Jewish World Review Sept. 29, 2003 / 4 Tishrei, 5764

Thomas Sowell

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Random thoughts

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

If you have a right to respect, that means other people don't have a right to their own opinions.

My computer operating system is so out of date that people don't even write viruses for it any more.

If the debate among candidates for governor of California did nothing else, it gave a demonstration of what political "experience" means, as Lt. Governor Cruz Bustamante did a smooth, soft-shoe dance away from tough questions. It is "experience" like this that has led to the mess that California is in.

Our children and grandchildren may yet curse the day we began hyping race and ethnicity. There are countries where that has led to slaughters in the streets but you cannot name a country where it has led to greater harmony.

There are basically only two ways of reducing a deficit -- cut spending or collect more taxes. When you see liberals in politics and in the media going ballistic about the deficit, you know that they are not thinking about cutting spending.

The most distinctive face on television: Financial analyst Maria Bartiromo. She would be a photographer's delight and a caricaturist's dream.

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"Injustice in Guantanamo" is the title of a New York Times editorial about prisoners being held at the American naval base there. It is amazing how many liberals who complain about the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo have no interest in the treatment of prisoners on the rest of the island, controlled by Castro.

Before joining any movement, you should read "The True Believer" by Eric Hoffer. (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR)

Some people refuse to think in terms of incentives. San Francisco leaders are baffled by the fact that they have not reduced the homeless problem despite (!) spending so much money on the homeless. Others are disappointed that they have not reduced suicide bombings in Israel despite (!) having made so many concessions to the Palestinians in response to previous terrorism.

Liberals seem to believe that blacks should be represented proportionally everywhere -- except in conservative organizations.

If there is anything worse than outliving your money, it is outliving all your loved ones.

Some of the most popular words and phrases in politics are undefined and undefinable. That is what makes them popular and what makes them politically effective in rallying support. People who mean wholly different things by "fairness" or "social justice" can be brought together by politicians to serve their own ends.

An organization exists to promote some particular principle or to serve some specific purpose or constituency. For an organization to be all-inclusive would be a contradiction in terms.

It is curious to have someone send you a bill with a zero balance. Once I received such a bill, along with a threat to take legal action if I didn't pay it! The company later explained that it was a computer error.

What the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan called "defining deviancy downward" is all too apparent in the choice of words used in the media. Illegal aliens have long since been called "undocumented" immigrants. Rioters have been re-christened "demonstrators." Now Palestinian terrorists have been redefined as "militants."

Do people on the left ever wonder why we do not suffer the poverty of India, the oppression of North Korea, the anarchy of Liberia, the slaughters of Rwanda, etc., etc.? Would it ever occur to them that it might have anything to do with those very values and traditions which they are striving so hard to undermine or dismantle?

No matter how old I get or how sophisticated I think I have become, I still find it hard to deal with betrayal.

Are you one of that small number of people who would just as soon let a jury decide the guilt or innocence of Scott Peterson and Kobe Bryant, instead of seeing the media try these cases around the clock, day after day?

I wonder whatever happened to: Raphael Perez, Marjorie Love, "Sergeant Major" Hansberry, and Yolande Brower.

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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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