Random thoughts

Thomas Sowell

8/29/2006 12:01:00 AM - Thomas Sowell

Random thoughts on the passing scene:

Someone said that good judgment comes from experience -- which in turn comes from bad judgment.

When I see people dealing lovingly with small children, it makes me feel that there may be hope for us, after all.

Some people are so busy being clever that they don't have time to be intelligent.

A public opinion poll back in 1964 asked if America was worth fighting for -- and 87 percent of blacks said "yes." Today, it is doubtful if any segment of the population would give that answer that often.

Climate statistics show that, with all the "global warming" hysteria today, our temperatures are still not as high as they were back in medieval times. Those medieval folks must have been driving a lot of cars and SUVs.

Doing 90 percent of what is required is one of the biggest wastes because you have nothing to show for all your efforts. But doing 110 percent of what is expected is one of the smartest investments because it can pay off with a big reputation for just a little more effort.

For university presidents, as for politicians at all levels, one of the most valuable talents for the success of their careers is the ability to say things that make no sense, with a straight face and a lofty tone.

I have never seen a skinny cook.

Republicans have good reasons to be disappointed in their Congressmen, especially with their runaway spending and amnesty bill for illegal aliens. However, before Republican voters decide to stay home at the next election, or perhaps to vote for the Democrats, they might repeat one phrase to themselves: "Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi."

Little kids can be adorable when they are asleep. Or maybe we are just so glad that they are asleep that this biases our feelings.

Increasing numbers of people seem to think that it is "name-calling" if you refer to someone as a liberal. There are no inherently negative connotations to the word "liberal." If it has acquired negative overtones, that is because of what liberals have done and the consequences that have followed.

Dorothy Parker's sharp-witted writings used to cut through a lot of nonsense. Ann Coulter is the Dorothy Parker of our time -- an industrial strength Dorothy Parker.

I must confess to a tinge of envy when I saw Jean-Francois Revel's obituary. His death meant that he would be spared seeing the ultimate result of the confusion, degeneracy, and cowardice of the west, which he had written about -- and which I might not be spared seeing.

Can you cite one speck of hard evidence of the benefits of "diversity" that we have heard gushed about for years? Evidence of its harm can be seen -- written in blood -- from Iraq to India, from Serbia to Sudan, from Fiji to the Philippines. It is scary how easily so many people can be brainwashed by sheer repetition of a word.

The criminal justice system cannot be regarded as serious so long as there are such things as concurrent sentences and sentences of community service.

There is nothing so good that politicians can't make it bad and nothing so bad that politicians can't make it worse. Compassion is good but politicians have turned compassion into the welfare state. Crime is bad but politicians have made it worse by going easy on criminals.

Too many intellectuals act as if they are press agents for blacks -- who do not need press agents but who do need the truth. Wherever we are going, and wherever we want to go, we have to get there from where we are right now. Not where we wish we were or where we want others to think we are but where we are in fact.

It is staggering that anyone could be so self-infatuated as to single out their own particular policy preferences as "anti-war." Anyone who is not a sadist or an idiot is anti-war. The only serious issue is how best to limit, deter or conclude war. But responsibility for confronting this issue is evaded by those preoccupied with the moral preening of being "anti-war."