Jewish World Review Sept. 12, 2002 / 6 Tishrei 5763

Thomas Sowell

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Random thoughts | Random thoughts on the passing scene:

Say it ain't so, Martha.

What "multiculturalism" boils down to is that you can praise any culture in the world except Western culture -- and you cannot blame any culture in the world except Western culture.

One of the sure signs of full employment is bad service.

I am feeling healthier than I have in years. It is amazing how a few trips to the emergency room can convince you to get your act together.

Those who are demanding "proof" before the United States launches a pre-emptive strike against Iraq are demanding the impossible. By definition, a pre-emptive strike means that there is no proof of what you are trying to forestall -- and that you are not going to wait until there is proof, like a mushroom cloud over some American city.

Do advertisers whose huge ads pop up suddenly and blot out most of the computer screens of people who are using the Internet really believe that this increases the probability that people who have been startled and intruded upon this way will buy their products?

You know you have a lot of junk when there is not enough room to park one car in a three-car garage.

Teachers' unions often say that teachers deserve higher pay because they are doing an important job. But if you are doing an important job badly, you are doing more harm than if you were doing some minor job badly. Many teachers are overpaid for what they are actually doing, even if someone who did the job right would deserve far higher pay.

When someone is described as "independently wealthy," I have to wonder if they really are. Some people do not have the courage to be independent, even if they have a million dollars, while others march to their own drummer from the moment when they have enough money to pay the rent a month in advance.

People who speak disdainfully of "menial" jobs probably have no idea how many millionaires and even billionaires began working in such jobs. The political left is so wedded to their assumption that people stay in their "class" that it would never occur to them to check out the hard facts.

Someone once said that many bad policies are just good policies that have been carried too far. For example, we have taken tolerance to such an extreme that we tolerate the immigration into our country of millions of intolerant people who hate millions of Americans who are already here.

Does anyone know how to find an old inspirational essay titled "Don't die on Third" by sports writer Bert V. Dunne? It inspired me during a grim period in my youth.

It always seems to come as a big surprise to the media when the stock market goes up and down -- even though stocks have been going up and down for centuries.

Few things are more cruel than the death of love.

The next time somebody talks about how we should be guided by "world opinion," just remember those Palestinians and Egyptians dancing in the streets after 3,000 Americans were murdered by terrorists. Remember all the young Americans buried under a sea of crosses on the beaches at Normandy because we had to rescue the terribly clever French, who had blundered their way into a war in which they surrendered after less than two months of fighting. Remember all the tinhorn despots and half-baked intellectuals around the world who constitute a large part of what is called "world opinion."

Despite conservatives' laments about the overwhelming liberal bias of the media, there are nevertheless more conservative publications than most people can find time to read. These include The Hoover Digest, City Journal, Insight magazine, The Weekly Standard, National Review, The American Spectator, Commentary, Policy Review, The American Enterprise, the Wall Street Journal, the national weekly edition of the Washington Times, and Human Events.

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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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© 2002, Creators Syndicate