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Jewish World Review Dec. 27, 2000 / 1 Teves, 5761

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell
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Consumer Reports

Random thoughts on the passing scene -- An American flag is more likely to fly on a mobile home than on a mansion. Someone said that the light at the end of the tunnel could be a freight train heading your way.

  • A new telephone scam has been reported. Someone phones you, pretending to be someone at the phone company who is conducting "tests" and asks you to touch certain keys on your phone. When you do, that authorizes the other phone to charge calls to your phone. People in jails and prisons have been said to be among the sources of this scam.

  • The media seem determined to portray George W. Bush as someone who is not very smart. But how many dummies do you know who have piloted jet planes?

  • As someone who has worked both in private industry and in academia, whenever I hear about academics wanting to teach ethics to people in business, I want to puke.

  • Big differences that can be worked out are less dangerous than small differences that can't be.

  • Too many people in the media seem to think that being objective means criticizing "both sides," when in fact it means an unbiased search for the truth. You can do objective research on the Nazis and then conclude that they were pretty rotten people.

  • The strongest argument for socialism is that it sounds good. The strongest argument against socialism is that it doesn't work. But those who live by words will always have a soft spot in their hearts for socialism because it sounds so good.

  • Whatever you may think about the death penalty, it has the lowest recidivism rate of any of the ways of fighting crime.

  • A mother was surprised to hear her son say -- disapprovingly -- that he knew nothing about his high school math teacher's personal life. All his other teachers discuss their personal lives in the classroom, so it is the math teacher who seems odd.

  • We are privileged to live in a time when we could see the greatest tennis player of all time, the greatest golfer of all time and the greatest basketball player of all time. On the other hand, we could also see the worst president of all time, so perhaps it all evens out.

  • An item in the Chronicle of Higher Education shows how far academia has strayed from reality as a result of radical feminist dogma. It says: "Long silenced by our culture, female adolescents are now letting readers in on their inner lives in a number of recent books." Have you ever known teenage girls to be silenced? The radical feminist movement is a monument to what can be achieved by sheer brass, ruthless intimidation and shameless lies.

  • Neither rain nor snow nor sleet nor gloom of night has stopped me from watching Monday Night Football for more than 20 years. But Dennis Miller's silly chatter has.

  • Some people drive through parking lots like they were driving out on a city street. They don't seem to realize that some little kid can suddenly pop out from between parked cars at any time. Although it was predicted in this column before the election that things would get "desperate and ugly," I had no idea that it would get as desperate or as ugly as it did. Anyone who accurately predicted what would happen after the election would have to have had a warped mind and should be rushed to the nearest psychiatric hospital for observation.

  • If you are making New Year's resolutions, you might want to include cutting people some slack -- starting with yourself.

  • Conservatives are making a serious mistake when they try to get the public schools to teach abstinence and traditional values. Since the education establishment is firmly on the side of the counter-culture, and there is no realistic way to monitor what they are doing in the classrooms, that isn't going to work. Instead, the schools should be forced to get out of the business of indoctrinating students or experimenting with their psyches.

  • This year's cliffhanger election shows how unreliable statistical projections can be. The same kinds of projections that led the big television networks to give Florida to Vice President Gore and then take it back are used to predict "global warming" and other politicized alarms.

  • It can't be the end of the year already. This must be another election-year trick.

    JWR contributor Thomas Sowell, a fellow at the Hoover Institution, is author of several books, including his latest, A Personal Odyssey.


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    © 2000, Creators Syndicate