Random thoughts on the passing scene:

Posted: Aug 03, 2000 12:00 AM

Random thoughts on the passing scene:

How can "hate crimes" laws be constitutional, when the 14th Amendment specifies "equal protection of the laws" for all, not special protection for special groups?

Government officials have a lot of nerve to be sounding off about the "greed" of oil companies. The federal government alone gets several times as much in taxes from every gallon of gasoline as oil companies get in profit. But government is never considered greedy, not even when it takes over half the money of some people who have died, instead of letting it go to their children.

While American students go to school almost as many days as students in other countries, the number of hours they spend on core subjects like history, math and science in high school is less than half the hours spent on these subjects in Japan, Germany or France.

Liberals seemed happier about sending Elian Gonzalez back to Cuba than Elian himself seemed, judging from the photographs of him as he got off the plane in Havana.

Supporters of affirmative action tend to think in terms of "the rich" and "the poor." But the history of the actual consequences of affirmative action indicates that the truly rich and the truly poor are the two groups least affected by it.

Those who have for years been pushing Israel to "trade land for peace" should admit that this has amounted to trading permanent land for temporary peace.

Some people in the media judge a Congress by how much legislation it passes. But we already have too many laws. Some future Congress can make a major contribution to this country by spending its time repealing legislation and impeaching federal judges who legislate from the bench.

They say we old-timers think that only the idols of the past were great. However, despite having recently passed the biblical threescore and ten years, I think Derek Jeeter is the best shortstop the Yankees have ever had, Pete Sampras is the greatest tennis player of all time and Tiger Woods the greatest golfer of all time.

There is nothing egalitarian about lower intellectual standards in our schools. Children from more fortunate homes will get higher standards in those homes. It is the other children who most need some outside source of the things necessary to realize their potential.

The law will not allow you to kill a dog in the way a newborn baby is killed in what is called a "partial birth abortion." It is not even an abortion, except as a legal technicality, to avoid a murder charge. It is puncturing the brain of a newborn baby while he is not yet completely out of the birth canal.

Both Williams sisters have the potential to go down in history among the greatest tennis players of all time. They would do well to watch how Tiger Woods conducts himself with class. It would also help them to grow up if their loudmouth father grew up first.

Our national problems usually do not cause nearly as much harm as the solutions.

World War II films on the history channel show the desperate courage of the men who fought then. What a painful contrast with the cheap cowardice of the politicians who got them into such a mess in the first place.

With bigger baseball players and smaller ballparks, it is not surprising that there are so many home runs nowadays. However, despite baseball scores that look like football scores, that is not the whole story, because there are still pitchers who give up less than two runs per game. But expansion has brought in dozens of new pitchers who are not yet of major league caliber.

We used to have day care centers back in my time. We called them homes.

Many people see huge stakes in this election because the next president -- whoever he might be -- can nominate enough federal judges and Supreme Court justices to shape the direction of American law for the next generation. He can also either unify or polarize this country by playing or not playing the race card, scaring or not scaring older Americans, or pitting other Americans against each other with demonization campaigns.

When the history of grossness is written, our times may well be called its golden age.

If a politician had a coat of arms, it would probably be a weasel on a background of waffles and mush.