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Preview: Walter E. Williams from Creators Syndicate

Walter E. Williams from Creators Syndicate



Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber.



Last Build Date: Tue, 16 Jan 2018 03:58:07 -0800

 



Constitutional Ignorance -- Perhaps Contempt for 01/17/2018

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0800

Hillary Clinton blamed the Electoral College for her stunning defeat in the 2016 presidential election in her latest memoirs, "What Happened?" Some have claimed that the Electoral College is one of the most dangerous institutions in American politics. Why? They say the Electoral College system, as opposed to a simple majority vote, distorts the one-person, one-vote principle of democracy because electoral votes are not distributed according to population.

To back up their claim, they point out that the Electoral College gives, for example, Wyoming citizens disproportionate weight in a presidential election. Put another way, Wyoming, a state with a population of about 600,000, has one member in the U.S. House of Representatives and two members in the U.S. Senate, which gives the citizens of Wyoming three electoral votes, or one electoral vote per 200,000 people. California, our most populous state, has more than 39 million people and 55 electoral votes, or approximately one vote per 715,000 people. Comparatively, individuals in Wyoming have nearly four times the power in the Electoral College as Californians.

Updated: Wed Jan 17, 2018




Dirty College Secrets for 01/10/2018

Wed, 10 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0800

A frequent point I have made in past columns has been about the educational travesty happening on many college campuses. Some people have labeled my observations and concerns as trivial, unimportant and cherry-picking. While the spring semester awaits us, let's ask ourselves whether we'd like to see repeats of last year's antics.

An excellent source for college news is Campus Reform, a conservative website operated by the Leadership Institute (https://www.campusreform.org). Its reporters are college students. Here is a tiny sample of last year's bizarre stories.

Updated: Wed Jan 10, 2018




Dangers of Government Control for 01/03/2018

Wed, 03 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0800

We are a nation of 325 million people. We have a bit of control over the behavior of our 535 elected representatives in Congress, the president and the vice president. But there are seven unelected people who have life-and-death control over our economy and hence our lives — the seven governors of the Federal Reserve Board. The Federal Reserve Board controls our money supply. Its governors are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate and serve 14-year staggered terms. They have the power to cripple an economy, as they did during the late 1920s and early 1930s. Their inept monetary policy threw the economy into the Great Depression, during which real output in the United States fell nearly 30 percent and the unemployment rate soared as high as nearly 25 percent.

The most often stated cause of the Great Depression is the October 1929 stock market crash. Little is further from the truth. The Great Depression was caused by a massive government failure led by the Federal Reserve's rapid 25 percent contraction of the money supply. The next government failure was the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act, which increased U.S. tariffs by more than 50 percent. Those failures were compounded by President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal legislation. Leftists love to praise New Deal interventionist legislation. But FDR's very own treasury secretary, Henry Morgenthau, saw the folly of the New Deal, writing: "We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work. ... We have never made good on our promises. ... I say after eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started ... and an enormous debt to boot!" The bottom line is that the Federal Reserve Board, the Smoot-Hawley tariffs and Roosevelt's New Deal policies turned what would have been a two, three- or four-year sharp downturn into a 16-year affair.

Updated: Wed Jan 03, 2018




Educational Rot for 12/27/2017

Wed, 27 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0800

My recent columns have focused on the extremely poor educational outcomes for black students. There's enough blame for all involved to have their fair share. That includes students who are hostile and alien to the educational process and have derelict, uninterested home environments. After all, if there is not someone in the home to ensure that a youngster does his homework, has wholesome meals, gets eight to 10 hours of sleep and behaves in school, educational dollars won't produce much.

There's another educational issue that's neither flattering nor comfortable to confront. That's the low academic quality of so many teachers. It's an issue that must be confronted and dealt with if we're to improve the quality of education. Most states require prospective teachers to pass a certification test. How about a sample of some of the test questions.

Updated: Wed Dec 27, 2017




Fascism and Communism for 12/20/2017

Wed, 20 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0800

Before the question, how about a few statistics? The 20th century was mankind's most brutal century. Roughly 16 million people lost their lives during World War I; about 60 million died during World War II. Wars during the 20th century cost an estimated 71 million to 116 million lives (http://tinyurl.com/ya62mrqa).

