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October 21st, 2017

Insight

Random Thoughts

Thomas Sowell

By Thomas Sowell

Published Sept. 30, 2014

Random Thoughts
Random thoughts on the passing scene:

What a non-judgmental society amounts to is that common decency is optional — which means that decency is likely to become less common.

The biggest issue in this fall's election is whether the Obama administration will end when Barack Obama leaves the White House or whether it will continue on, by appointing federal judges with lifetime appointments who share President Obama's contempt for the Constitution. Whether such judges will be confirmed by the Senate depends on whether the Senate continues to be controlled by Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Why in the world would any sane American go to North Korea and put themselves at the mercy of a crackpot dictator?

Since Illinois enacted a law permitting more people to carry concealed firearms, more than 65,000 people got permits to do so. Rates of robbery, burglary and motor vehicle thefts have dropped significantly, and the murder rate has fallen to a level not seen in more than half a century. If only the gun control fanatics would pay some attention to facts, a lot of lives could be saved.

If you took all the mumbo-jumbo out of our educational institutions, how much would be left? Students could finish their education years earlier and end up knowing a lot more than they know now.

Why are Americans — and the Western world in general — falling all over ourselves stifling our own self-expression to appease people who chose to immigrate here, and are now demanding the suppression of anything they don't like, such as public expressions of Christianity or displays of the American flag?

Someone should write a history of political rhetoric, if only to put us on our guard against being deceived into disasters. The First World War, for example, was said to be a war "to make the world safe for democracy." What it actually led to was the replacement of despotic dynasties by totalitarian dictatorships that were far worse, including far more murderous.

Professor Sterling Brown remains as much a hero to me in my old age as he was when I was a freshman at Howard University. He wrote bitterly eloquent attacks on racism — and yet, when I was preparing to go off to Harvard, he said to me, "Don't come back here and tell me you didn't make it 'cause white folks were mean."

The fatal weakness of most clever people is that they don't know when to stop being clever. The past cleverness of President Obama is finally starting to catch up with him.

Why Republicans would bring up the subject of immigration during an election year is beyond me. Yet Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner seems drawn to the subject like a moth to a flame.

Who says the Obama administration is not transparent? They are constantly telling our enemies overseas when it will pull out our troops and where we will not put boots on the ground.

Heartening as it has been to see Derek Jeter get farewell honors during his last season, as with Mariano Rivera last season, it is also a melancholy thought that we may not see their like again — in their personal dignity and class, as well as their performance on the field. They are throwbacks to an earlier time, in a sports world of spoiled brat showoffs today.

I must have heard the word "diversity" proclaimed in ringing tones as a great benefit to society at least a thousand times — and probably closer to a million — without even once hearing a speck of evidence provided, or even suggested as a way to test whether that is true or false.

Attorney General Eric Holder has picked the perfect time to resign, in terms of his own self-interest. He will have two years in which to cash in with lucrative fees on the lecture circuit and to make a big-bucks book deal. If he waited until the end of the Obama administration, a former Attorney General would be eclipsed in both respects by a former President of the United States, thereby reducing the demand for Holder.

With the momentous consequences of control of the Senate at stake in this fall's election, anyone who risks the outcome by running as a third party candidate should not only be voted against this year but remembered for such irresponsibility in future years.

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Thomas Sowell, a National Humanities Medal winner, is an American economist, social theorist, political philosopher and author. He is currently Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

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