Skip to comments.Random Thoughts (Thomas Sowell)
Posted on 12/26/2011 9:20:43 AM PST by jazusamo
Random thoughts on the passing scene:
Talk show host Dennis Miller said, "I don't dig polo. It's like miniature golf meets the Kentucky Derby."
Nothing illustrates the superficiality of our times better than the enthusiasm for electric cars, because they are supposed to greatly reduce air pollution. But the electricity that ultimately powers these cars has to be generated somewhere and nearly half the electricity generated in this country is generated by burning coal.
The 2012 Republican primaries may be a rerun of the 2008 primaries, where the various conservative candidates split the conservative vote so many ways that the candidate of the mushy middle got the nomination and then lost the election.
Because morality does not always prevail, by any means, too many of the intelligentsia act as if it has no effect. But, even in Nazi Germany, thousands of Germans hid Jews during the war, at the risk of their own lives, because it was the right thing to do.
In recent times, Christmas has brought not only holiday cheer but also attacks on the very word "Christmas," chasing it from the vocabulary of institutions and even from most "holiday cards." Like many other social crusades, this one is based on a lie namely that the Constitution puts a wall of separation between church and state. It also shows how easily intimidated we are by strident zealots.
If you don't like growing older, don't worry about it. You may not be growing older much longer.
What do you call it when someone steals someone else's money secretly? Theft. What do you call it when someone takes someone else's money openly by force? Robbery. What do you call it when a politician takes someone else's money in taxes and gives it to someone who is more likely to vote for him? Social Justice.
When an organization has more of its decisions made by committees, that gives more influence to those who have more time available to attend committee meetings and to drag out each meeting longer. In other words, it reduces the influence of those who have work to do, and are doing it, while making those who are less productive more influential.
Anyone who studies the history of ideas should notice how much more often people on the political left, more so than others, denigrate and demonize those who disagree with them instead of answering their arguments.
The wisest and most knowledgeable human being on the planet is utterly incompetent to make even 10 percent of the consequential decisions that have to be made in a modern nation. Yet all sorts of people want to decide how much money other people can make or keep, and to micro-manage how other people live their lives.
The real egalitarians are not the people who want to redistribute wealth to the poor, but those who want to extend to the poor the ability to create their own wealth, to lift themselves up, instead of trying to tear others down. Earning respect, including self-respect, is better than being a parasite.
Of all the arguments for giving amnesty to illegal immigrants, the most foolish is the argument that we can't find and expel all of them. There is not a law on the books that someone has not violated, including laws against murder, and we certainly have not found and prosecuted all the violators whether murderers or traffic law violators. But do we then legalize all the illegalities we haven't been able to detect and prosecute?
In the 1920s, Congressman Thomas S. Adams referred to "the ease with which the income tax may be legally avoided" but also said some Congressmen "so fervently believe that the rich ought to pay 40 or 50 per cent of their incomes" in taxes that they would rather make this a law, even if the government would get more revenue from a lower tax rate that people actually pay. Some also prefer class warfare politics that brings in votes, if not revenue.
Can you imagine a man who had never run any kind of organization, large or small, taking it upon himself to fundamentally change all kinds of organizations in a huge and complex economy? Yet that is what Barack Obama did when he said, "We are going to change the United States of America!" This was not "The Audacity of Hope." It was the audacity of hype.
Leave it, fool. Polo demands enormous strength, agility, skill and guts. Save that simile for laments about your romantic encounters.
I've been calling Prius cars coal eaters for some time know. I got a work acquaintance all huffy when she heard me say it.
As a matter of fact, that makes it even worse, for it means that what You legally can't take from your neighbor using a gun, you can get a corrupt politician and his cohorts to take using a man-made "law."
"In recent times, Christmas has brought not only holiday cheer but also attacks on the very word "Christmas," chasing it from the vocabulary of institutions and even from most "holiday cards." Like many other social crusades, this one is based on a lie namely that the Constitution puts a wall of separation between church and state. It also shows how easily intimidated we are by strident zealots."
Pity those who base their "lie" on a misrepresentation of Jefferson's assurance to the Baptists that their religious freedom was protected from government.
Pity they don't treasure and cite Jefferson's words about their core policies of spending, taxation, and debt.
"To preserve [the] independence [of the people,] we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debts as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our callings and our creeds, as the people of England are, our people, like them, must come to labor sixteen hours in the twenty-four, give the earnings of fifteen of these to the government for their debts and daily expenses, and the sixteenth being insufficient to afford us bread, we must live, as they now do, on oatmeal and potatoes, have no time to think, no means of calling the mismanagers to account, but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers." --Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Kercheval, 1816. ME 15:39
"I deem [this one of] the essential principles of our government and consequently [one] which ought to shape its administration:... The honest payment of our debts and sacred preservation of the public faith." --Thomas Jefferson: 1st Inaugural, 1801. ME 3:322
"I sincerely believe... that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity under the name of funding is but swindling futurity on a large scale." --Thomas Jefferson to John Taylor, 1816. ME 15:23
"[With the decline of society] begins, indeed, the bellum omnium in omnia [war of all against all], which some philosophers observing to be so general in this world, have mistaken it for the natural, instead of the abusive state of man. And the fore horse of this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression." --Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Kercheval, 1816. ME 15:40
I love his “Random Thoughts” pieces and always look forward to the next one.
Somebody said, It takes an intelligent man to know how little he really knows.
Conversely, some people are so dumb that they don't even realize how dumb they are.
For someone with so little experience to think that he can totally revamp the economic miracle that is the USA. Well he is so stupid that it just takes your breath away.
Agreed. In his arrogance he cannot see himself for what he truly is, a very stupid person.
“Agreed. In his arrogance, he cannot see himself for what he truly is, a very stupid person.”
Isn’t it ironic that a large part of the electorate considers all those Progressives to be brilliant, almost godlike?
You’re right, it is amazing.
I believe a good percentage are voters wanting something for nothing but there’s those that aren’t and should have the sense to not support a liar and fraud like him.
> The 2012 Republican primaries may be a rerun of the 2008 primaries, where the various conservative candidates split the conservative vote so many ways that the candidate of the mushy middle got the nomination and then lost the election.
Unfortunately, true. Too true.
Thanks for the ping to another great Dr. Sowell post jaz.
It was the audacity of hype.
Liberals continue to call the time of Stalin and Mao
the “cult of personality” when in reality it was
the cult of hypocracy.
Thus we can see that the hypocracy of the democrats
is their most dangerous trait.
I do not have any doubts about this.
I believe the popular term that defines what you are describing is “legalized theft.”
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