The number of war dead pales in comparison with the number of people who lost their lives at the hands of their own governments. The late professor Rudolph J. Rummel of the University of Hawaii documented this tragedy in his book "Death by Government: Genocide and Mass Murder Since 1900." Some of the statistics found in the book have been updated at http://tinyurl.com/y96tqhrl.

Updated: Wed Dec 20, 2017




Moral Values and Customs vs. Laws for 12/13/2017

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0800

I'm approaching my 82nd birthday, and my daughter will occasionally suggest that modernity is perplexing to me because I'm from prehistoric times. As such, it points to one of the unavoidable problems of youth — namely, the temptation to think that today's behavioral standards have always been. Let's look at a few of the differences between yesteryear and today.

One of those differences is the treatment of women. There are awesome physical strength differences between men and women. To create and maintain civil relationships between the sexes is to drum into boys, starting from very young ages, that they are not to use violence against a woman for any reason. Special respect is given women. Yesteryear even the lowest of lowdown men would not curse or use foul language to or in the presence of women. To see a man sitting on a crowded bus or trolley car while a woman is standing used to be unthinkable. It was deemed common decency for a man to give up his seat for a woman or elderly person.

Updated: Wed Dec 13, 2017




Independence Hypocrisy for 12/06/2017

Wed, 06 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0800

Officials in Catalonia, Spain's richest and most highly industrialized region, whose capital is Barcelona, recently held a referendum in which there was a 92 percent vote in favor of independence from Spain. The Spanish authorities opposed the referendum and claimed that independence is illegal. Catalans are not the only Europeans seeking independence. Some Bavarian people are demanding independence from Germany, while others demand greater autonomy. Germany's Federal Constitutional Court ruled: "In the Federal Republic of Germany ... states are not 'masters of the constitution.' ... Therefore, there is no room under the constitution for individual states to attempt to secede. This violates the constitutional order."

Germany has done in Bavaria what Spain and Italy, in its Veneto region, have done; it has upheld the integrity of state borders. There is an excellent article written by Joseph E. Fallon, a research associate at the UK Defence Forum, titled "The Catalan Referendum, regional pressures, the EU, and the 'Ghosts' of Eastern Europe" (http://tinyurl.com/y8dnj6s6). Fallon writes that by doing what it's doing in Bavaria, "Berlin is violating international law on national self-determination. It denies to Bavaria what it granted to the 19 states that seceded from Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union. In fact, Germany rushed to be first to recognize the independence of Slovenia and Croatia." It did that, according to Beverly Crawford, an expert on Europe at the University of California, Berkeley, "in open disregard of (a European Community) agreement to recognize the two states under EC conditionality requirements."

Updated: Wed Dec 06, 2017




Black Self-Sabotage for 11/29/2017

Wed, 29 Nov 2017 00:00:00 -0800

The educational achievement of white youngsters is nothing to write home about, but that achieved by blacks is nothing less than disgraceful. Let's look at a recent example of an educational outcome all too common. In 2016, in 13 of Baltimore's 39 high schools, not a single student scored proficient on the state's mathematics exam. In six other high schools, only 1 percent tested proficient in math. In raw numbers, 3,804 Baltimore students took the state's math test, and 14 tested proficient (http://tinyurl.com/y7f56kg2). Citywide, only 15 percent of Baltimore students passed the state's English test.

Last spring, graduation exercises were held at one Baltimore high school, 90 percent of whose students received the lowest possible math score. Just one student came even close to being proficient. Parents and family members applauded the conferring of diplomas. Some of the students won achievement awards and college scholarships (http://tinyurl.com/ydb3v2ya). Baltimore is by no means unique. It's a small part of the ongoing education disaster for black students across the nation. Baltimore schools are not underfunded. Of the nation's 100 largest school systems, Baltimore schools rank third in spending per pupil (http://tinyurl.com/ybzglbyp).

