Thomas Sowell

Random thoughts on the passing scene:

 Bumper sticker in Berkeley: "Animals are little people in fur coats."

 My tastes must be behind the times. When I see women in "before" and "after" advertisements, I often think they looked better before.

 What enables ex-President Jimmy Carter to be taken seriously is that millions of people are too young to remember what a disaster the Carter administration was. He lost his bid for re-election in a landslide for a reason.

 Who would have dreamed that "Merry Christmas" would become a controversial phrase? But increasingly schools and other institutions avoid it like the plague, in order to be politically correct.

 Is there something about being rich that makes some people go off the deep end? The limousine liberals among the Democrats and the country club Republicans are the most unrealistic people in each party.

 Cartoons in "The New Yorker" magazine used to make me burst out laughing but those in recent years don't even produce a smile. Could it be that political correctness makes it impossible to see and portray the humor in the many absurdities all around us?

 Nightmare for the 2008 Presidential election: Hillary Clinton versus John McCain. I wouldn't know whether to vote Libertarian or move to Australia.

 It apparently does not occur to some engineers who design products that most of the people who will be using those products are not engineers.

 We are so much more rational about sports than we are about politics. No one considers it "unfair" that Tiger Woods does so much better than the average golfer, or resents him for it, or accuses him of "gouging" when he collects big bucks.

 One of the many affectations of the political left and the intelligentsia is to disdain crass material things. But it is the increased production of crass material things which has released hundreds of millions of human beings from the curse of grinding poverty and endless toil, and given them longer lives.

 British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher gave the best definition of "consensus": Lack of leadership.

 A liberal can be found standing over a dead body with a smoking gun in his hand and the media will remind us that everyone is innocent until proven guilty. But the same media have for months been hyping insinuations that Karl Rove is guilty of something he has not even been charged with.

 It is usually futile to try to talk facts and analysis to people who are enjoying a sense of moral superiority in their ignorance.

 Since neither the creationists nor the evolutionists were there when the world began, why are our schools teaching either set of beliefs, when there are so many hard facts that the schools are failing to teach?

 A recent e-mail from a man who says that my writings have changed his mind notes that this has not been all to the good. He says he was perfectly happy as a liberal but now he is frustrated when he hears the kind of nonsense that he used to accept without having to think about it.

 Someone once said that the most important knowledge is knowledge of our own ignorance. Our schools are depriving millions of students of that kind of knowledge by promoting "self-esteem" and encouraging them to have opinions on things of which they are grossly ignorant, if not misinformed.

 I have long suspected that there is a part of the male brain -- perhaps most of it -- which automatically shuts off at the sight of a good-looking woman.

 Popularity can change very quickly in politics. During the boom times at the end of the 1920s, when Herbert Hoover was President, there were several times as many baby boys named Herbert as there were named Franklin. But just a few years later, after the stock market crash and the beginning of the Great Depression, there were several times as many boys named Franklin as were named Herbert.

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

Creators Syndicate

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