Jewish World Review June 24, 2004 /5 Tamuz, 5764

Thomas Sowell

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Random thoughts | Random thoughts on the passing scene:

The best thing about buying a house is that it puts an end to the exhausting process of house-hunting.

Although Ronald Reagan was the only actor to become President, he was one of the few politicians who was not acting.

Do the people who make computerized products with a zillion features ever stop to consider whether the feature that many people want most is uncomplicated use?

A recently reprinted memoir by Frederick Douglass has footnotes explaining what words like "arraigned," "curried" and "exculpate" meant, and explaining who Job was. In other words, this man who was born a slave and never went to school educated himself to the point where his words now have to be explained to today's expensively under-educated generation.

Too many in the media act as if decency is a violation of the First Amendment.

If the same number of people who have been killed in terrorist attacks in Iraq over the past year had been killed on the battlefield in one month, it would not have been nearly as big a news story in the media. Terrorists get more bang for the buck when papers like the New York Times make each individual murder front page news, day after day.

People sometimes ask if I have tried to convince black "leaders" to take a different view on racial issues. Of course not. I wouldn't spend my time trying to persuade the mafia to give up crime. Why should I spend time trying to convince race hustlers to give up victimhood? It's their bread and butter.

Egalitarians create the most dangerous inequality of all — inequality of power. Allowing politicians to determine what all other human beings will be allowed to earn is one of the most reckless gambles imaginable. Like the income tax, it may start off being applied only to the rich but it will inevitably reach us all.

To too many teachers, social workers and others in occupations with pretensions of being "professional," what being a professional means is not having to listen to common sense from ordinary people, much less develop any of their own.

Great Predictions Department: "I do not mind saying I think they are taking a gamble." That was Red Sox owner Harry Frazee after selling Babe Ruth to the Yankees.

The same people who were urging us to "get over it" and "move on" during the Clinton scandals have themselves still not gotten over the presidential election four years ago. They are still bitter that the U.S. Supreme Court would not allow the Florida Supreme Court to illegally interfere with the election process.

Those who are preoccupied with "making a statement" usually don't have any statements worth making.

Why can't anyone get the University of California system or the University of Texas system to reveal the graduation rates of black students, now that affirmative action has been ended in these institutions? Are they afraid the statistics would show an increased rate of graduation, as critics of affirmative action have long predicted?

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Before women's fashions began to feature exposed navels, I had no idea how many gals had unattractive midriffs.

Everybody is an environmentalist in the sense of not wanting to breathe polluted air or drink polluted water. But in practice the term has come to refer to a pagan nature worship cult that readily sacrifices other human beings on the altar to their dogmas.

Of all the theories that persist despite tons of hard evidence against them, the champion is the theory of "overpopulation." The evidence was against it in Malthus' time and has been for two centuries since then. The next time someone tries to sell overpopulation hysteria, ask them to name just one country that had a higher standard of living when its population was half of what it is today.

I have always been offended by the song that says, "Everything is beautiful in its own way." If everything is beautiful, then the word "beautiful" has no meaning. If everything were purple, there would be no word "purple" in the language because it would not distinguish one thing from another.

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JWR contributor Thomas Sowell, a fellow at the Hoover Institution, is author of several books, including his latest, "Applied Economics: Thinking Beyond Stage One." (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.) To comment please click here.


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