Updated: Wed Nov 29, 2017




Diversity Obsession for 11/22/2017

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 00:00:00 -0800

A common feature of our time is the extent to which many in our nation have become preoccupied with diversity. But true diversity obsession, almost a mania, is found at our institutions of higher learning. Rather than have a knee-jerk response for or against diversity, I think we should ask just what is diversity and whether it's a good thing. How do we tell whether a college, a department or another unit within a college is diverse or not? What exemptions from diversity are permitted?

Seeing as college presidents and provosts are the main diversity pushers, we might start with their vision of diversity. Ask your average college president or provost whether he even bothers promoting political diversity among faculty. I'll guarantee that if he is honest — and even bothers to answer the question — he will say no. According to a recent study, professors who are registered Democrats outnumber their Republican counterparts by a 12-1 ratio (http://tinyurl.com/gpp4svq). In some departments, such as history, Democratic professors outnumber their Republican counterparts by a 33-1 ratio.

Updated: Wed Nov 22, 2017




Stalking Horses for 11/15/2017

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 00:00:00 -0800

When hunting was the major source of food, hunters often used stalking horses as a means of sneaking up on their prey. They would synchronize their steps on the side of the horse away from their prey until they were close enough for a good shot. A stalking horse had a double benefit if the prey was an armed person. If the stalkers were discovered, it would be the horse that took the first shot. That's what blacks are to liberals and progressives in their efforts to transform America — stalking horses. Let's look at it.

I'll just list a few pieces of the leftist agenda that would be unachievable without black political support. Black people are the major victims of the grossly rotten education in our big-city schools. The average black 12th-grader can read, write and compute no better than a white seventh- or eighth-grader. Many black parents want better and safer schools for their children. According to a 2015 survey of black parents, 72 percent "favor public charter schools, and 70 percent favor a system that would create vouchers parents could use to cover tuition for those who want to enroll their children in a private or parochial school" (http://tinyurl.com/y7d57cbg). Black politicians and civil rights organizations fight tooth and nail against charter schools and education vouchers. Why? The National Education Association sees charters and vouchers as a threat to its education monopoly. It is able to use black politicians and civil rights organizations as stalking horses in its fight to protect its education monopoly.

Updated: Wed Nov 15, 2017




Ignorance Versus Stupidity for 11/08/2017

Wed, 08 Nov 2017 00:00:00 -0800

One of the most challenging and important jobs for an economics professor is to teach students how little we know and can possibly know. My longtime friend and colleague Dr. Thomas Sowell says, "It takes considerable knowledge just to realize the extent of your own ignorance." Nobel laureate Friedrich August von Hayek admonished, "The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design." The fact that we have gross ignorance about how the world operates is ignored by the know-it-all elites who seek to control our lives. Let's look at a few examples of the world's complexity.

According to some estimates, there are roughly 100 million traffic signals in the U.S. How many of us would like the U.S. Congress, in the name of public health and safety, to be in charge of their actual operation? Congress or a committee it authorizes would determine the length of time traffic lights stay red, yellow and green and what hours of the day and at what intersections lights flash red or yellow. One can only imagine the mess Congress would create in the 40,000 cities, towns and other incorporated places in the U.S. But managing traffic lights — and getting good results — is a far less complex task than managing the nation's health care system and getting good results, which Congress tries to do.

Updated: Wed Nov 08, 2017




Let's Help Our Media Friends for 11/01/2017

Wed, 01 Nov 2017 00:00:00 -0700

I am not nearly so coldhearted and unsympathetic toward the mainstream media as some of my conservative friends, such as Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, Chris Plante and Ann Coulter. In fact, my heart goes out to them. As evidence of the same, if I had President Donald Trump's ear, I'd urge him to declare this coming Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, a day of remembrance and order that flags be flown at half-staff on all federal buildings. Why? It will be the anniversary of what must have been a most traumatic day for mainstream media people and the political pundits they interviewed. I am not a psychologist; however, I did take several courses in psychology and sociology as an undergraduate. Thus, I have enough training to analyze the continuing trauma resulting from last year's presidential election.

