Thomas Sowell

Random thoughts on the passing scene:

They say that man cannot control the weather. But every time I buy photographic equipment, it rains.

Who says that there is no difference between the political parties? When Democrats are criticized, they counter-attack. When Republicans are criticized, they whine that they are innocent.

We all enter the world knowing nothing but, by the time we are teenagers, we know it all. Sometimes it is decades later before we know enough to realize how little we know.

Nothing is called "second-hand" any more, except "second-hand smoke." Why is it not called "pre-owned" smoke?

Civil rights used to be about treating everyone the same. But today some people are so used to special treatment that equal treatment is considered to be discrimination.

Some people seem to think that we live in more "liberated" times, when all that has happened is that one set of taboos has been replaced by another and more intolerantly enforced set of taboos.

If people had been as mealy-mouthed in centuries past as they are today, Ivan the Terrible would have been called Ivan the Inappropriate.

Sometimes you need a vacation just to recover from all the preparations you made before going on vacation.

Why would a boxer agree to a match in another boxer's home town?

Whatever the political benefits of making decisions by committees, the need for consensus virtually guarantees the lowest common denominator. A bipartisan committee with people of widely differing views has to paper over these differences and issue mushy pieties, like those of the Baker-Hamilton report on Iraq.

I don't feel any different as I get older. However, I do notice that, when I am out biking, a lot of other bikers seem to be passing me and I don't seem to be passing anybody.

What is especially disturbing about the political left is that they seem to have no sense of the tragedy of the human condition. Instead, they tend to see the problems of the world as due to other people not being as wise or as noble as themselves.

The next time somebody says that the government is forced to intervene in the economy to protect the poor, ask why the government is forcing taxpayers to subsidize municipal golf courses, the ballet, opera and -- the biggest subsidy of all -- surrounding affluent communities with vast amounts of expensive "open space."

Some days I don't seem to have much energy. Perhaps worse yet, I don't particularly want much energy.

One of the scariest aspects of our times is how easy it is for glib loudmouths to turn us against each other, weakening the whole framework of society, on which we all depend.


Thomas Sowell

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

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