Skip to comments.Random Thoughts (Thomas Sowell)
Posted on 06/18/2012 12:03:02 PM PDT by jazusamo
Random thoughts on the passing scene:
Many people may have voted for Barack Obama in 2008 because of his charisma. But anyone familiar with the disastrous track record of charismatic political leaders around the world in the 20th century should have run for the hills when they encountered a politician with charisma.
What is scarier than any particular political policy or issue is the widespread tendency to treat political issues as personal contests in talking points competitive skill in fencing with words rather than as serious attempts to find out what the facts are and what the options are.
People who are wondering what to get as a graduation present this year should consider "The Passage of Power" by Robert Caro, the recently published 4th volume in his monumental biography of Lyndon Johnson. Its revelations of the cynical, fraudulent and vicious politics in Washington should counter the pious graduation speeches that young people hear about the nobility of "public service."
The new French president, a socialist, says frankly that he does not like rich people, that "my real enemy is the world of finance," and apparently he has plans for much higher tax rates on high incomes. Has he not noticed how easy it is for the rich to move to some other country where the tax rates are lower or to send their money there?
For a long time, Democrats have gone to Washington to win at all costs, while too many Republicans went to Washington to compromise with Democrats. The rise of the Tea Party may change that.
Increasing numbers of people seem to have convinced themselves that they are entitled to a "fair share" of what someone else has earned. Whole nations now seem to think that they should be bailed out from the consequences of their own reckless spending by nations that lived within their means.
Those who favor huge cuts in military spending seem not to understand that our military exists not simply to win wars, but to present such overwhelming superiority to potential enemies as to prevent having to fight a war in the first place.
Some people who are belatedly seeing what Obama is really like are saying that he has changed. This is probably easier to say than admitting that you were blind to the man's whole history before, and were taken in by his rhetoric and geniality.
Wishful thinking is not idealism. It is self-indulgence at best and self-exaltation at worst. In either case, it is usually at the expense of others. In other words, it is the opposite of idealism.
The visceral hostility of liberals against Sarah Palin is something that liberals themselves ought to be concerned about. After all, she is just someone who has a different opinion about politics and a different social background and style. What I fear the liberals most resent is their perception that she is someone who is talking back to her betters.
When Harry Truman was President of the United States, he had a sign on his desk in the White House that said: "The buck stops here." If Barack Obama had a sign on his desk, it would say: "The buck stops with Bush."
Does anyone seriously believe that short dresses, exposing bony knees, make women look more attractive?
In most discussions of the problems of American public schools, the low intellectual quality of people who come out of our schools of education is the 800-pound gorilla that keeps getting ignored. Such teachers cannot give their students intellectual abilities that they themselves don't have.
Did we have to wait for the Solyndra and other government "investment" disasters to learn what economic nonsense political "investments" are? Reckless spending to win votes, or campaign contributions, from the recipients of government largesse is still reckless spending, regardless of what other words are used to try to dignify it whether these words are "stimulus," "jobs," "investment" or whatever.
In liberal logic, if life is unfair then the answer is to turn more tax money over to politicians, to spend in ways that will increase their chances of getting reelected.
Thanks for the ping, jaz for another great column by Dr Sowell. As always he hit the nail square on the head
Thanks, jaz. God bless and protect Thomas Sowell.
Amen...You’re both most welcome.
Thanks for the ping jaz. “Random Thoughts” is always a favorite around here, but then anything Dr. Sowell is.
Wow! That hits the NEA educrats right between the eyes.
” Wow! That hits the NEA educrats right between the eyes. “
It would, if they can find someone to explain the big words to ‘em....
One of the most clear-thinking men alive. Love Sowell.
He touches on the 800 lb. gorilla of illiterate educators, but fails to point out that today’s schools have become not promoters of education, but of ideology. Marxist ideology.
And, as I’ve said here at least a dozen times, until that gorilla is both recognized and dealt with, our nation has zero hope for anything other than collapse.
I’m still looking for ONE conservative leader to spell this out or address it.
Until then, we are pissing in the wind......IMHO of course....
Yes, because all knees are not bony. Should I cover up all paintings because not all of them are the Mona Lisa?
Those weren't disasters. They worked perfectly as planned.
Stolen Tax money laundering for the DNC.
If it doesn't change that pattern, the Republican party should go the way of the Whig party.
Thomas Sowell an American Treasure BTTT.
Dang, four volumes of the Caro biography of Lyndon Johnson, now? I remember reading the first one when I was in high school! (”Recreational reading,” not an assignment.) Quite fascinating.
Has Dr. Sowell been reading my FR posts?