Days before the election, ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos gleefully asked his guests about it. All except one predicted an Electoral College and popular vote landslide for Hillary Clinton (http://tinyurl.com/yaxyu44u). On one MSNBC talk show, the panelists predicted a historic defeat for Donald Trump (http://tinyurl.com/y9gbjfw9). MSNBC host Rachel Maddow confidently and laughingly made predictions about Trump's trouncing defeat at the hands of Clinton (http://tinyurl.com/ycj838aj). Not to be left out, there were Republicans who confidently predicted that Trump wouldn't even win the party's nomination, much less the presidency (http://tinyurl.com/y9ggevqv).

Updated: Wed Nov 01, 2017




Undermining America for 10/25/2017

Wed, 25 Oct 2017 00:00:00 -0700

Our nation's leftist progressives have long sought to undermine the American values expressed in our Declaration of Independence and Constitution. Though typical Democrats and Republicans do not have this leftist hate for our nation, they have been willing accomplices in undermining the most basic value the Founding Fathers sought to promote — limited government. Leftists have had their greatest successes in undermining American values on the nation's college campuses. Derelict and dishonest college administrators, professors and boards of trustees have given them carte blanche. Let's look at some of it.

Students at the University of Virginia desecrated the statue of Thomas Jefferson, the university's founder. Students at the University of Missouri want Jefferson's statue gone. Why? He was a slave owner. Many in the college community supported Sen. Bernie Sanders' presidential bid. They welcomed Sanders' belief that the United States was founded on "racist principles." There have also been calls for the removal of George Washington's and Abraham Lincoln's statues. Some have called for the renaming of schools that honor Washington, Jefferson and 11 other slave-owning presidents. Leftists have called for the renaming of streets named after slave-owning presidents. There have been many leftist calls for the elimination of Columbus Day. Their success at getting Confederate statues taken down has emboldened them.

Updated: Wed Oct 25, 2017




Who Pays What in Taxes? for 10/18/2017

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 -0700

Politicians exploit public ignorance. Few areas of public ignorance provide as many opportunities for political demagoguery as taxation. Today some politicians argue that the rich must pay their fair share and label the proposed changes in tax law as tax cuts for the rich. Let's look at who pays what, with an eye toward attempting to answer this question: Are the rich paying their fair share?

Updated: Wed Oct 18, 2017




Our Broken Moral Compasses for 10/11/2017

Wed, 11 Oct 2017 00:00:00 -0700

As George Orwell said, "some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals believe them." Many stupid ideas originate with academics on college campuses. If they remained there and didn't infect the rest of society, they might be a source of entertainment, much in the way a circus is. Let's look at a few stupid ideas peddled by intellectuals.

During the Cold War, academic leftists made a moral equivalency between communist totalitarianism and democracy. Worse is the fact that they exempted communist leaders from the type of harsh criticism directed toward Adolf Hitler, even though communist crimes against humanity made Hitler's slaughter of 11 million noncombatants appear almost amateurish. According to Professor R.J. Rummel's research in "Death by Government," from 1917 until its collapse, the Soviet Union murdered or caused the death of 61 million people, mostly its own citizens. From 1949 to 1976, Communist China's Mao Zedong regime was responsible for the death of as many as 78 million of its own citizens.

Updated: Wed Oct 11, 2017




Blacks vs. Police for 10/04/2017

Wed, 04 Oct 2017 00:00:00 -0700

Let's throw out a few numbers so we can put in perspective the NFL players taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem. Many say they are protesting against police treatment of blacks and racial discrimination. We might ask just how much sense their protest makes.

According to The Washington Post, 737 people have been shot and killed by police this year in the United States. Of that number, there were 329 whites, 165 blacks, 112 Hispanics, 24 members of other races and 107 people whose race was unknown (http://tinyurl.com/zyz2tpq). In Illinois, home to one of our most dangerous cities — Chicago — 18 people have been shot and killed by police this year. In the city itself, police have shot and killed 10 people and shot and wounded 10 others. Somebody should ask the kneeling black NFL players why they are protesting this kind of killing in the Windy City and ignoring other sources of black death.

