Jewish World Review April 29, 2002 / 17 Iyar, 5762

Thomas Sowell

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Random thoughts

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

  • A reader writes: "I want to live in the country I grew up in. Where is it?"

  • If you talk to yourself, at least carry a cell phone, so that people won't think you are crazy.

  • There have always been ignorant people, but they haven't always had college degrees to make them unaware of their ignorance. Some people imagine that they are well informed because they have memorized a whole galaxy of trendy dogmas and fashionable attitudes.

  • When you see a teenage girl nowadays, you are also likely to see her midriff.

  • Now that there have been two episodes in which terrorists on airplanes have been attacked by the passengers, maybe the word will get out that most Americans are not such weak-kneed jackasses as some might think from the statements of some of our intelligentsia and politicians.

  • When youngsters say that "everybody" does this or that, it probably never occurs to them that what they call "everybody" is probably less than one percent of the human race.

  • Some full professors could more accurately be described as empty professors.

  • People who say that Yasser Arafat should have a second chance have a point. It's just that he had his second chance long ago and they have lost track of how many chances he has had since then.

  • For "Monday Night Football" fans, the good news is that John Madden will be broadcasting the games next season. The even better news is that Dennis Miller will be gone.

  • Why is there so much hand-wringing about how to keep track of violent sex offenders after they have been released from prison? If it is so dangerous to release them, then why are they being released, when laws can be rewritten to keep them behind bars?

  • People who think that they are being "exploited" should ask themselves whether they would be missed if they left, or whether people would say: "Good riddance"?

  • Putting cameras in the courtrooms is one of those ideas that sounds good -- until you see how televising congressional hearings has led to politicians hamming it up for the folks back home, instead of doing the work in a sober, timely and thoughtful way.

  • An economic forecaster once pointed out that, in ancient times, predictions were based on reading the entrails of sheep. He added, "-- and it still takes guts to make forecasts."

  • What is scary about our times is how easy it is to get Americans to give up our most basic rights if you just use some pretty words. You can violate the "equal protection of the laws" provided by the 14th Amendment if you use the word "diversity" and you can violate the free speech protections of the First Amendment if you call it "campaign finance reform."

  • If Bill Clinton and Jesse Jackson were not different colors, you would have to wonder if they were twins separated at birth.

  • Both the Sicilian mafia and the criminal tongs in China began as movements to defend the oppressed, so perhaps we should not be so painfully surprised that venerable American civil rights organizations have begun to degenerate into extortion. The "slavery reparations" campaign is just one aspect of this and the recently published book "Shakedown" details Jesse Jackson's exploits in this area.

  • The Middle East is the only place where the very existence of an existing state is controversial and the acceptance of its existence has to be negotiated.

  • Capitalism is not an "ism." It is closer to being the opposite of an "ism," because it is simply the freedom of ordinary people to make whatever economic transactions they can mutually agree to.

  • It is fascinating to see businesses accused of "greed" and "profiteering" while they are drowning in red ink.

  • Sometimes it seems as if I have spent the first half of my life refusing to let white people define me and the second half refusing to let black people define me.

JWR contributor Thomas Sowell, a fellow at the Hoover Institution, is author of several books, including his latest, The Einstein Syndrome: Bright Children Who Talk Late.

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