couldn't, because craven politicians who claim to represent me banned scooters.
    So I took our camera crews to a city that's been more reasonable.
    Oddly, that's a place that overregulates most everything: Washington, D.C. But the capital embraced scooters.
    So, the district has transportation that is green and good exercise and takes up less space than cars.
    Maybe politicians will find it in their hearts to leave scooters, their makers and customers alone.
    One innovation can make many others possible.
    Cars take people to jobs they couldn't do in their own neighborhoods, allowing them to collaborate with people they might never have met if they walked or rode horses.
    Planes, trains and ships bring down costs by allowing inventors to use exotic materials they can't find in their own back yards.
    If any of those forms of transportation had been crushed by regulation, we'd never know how many benefits we'd lost.
    Don't kill scooters. Let's see where they take us.
    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

    One of the best statements of how the Framers saw the role of the federal government is found in Federalist Paper 45, written by James Madison, who is known as the "Father of the Constitution": "The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce. ... The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people." Today's reality is the polar opposite of that vision. The powers of the federal government are numerous and indefinite, and those of state governments are few and defined.
    If confirmed, Brett Kavanaugh will bring to the U.S. Supreme Court a vision closer to that of the Framers than the vision of those who believe that the Constitution is a "living document." Those Americans rallying against Kavanaugh's confirmation are really against the U.S. Constitution rather than the man -- Judge Kavanaugh -- whom I believe would take seriously his oath of office to uphold and defend the Constitution.
    Was Madison misinformed or just plain ignorant about the powers delegated to Congress? Before we answer, let's examine statements of other possibly "misinformed" Americans. In 1796, on the floor of the House of Representatives, William Giles of Virginia condemned a relief measure for fire victims, saying the purpose and the right of Congress is to attend to not what generosity and humanity require but instead what their duty requires. In 1854, President Franklin Pierce vetoed a bill intended to help the mentally ill, writing to the Senate, "I can not find any authority in the Constitution for making the Federal Government the great almoner of public charity." He added that to approve such spending would "be contrary to the letter and spirit of the Constitution and subversive of the whole theory upon which the Union of these States is founded." President Grover Cleveland out-vetoed his predecessors by vetoing 584 acts of Congress, including many congressional spending bills,!
  during his two terms as president in the late 1800s. His often-given veto message was, "I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution." By the way, President Cleveland was a Democrat.
    Were the Founding Fathers, previous congressmen and previous presidents who could not find constitutional authority for today's massive federal government intervention just plain stupid, ignorant, callous and uncaring? Article 1 of the Constitution defines the role of Congress. Its Section 8 lists powers delegated to Congress. I examined our Constitution, looking to see whether an Article 5 amendment had been enacted authorizing Congress to spend money for business bailouts, prescription drugs, education, Social Security and thousands of other spending measures in today's federal budget. I found no such amendment. Contrary to what our Constitution permits, Congress taxes and spends for anything upon which it can muster a majority vote.
    But I found a constitutional loophole that many congressmen use as a blank check, as well as justification to control most aspects of our lives -- namely, the general welfare clause. The Constitution's preamble contains the phrase "promote the general Welfare," and Article 1, Section 8 contains the phrase "provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States." What did the Framers mean by "general Welfare"? In 1817, Thomas Jefferson wrote, "Congress had not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but were restrained to those specifically enumerated." Madison wrote: "With respect to the words 'general welfare,' I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators."
    Case closed: It's our Constitution that's the problem for leftist interventionists -- not Brett Kavanaugh.
    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

    South Africa has been thrown into the news because of President Donald Trump's recent tweet that he instructed his secretary of state to "closely study" alleged land seizures from white farmers in South Africa.
    Earlier this year, a land confiscation motion was brought by radical Marxist opposition leader Julius Malema, and it passed South Africa's Parliament by a 241-83 vote. Malema has had a long-standing commitment to land confiscation without compensation. In 2016, he told his supporters he was "not calling for the slaughter of white people -- at least for now" (https://tinyurl.com/y7mfmhco). The land-grabbing sentiment is also expressed by Lindsay Maasdorp, national spokesman for Black First Land First, a group that condones land seizures in South Africa. He says, "We are going to take back the land, and we'll do it by any means necessary." The land confiscation policy was a key factor in the platform of the new president, Cyril Ramaphosa.
    I have visited South Africa several times, in 1979, 1980 and 1992. My three-month 1980 visit included lectures at nearly all South African universities. The 1992 return visit, two years after apartheid ended and two years before democratic elections, included lectures on my book "South Africa's War Against Capitalism." During each visit, my counsel to South Africans, particularly black South Africans, was that the major task before them was not only ridding the nation of apartheid but deciding what was going to replace it.
    That's an important question. William Hutt, the late University of Cape Town economist who was an anti-apartheid voice within the academic community, wrote in his 1964 book, titled "The Economics of the Colour Bar," that one of the supreme tragedies of the human condition is that those who have been the victims of injustices or oppression "can often be observed to be inflicting not dissimilar injustices upon other races." In 2001, Andrew Kenny wrote an article titled "Black People Aren't Animals -- But That's How Liberals Treat Them." Kenny asked whether South Africa is doomed to follow the rest of Africa into oblivion. Kenny gave a "no" answer to his question, but he was not very optimistic because of the pattern seen elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa. He argued that ordinary Africans were better off under colonialism. Colonial masters never committed anything near the murder and genocide seen under black rule in Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Nigeria, Mozambique, Somalia and othe!
r countries, where millions of blacks have been slaughtered in unspeakable ways, including being hacked to death, boiled in oil, set on fire and dismembered. Kenny said that if as many elephants, zebras and lions were as ruthlessly slaughtered, the world's leftists would be in a tizzy (https://tinyurl.com/ybj4u9fj).
    Ghanaian economist George Ayittey expressed a similar complaint in his book "Africa Betrayed": "White rulers in South Africa could be condemned, but not black African leaders guilty of the same political crimes." Moeletsi Mbeki, a brother of former South African President Thabo Mbeki's and deputy chairman of the South African Institute of International Affairs, an independent think tank based at the University of the Witwatersrand, said in 2004 that Africa was in a spiral of decline. "The average African is poorer than during the age of colonialism," he said (https://tinyurl.com/ycs6l4pb).
    Zimbabwe, South Africa's northern neighbor formerly called Rhodesia, was southern Africa's breadbasket. That was prior to the confiscation of nearly 6,000 large white-owned commercial farms during the 1990s. By the turn of the century, Zimbabwe was threatened with mass starvation and was begging for food. Added to that tragedy, Zimbabwe experienced history's second-highest inflation rate. It reached 79.6 billion percent in mid-November 2008. (In 1946, Hungary experienced the world's highest inflation rate, 41.9 quadrillion percent.)
    South Africa leads in mining, food production and critical infrastructure, such as power production and railroading, in southern Africa. But it's going the same way as Zimbabwe, spelling disaster for the entire southern part of Africa. What's needed most right now is for South Africans to adopt some of the principles enunciated by Nelson Mandela, one of which is, "You will achieve more in this world through acts of mercy than you will through acts of retribution."
    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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