Updated: Wed Oct 04, 2017




Not a Day Care for 09/27/2017

Wed, 27 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0700

Our college-age population consists mostly of 18- to 30-year-olds, and likewise our armed forces. I wonder whether they shared common responses to the 2016 presidential election. Many college administrators provided students with therapy dogs, play dough, coloring books, bubbles, videos of frolicking kittens and puppies, and soft music. They even canceled classes and postponed exams so that their 18- to 30-year-old snowflakes could better cope with the election results. There are numerous internet photos and videos of these youngsters screaming and in outright grief and panic. Here's my question: Were our military leaders as accommodating as college administrators? Did commanding officers of our aircraft carriers provide their young people with therapy dogs, play dough, crayons and coloring books, and soft music? Were sea training exercises canceled? Were similar accommodations ordered by commanders of our special forces, such as the Army Rangers, Navy SEALs and Delta Force?

I'm guessing and hoping that our military leaders, unlike many college administrators, have not lost their minds. That brings me to this column's title: "Not a Day Care." That's the title of a new book written by Dr. Everett Piper, president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University. Piper reminds us that today's law students are tomorrow's lawyers and judges. Based on what they are taught, there's no mystery why lawyers and judges seek to legislate from the bench. Students who want to rid college curricula of dead old white men such as Plato, Aristotle, Voltaire and Kant will be on tomorrow's school boards or be professors. This doesn't bode well for our nation's future.

Updated: Wed Sep 27, 2017




The Welfare State's Legacy for 09/20/2017

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0700

That the problems of today's black Americans are a result of a legacy of slavery, racial discrimination and poverty has achieved an axiomatic status, thought to be self-evident and beyond question. This is what academics and the civil rights establishment have taught. But as with so much of what's claimed by leftists, there is little evidence to support it.

The No. 1 problem among blacks is the effects stemming from a very weak family structure. Children from fatherless homes are likelier to drop out of high school, die by suicide, have behavioral disorders, join gangs, commit crimes and end up in prison. They are also likelier to live in poverty-stricken households. But is the weak black family a legacy of slavery? In 1960, just 22 percent of black children were raised in single-parent families. Fifty years later, more than 70 percent of black children were raised in single-parent families. Here's my question: Was the increase in single-parent black families after 1960 a legacy of slavery, or might it be a legacy of the welfare state ushered in by the War on Poverty?

Updated: Wed Sep 20, 2017




We're All to Blame for 09/13/2017

Wed, 13 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0700

The largest threat to our prosperity is government spending that far exceeds the authority enumerated in Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution. Federal spending in 2017 will top $4 trillion. Social Security, at $1 trillion, will take up most of it. Medicare ($582 billion) and Medicaid ($404 billion) are the next-largest expenditures. Other federal social spending includes food stamps, unemployment compensation, child nutrition, child tax credits, supplemental security income and student loans, all of which total roughly $550 billion. Social spending by Congress consumes about two-thirds of the federal budget.

Where do you think Congress gets the resources for such spending? It's not the tooth fairy or Santa Claus. The only way Congress can give one American a dollar is to use threats, intimidation and coercion to confiscate that dollar from another American. Congress forcibly uses one American to serve the purposes of another American. We might ask ourselves: What standard of morality justifies the forcible use of one American to serve the purposes of another American? By the way, the forcible use of one person to serve the purposes of another is a fairly good working definition of slavery.

Updated: Wed Sep 13, 2017




Liberals in a Tizzy for 09/06/2017

Wed, 06 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0700

Many blacks and their white liberal allies demand the removal of statues of Confederate generals and the Confederate battle flag, and they are working up steam to destroy the images of Gens. Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee and President Jefferson Davis from Stone Mountain in Georgia. Allow me to speculate as to the whys of this statue removal craze, which we might call statucide.

To understand it, we need a review of the promises black and white liberals have been making for decades. In 1940, the black poverty rate was 87 percent. By 1960, it had fallen to 47 percent. During that interval, blacks were politically impotent. There were no anti-poverty programs or affirmative action programs. Nonetheless, this poverty reduction exceeded that in any other 20-year interval. But the black leadership argued that more was necessary. They said that broad advancement could not be made unless blacks gained political power.

Updated: Wed Sep 06, 2017