Random thoughts

Thomas Sowell

8/12/2004 12:00:00 AM - Thomas Sowell

Random thoughts on the passing scene:

 I don't even like campaign oratory that I agree with.

 Alaska is much larger than France and Germany -- combined. Yet its population is less than one-tenth that of New York City. Keep that in mind the next time you hear some environmentalist hysteria about the danger of "spoiling" Alaska by drilling for oil in an area smaller than Dulles Airport.

 Of all ignorance, the ignorance of the educated is the most dangerous. Not only are educated people likely to have more influence, they are the last people to suspect that they don't know what they are talking about when they go outside their narrow fields.

 Prosecutors in the Scott Peterson murder trial look like they could end up creating a worst case scenario, with jurors (and the public) believing that Scott Peterson is guilty -- but not beyond a reasonable doubt.

 If walking is good for your health, then Barry Bonds must be the healthiest ballplayer of all time.

 The media often mention "ultra-conservatives" but never "ultra-liberals." Have ultra-liberals become extinct, gotten lost, or met with foul play? We cannot ignore the fate of fellow human beings, even if we differ with them politically. At the very least, we can report them as missing persons.

 Russian President Vladimir Putin has been called "Stalin lite."

 One of the many problems with envy is that you have no real way of knowing that someone is more fortunate than you until you are both at the end of your lives -- and then it is too late.

 If the continuing carnage in Iraq accomplishes nothing else, it should silence the "national greatness" bunch who have been pushing the idea that we should be creating democracies around the world.

 Bad credit affects many things, including your chances of getting a job that requires responsibility. On the other hand, if your credit is too good, you get inundated with junk mail.

 People do not become either "brilliant" or "stupid" just because the media keep describing them that way. The high correlation between people's supposed brilliance or stupidity and their agreement or disagreement with liberal ideology should warn us against taking such characterizations seriously.

 Before this year, had you ever heard anyone claim that four months in combat makes someone qualified for four years as President of the United States -- with no questions asked about what they did in the intervening decades?

 The harm that divorce does to children is not limited to the children of parents who get divorced. Children whose parents never divorce nevertheless see their friends' and classmates' parents getting divorced and have something to worry about whenever their own parents have a disagreement.

 Both egalitarians and those who think they have a blanket superiority to the rest of us have missed the point. We are all superior to each other -- and are all inferior to each other. It all depends on when and what. The economic disasters of socialism and communism come from assuming a blanket superiority of those who want to run a whole economy.

 If there is anything easier than being a Monday morning quarterback, it is promising to do great things in the future. Yet these two themes constitute most of Senator Kerry's campaign.

 People used to say, "Ignorance is no excuse." Today, ignorance is no problem. Our schools promote so much self-esteem that people confidently spout off about all sorts of things that they know nothing about.

 Why would anyone buy anything from a company that is inconsiderate enough to plant pop-up ads in their computer? Anything these ads are selling can be bought from somebody else.

 It is a shame that the broadcast networks did not provide gavel-to-gavel coverage of the Democratic convention, the way C-SPAN did. If the public had seen the parade of weirdos and hustlers on stage, it would have given a far clearer picture of the Democratic Party than any of the party's official pronouncements gave.