Random thoughts

Thomas Sowell
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Posted: Jan 31, 2002 12:00 AM

RANDOM thoughts on the passing scene:

  • One of the sad signs of our times is that we have demonized those who produce, subsidized those who refuse to produce, and canonized those who complain.

  • Sometimes it seems as if love songs are being replaced by sex songs.

  • I am going to stop procrastinating -- one of these days.

  • Why are so many people who had nothing to say about the Soviet gulags now going ballistic because captured terrorists are not being treated like hotel guests? These terrorists are being treated better than they ever treated anyone.

  • Those who say that all cultures are equal never explain why the results of those cultures are so grossly unequal. When some cultures have achieved much greater prosperity, better health, longer life, more advanced technology, more stable government, and greater personal safety than others, has all this been just coincidence? Moreover, people from other cultures are constantly migrating to these cultures, which fashionable dogmas say are no better than any other.

  • My ranking of Brian Williams of MSNBC as the best of the network TV news anchormen brought irate mail from fans of Brit Hume of Fox News. Had I thought that Brit Hume was classified as an anchorman, he would have won, hands down. But who would have expected that someone so pensive and low key would have such ferocious fans?

  • Everyone is for "due process" in our courts. But the very concept of due process implies that there can be such a thing as undue process. Unfortunately, undue process is also found in our courts -- perhaps more often than due process.

  • The scariest thing about politics today is not any particular policy or leaders, but the utter gullibility with which the public accepts notions for which there is not a speck of evidence, such as the benefits of "diversity," the dangers of "overpopulation," and innumerable other fashionable dogmas.

  • People who are very aware that they have more knowledge than the average person are often very unaware that they do not have one-tenth of the knowledge of all of the average persons put together. In this situation, for the intelligentsia to impose their notions on ordinary people is essentially to impose ignorance on knowledge.

  • The hallmark of the political left is its offering localized reasons for worldwide evils -- "European" imperialism, "capitalist" pollution, "white" racism, and too many evils of "our society" to mention.

  • The flap over ads calling CNN talk show host Paula Zahn "sexy" was surprising to me because that is not a word that I would have thought of using to describe her. Perhaps there should be a poll asking men whether they would rather be marooned on a desert island with Paula Zahn or with Norah O'Donnell of MSNBC or Rita Cosby of Fox News.

  • Immigration has become one of a growing number of issues that can no longer be discussed rationally, but must be discussed only in pious shibboleths.

  • Talking heads on TV are asking whom the United States will deal with if Yasser Arafat is no longer recognized as the leader of the Palestinians. That is a problem and a decision for Israel. American intervention in the past has not always made matters better and sometimes seems to have made things worse.

  • Liberals seem to assume that, if you don't believe in their particular political solutions, then you don't really care about the people that they claim to want to help. That is why the concept of "compassionate conservatism" utterly baffled them, as if there could not possibly be any other way of benefitting the less fortunate.

  • Watching CNN after watching Fox News Network is like drinking skim milk after you have gotten used to eggnog.

  • How many liberal lesbian writers have been praised by conservatives? Tammy Bruce may be the only one, because of her book, "The New Thought Police," which details the tyranny of political correctness.

  • Whether the subject is art or architecture, forests or foreign policy, the top priority of many of the anointed is being one-up on other people. What is best for the country never seems to mean as much to them as what makes them feel superior to other Americans.