Jewish World Review March 20, 2003 / 16 Adar II 5763

Thomas Sowell

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Random thoughts

http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | Random thoughts on the passing scene:

Never before in history has the word "unilateral" been thrown around so gratuitously when the issue was war. Only in recent years has there been any question that a sovereign nation takes the solemn step of going to war unilaterally. What a farce to have Cameroon or Portugal deciding whether it is OK for the United States to go to war.

Maybe there wouldn't be so many lawyers suing doctors for malpractice if the lawyers could be sued for legal malpractice for bringing frivolous lawsuits.

I hate it when some stranger phones me and asks who I am, instead of telling me who he is. After all, he is calling me, I am not calling him.

Will the United Nations get into the Guinness Book of World Records for the most times issuing final warnings?

If CBS had had Dan Rather during World War II, instead of Edward R. Murrow, perhaps it could have broadcast an interview with Adolf Hitler, who would have explained how he had been misunderstood and how he and FDR should debate their differences publicly instead of having all those troops landing at Normandy.

The constant whining and complaining of today's snivel rites "leaders" may be a passing annoyance to some whites but the real -- and tragic -- victims are those in the younger generation among blacks who buy the idea that the deck is so stacked against them that there is no point doing their best in school or on the job. They will be paying a huge price for that attitude for the rest of their lives.

Why do actors -- people whose main talent is faking emotions -- think that their opinions should be directing the course of political events in the real world? Yet it is a mistake that they have been making as far back as John Wilkes Booth.

Although rank-and-file terrorists are sent out on suicide missions, the leaders who send them out have been captured alive. I wonder if this will cause some second thoughts -- or perhaps first thoughts -- among their followers.

Those who are wringing their hands over how the war on terrorism can restrict our freedoms are often the same liberals who favored the loose immigration laws that have put so many terrorists inside our borders, thereby necessitating restrictions on everyone's freedoms in order to deal with people who should not have been here in the first place.

Much of what is promoted as "critical thinking" in our public schools is in fact uncritical negativism towards the history and institutions of America and an uncritical praise of the cultures of domestic minorities and of foreign countries.

We are all anti-war -- and American troops in Afghanistan and the Persian Gulf represent the kind of protest that terrorists can understand.

Most people do not realize that Winston Churchill was a pariah in the 1930s, for telling people what they didn't want to hear -- namely that Britain needed to build up its military forces to deal with the threat that Hitler and the Nazis represented. What we are seeing today in the attempts to ridicule or demonize President Bush is nothing new.

The last desperate defense of group preferences and quotas by people who have run out of serious arguments is that there are other kinds of preferences besides racial preferences. The logic of this kind of argument is that nothing should be corrected until everything else is perfect.

Too many critics of missile defense start the argument in the middle, with enemy missiles already in the air. But, if a missile defense system simply creates enough serious doubt in an enemy's mind as to whether his missiles will get through, then it has done its job.

We can only hope that whoever had the bright idea of dealing with Iraq through the United Nations will be leaving the administration "to pursue other interests," as they say.

After a cardiologist read me the riot act, I finally got serious about diet and exercise. Now my blood pressure has come down so much that, if some liberals knew about it, their blood pressure might go up.

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JWR contributor Thomas Sowell, a fellow at the Hoover Institution, is author of several books, including his latest, "Controversial Essays." (Sales help fund JWR.)

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