I think we have to cut him a little slack, he didn't say ALL women have bony knees. :-)
Knees ARE a bone!
Some women’s legs look nice in shorts or short skirts. The problem is that once the fashion is in place, the ones with less attractive legs - fat, excessively bony, varicose veins, oozing infected mosquito bites, bruises, etc. - follow it, too.
Boy, you really brought up the yukky stuff. ;-)
I don’t wanna think about that.
Thank you for the ping.
That’s been one of my pet peeves for many years now. I do not understand why some—make that the majority of—women wear shorts when their body shape and skin texture just cry out against it.
And men? Why they think their hairy legs are attractive is beyond my understanding.
I maintain that almost all adults look like hell in shorts and wonder why it is not apparent to them.
I agree. In a more civilized era, only young boys wore short pants, and little girls wore short skirts. Once getting past the rolling in the mud stage, everyone wore long pants, except in the tropics, or long skirts. Not only did it look more attractive on 98%, but you also didn't have to worry about the general public seeing your undies when you sat down!
When Dr. Sowell says "for a long time" you can be sure it's on the long side of 50 years.
He's so right. Democrats always swing for the fences on what they want and always walk away with a stand-up double thanks to "compromise." Throw strikes? Any RINO will tell you it's easier to just settle for the double. Next thing you know, runs are walking in as Dem' players advance to second on every at bat. Compromise.
Lather, rinse, repeat, and we get crushed game after game.
What about faces and arms suffering the same problems? What about acne? Should women go the burka route? Do ugly men get a free ride?
Also if you’re gawking around for short skirts automatically expecting a dynamite pair of gams to accompany them... so sorry, but the public really doesn’t exist for your titillation. (I mean the rhetorical you, not MnR.)
Everyone (other than my children) may wear whatever he cares to, consistent with local law. However, Dr. Sowell is talking about people’s looking in their own mirror and deciding whether they look nice. Anyone who doesn’t want to look nice certainly doesn’t have to, but one assumes that most people are spending money on clothes for a positive visual impact.
Thanks for the clsrification. Otherwisw, you had me nailed. :-)
Yup. Capitalism rules even in garments. As it ought to. There should not be any Bureau Of Suitably Beautiful Garments (even if fashion houses are always attempting to effect such a thing de facto).
That was my interpretation also but there seemed to be varying other intrpretations. I think he was saying, "If you have boney knees or other things that won't look good in that style, do you really want to wear it just because it is the current style?"
I suppose this could be debated about. Being an older dog myself, I think I can sympathize with my counterparts of the fairer (more or less) sex, who want to remember their youth with the associated garments. As long as it isn’t something utterly ridiculous like diapers that show. But I’m not a particular sex fiend, so YMMV.
I don’t think there’s an obligation to look like “the public” wants you to. My version of “scr*w y’all” is a long dress, a head covering, a baby, and sneakers, but if someone else’s is a skirt and tank top that belongs on a much smaller person, I’m okay with that. (Although I’m still thinking, “Don’t you have a mirror!?!” because I look frumpy, but they look OMG!!!)
Dr. Sowell is just raising the question ... “Do you think this looks good?” If you don’t care about looking good, that’s one thing, but if you do and you’re wrong, then you’re wasting your money and effort. People shouldn’t follow a fashion if it’s not flattering to them.
And almost everyone’s legs look better in hose. It’s not the most comfortable choice, but do you really want everyone to see where you banged your shin on the coffee table again?
It’s such a complex question. Modern women of dignified years who wear perhaps less than dignified revealing garments might be doing so for many and mixed reasons. Maybe some denial, maybe some reminiscence, maybe some a frugality bent on wearing something out before pitching it. The freedom to make yourself look beautiful is also the freedom to make yourself look ugly. Long live freedom. Long live the six packs and the full kegs. Long live any mode of dress that isn’t obscene or antisocial (no fishing tackle faces please).
My 57 year-old wife has GREAT looking legs and occasionally wears dresses and skirts that are 4-5” above her knees.
We dance quite a bit, and there is quite a bit of truth to the phrase “dancer’s legs”.
I agree. As long as you’re not shocking the horses, do what you want. Still, there’s a certain consensus about esthetics. If I’m noticing bruised legs with oozing bites, so are young guys. Maybe teenage girls want to try a different look.
Nobody sees my bruises - except that one on my arm from I don’t even remember what, and I’m wearing a sweater to church until it fades - because my skirts reach my ankles.
Best wishes to her. There are plenty of older football fans, so there ought to be some audience approval of multiple generations’ being represented.
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