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Jewish World Review / July 31, 1998 / 8 Menachem-Av, 5758

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell Random thoughts

"FAIR" IS ONE OF THE MOST DANGEROUS concepts in politics. Since no two people are likely to agree on what is "fair," this means that there must be some third party with power -- the government -- to impose its will. The road to despotism is paved with "fairness."

Among the many innocent casualties of the "war on drugs" are terminally ill patients who suffer needless pain because drug-control bureaucrats can create trouble for doctors who prescribe enough narcotics to give them relief.

The next time some academics tell you how important "diversity" is, ask how many Republicans there are in their sociology department.

Despite a widespread belief that hostility across racial lines is the worst kind of hostility, the worst atrocities of the past decade have been committed by white people against other white people in the Balkans and by black people against other black people in Rwanda.

Now that we know what dumb teachers there are in Massachusetts, it is no wonder that the voters there keep electing people like Ted Kennedy and Barney Frank.

The American Council on Science and Health's publication "Facts versus Fears" exposes unfounded media scares over the past 3 decades -- about DDT, asbestos, Love Canal, Three-Mile Island, Alar, etc.

Someone ought to keep track of the judges who freed Susan McDougal and dismissed tax evasion charges against Webster Hubbell. See if they end up getting presidential appointments or jobs at Revlon.

What do automobiles, guns, and home-schooling all have in common that makes the liberals hate them? All these things reduce individual dependence on the government and on the grandiose schemes for other people's lives created by liberals and imposed by government.

All sorts of institutions, including corporations and the army, manage to teach people not only their particular skills but often also the basics that people were supposed to get in our public schools. Yet those who run the public schools talk as if they have some mysterious "expertise" beyond the grasp of critics.

No one can really understand the political left without understanding that they are about making themselves feel superior, however much they may talk piously about what they are going to do to help others. The left's lack of interest in testing the actual results of their bright ideas against hard facts betrays what their real interest is.

Gun control advocates have gotten a lot of political mileage out of the inflammatory phrase "assault weapons," without having to define it. This vague language lets them leave audiences thinking that they are talking about machine guns, which have already been heavily regulated for more than half a century.

Peter Bauer of the London School of Economics: "Ironically, the birth of a child is registered as a reduction in national income per head, while the birth of a calf shows up as an improvement."

The latest crusade among liberals is to seek release for older prisoners who are presumably harmless now. But anyone with enough strength left to pull a trigger is dangerous. Moreover, when someone is sentenced to 20 years, why should it not mean 20 years? Are such sentences just placebos for the public?

The environmental Nazis treat national parks as their own personal property and want the millions of other taxpayers who pay for these parks to be treated as interlopers, who are to be kept out if possible, and admitted if necessary, only if they conform to the vision of the environmental Nazis.

Parents who kept their children out of the public schools and taught them at home used to have to take on a huge task all by themselves. But today there are home-schooling associations, home-schooling teaching materials, and a magazine called "Home-Schooling News."

Are umpires so lazy that they cannot be bothered to keep track of where home plate is when calling balls and strikes, and simply allow themselves to be decoyed by where the catcher takes his position? The league authorities could at least install a video camera to keep track of what percentage of the "strikes" called by various umpires never crossed the plate.

7/27/98: Faith and mountains
7/24/98: Clinton in Wonderland
7/20/98: Where is black 'leadership' leading?
7/16/98: Do 'minorities' really have it that bad?
7/14/98: Race dialogue: same old stuff
7/10/98: Honest history
7/09/98: Dumb is dangerous
7/02/98: Gun-safety starts with
parental responsibility
6/30/98: When more is less
6/29/98: Are educators above the law?
6/26/98: Random Thoughts
6/24/98: An angry letter
6/22/98: Sixties sentimentalism
6/19/98:Dumbing down anti-trust
6/15/98: A changing of the guard?
6/11/98: Presidential privileges
6/8/98: Fast computers and slow antitrust
6/3/98: Can stalling backfire?
5/29/98: The insulation of the Left
5/25/98: Missing the point in the media
5/22/98: The lessons of Indonesia
5/20/98: Smart but silent
5/18/98: Israel, Clinton and character
5/14/98: Monica Lewinsky's choices
5/11/98: Random thoughts
5/7/98: Media obstruction of justice
5/4/98: Dangerous "safety"
5/1/98: Abolish Adolescence!
4/30/98: The naked truth
4/22/98: Playing fair and square
4/19/98: Bad teachers"
4/15/98: "Clinton in Africa "
4/13/98: "Bundling and unbundling "
4/9/98: "Rising or falling Starr "
4/6/98: "Was Clinton ‘vindicated'? "
3/26/98: "Diasters -- natural and political"
3/24/98: "A pattern of behavior"
3/22/98: Innocent explanations
3/19/98: Kathleen Willey and Anita Hill
3/17/98: Search and destroy
3/12/98: Media Circus versus Justice
3/6/98: Vindication
3/3/98: Cheap Shot Time
2/26/98: The Wrong Filter
2/24/98: Trial by Media
2/20/98: Dancing Around the Realities
2/19/98: A "Do Something" War?
2/12/98: Julian Simon, combatant in a 200-year war
2/6/98: A rush to rhetoric

©1998, Creators Syndicate, Inc.