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Jewish World Review Dec. 15,1999 /6 Teves, 5760

Thomas Sowell

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Random thoughts on the passing scene

http://www.jewishworldreview.com -- ACCORDING TO SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, nearly half the high school sports injuries that lead to paralysis or death occur among cheerleaders.

  • China's Tsingtao beer and America's Budweiser were both created by Germans, who have also established breweries in Argentina, Australia and Brazil, among other places. Yet the current social dogma is that there is something unusual, if not sinister, when all groups are not evenly distributed among industries and occupations. All leading American beer companies were created by Germans.

  • You seldom see the word "risque" any more. We have gotten so gross that the word would have no meaning now.

  • Members of the Reform Party like to say that the Democrats and Republicans don't stand for anything. The problem with the Reform Party is that it stands for everything. Pat Buchanan and Lenora Fulani are surely the oddest couple since King Kong and Fay Wray.

  • If we insist on being policeman to the world, then we ought to have universal military service. That way, we would no longer have the elites sending the children of the masses off to get shot at around the world, just so that the elites can feel good about themselves.

  • Hundreds of readers sent in endings to the limerick I started, so let me thank them all now, since there is no way I can thank them individually, as much as I wish I could.

  • According the Tax Foundation, Americans now pay more in taxes than they spend on food, clothing and shelter combined.

  • Have you noticed that, virtually every week, Bill Clinton comes up with another scheme to spend money, all the while claiming that we must "save Social Security" and cannot afford tax cuts?

  • Members of the education establishment always protest when I point out that public school teachers are drawn primarily from the bottom half of college students. However, a new book -- "The Conspiracy of Ignorance" by Martin Gross -- says that they are drawn primarily from the bottom third.

  • If you are all in favor of laws preserving "open space" and the very mention of builders and developers makes you gnash your teeth, then there is no point wringing your hands and wondering why there is so little "affordable housing." And before you start calling landlords "selfish" and "greedy," think about your own selfishness in imposing your notions on other people, at huge costs to them.

  • Economics and politics must both deal with a basic fact of life: What everybody wants adds up to more than what is possible. Economics deals with this by rationing through prices. Politics deals with it by lying and promising more than it can possibly deliver.

  • The intelligentsia seem to judge everything by its intentions, rather than its consequences. Thus disarmament advocates are called an "anti-war" movement. Actually, the greatest "anti-war" demonstration in this century was Ronald Reagan's buildup of American military forces to the point where the Soviet Union had to pull back from its international military adventures.

  • Nearly half the households in America own stocks, either directly or through mutual funds.

  • Fox News network's motto is: "We report, you decide." But they violated their own policy when they stopped Matt Drudge from showing a picture of an unborn baby on his program. Much of the mainstream media -- now joined by Fox News -- is determined that you are not to see or hear anything that might cause you to think about abortion differently from the way they want you to think. What arrogance! And what hypocrisy from people who talk about "choice."

  • There seems to be a letter-writing campaign by the education establishment, with teachers around the country writing letters that are remarkably similar to various newspapers, claiming that my criticisms of the public schools are completely unfounded and have no factual basis. However, the documentation for what I have said can be found in my book, "Inside American Education."

  • If you have been hearing about what a wonderful thing it is to have "home visits" by social organizations to prevent child abuse and teach "parenting skills," then you should also read the other -- and scarier -- side of this story in a report titled "The Parent Trainers," published by the Alabama Family Alliance in Birmingham.


    JWR contributor Thomas Sowell, a fellow at the Hoover Institution, is author, most recently, of The Quest for Cosmic Justice.

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    ©1999, Creators Syndicate