Last Updated:November 25 @ 11:06 am

Sowell: Random Thoughts

By Thomas Sowell

Random thoughts on the passing scene:

Not since the days of slavery have there been so many people who feel entitled to what other people have produced as there are in the modern welfare state, whether in Western Europe or on this side of the Atlantic.

Economist Edward Lazear has cut through all of Barack Obama's claims about "creating jobs" with one plain and inescapable fact -- "there hasn't been one day during the entire Obama presidency when as many Americans were working as on the day President Bush left office." Whatever number of jobs were created during the Obama administration, more have been lost.

How are children supposed to learn to act like adults, when so much of what they see on television shows adults acting like children?

The know-it-all smirks and condescending laughs of Vice President Joe Biden, when Congressman Paul Ryan was speaking during their debate, were a little much from an administration presiding over economic woes at home and disasters overseas -- and being caught in lies about both. Like Barack Obama, Joe Biden has all the clever tricks of a politician and none of the wisdom of a statesman.

If you truly believe in the brotherhood of man, then you must believe that blacks are just as capable of being racists as whites are.

One of the most foolish, and most dangerous, things one can do is to take love for granted, instead of nurturing it and safeguarding it as the prize jewel of one's life.

Whenever you hear people talking about "a living Constitution," almost invariably they are people who are in the process of slowly killing it by "interpreting" its restrictions on government out of existence.

Do either Barack Obama or his followers have any idea how many countries during the 20th century set out to "spread the wealth" -- and ended up spreading poverty instead? At some point, you have to turn from rhetoric, theories and ideologies to facts.

I am so old that I can remember when liberals were liberal -- instead of being intolerant of anything and anybody that is not politically correct.

Whatever happened to Julie Banderas of the Fox News Channel? She had brains, looks, wit and personality. Has she met with foul play? Or has some zillionaire married her and taken her off to his own private island?

The question to be asked of people in the media, and that they should ask themselves, should be: "Is your first loyalty to your audience or to your ideology?" The same question should be asked of educators, especially those who see themselves as "agents of social change," even though that is not the job description under which they have been hired and paid.

People who complain about "negative" campaign ads miss the point. It is perfectly legitimate to criticize your opponent. The question is whether the ads are about serious things that matter to the future of this country, and whether they are telling the truth or lying.

If you believe Barack Obama and others who oppose what they call "tax cuts for the rich," you might want to consider what the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said: "You are entitled to your own opinion, but not to your own facts." If you want to see some documented facts about tax rates and tax revenues, there is a box titled "Tax Cuts" on my web site ( Click on it.

In baseball, switch hitters are said to have an advantage. But the highest lifetime batting average by a switch hitter (.319 by Frankie Frisch) is more than 30 points lower than the highest batting average for either left-handed hitters or right-handed hitters. The highest batting average in a season by a switch hitter (.365 by Mickey Mantle) is more than 50 points lower.

If there is ever a Hall of Fame for confidence men, Charles Ponzi and Bernie Madoff will have to take a back seat to Barack Obama. Obama is the gold standard -- or, perhaps more appropriately, the brass standard.

I have never known a word to become absolute dogma, without a speck of evidence, the way "diversity" has.


Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305. His website is


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  1. wumingrenComment by wumingren
    October 16, 2012 @ 3:37 pm

    I have never known a word to become absolute dogma, without a speck of evidence, the way “diversity” has.

    Yes, Mr. Sowell, I’ve often wondered what the benefit of “diversity” actually is when it comes to getting a college education. Does it matter at all what the demographics are in a classroom? Do aeronautics, electrical engineering, medicine, physics, chemistry, and other scientific study depend upon whether the student is anything but attentive, alert, studious, industrious, persistent, punctual, respectful, and any number of other adjectives that describe a successful student? Do race, religion, gender, age, or any other physical attribute matter to the outcome of the teaching/learning process? The answer to these two questions is, “No.”

    Every time I hear an academician fawn over “diversity,” I want to shout, “Show me where it matters to my education that anyone different from me is sitting in this classroom! Black, Brown, or White, it simply does not matter to me who is sitting beside me. My only purpose is to learn as much as possible about the subject while I’m in school. More important than who is sitting beside me is who is teaching me. If you don’t know that, then you are not a good teacher.”

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    • FlyboyComment by tw4300
      October 16, 2012 @ 11:35 pm

      You’ve got it exactly right! The falling all over themselves to genuflect at the altar of “Diversity” folks have it all, completely, absolutely and unequivacally WRONG! Race, gender, sexual orientation, etc, etc, etc have not a thing to do with education. Our institutions of higher learning and our entire public education system in general have by and large become nothing more than a public (Indoctrination) system. In an institution that should embrace diversity of thought above all has become an intellectually incestuous community. They claim to embrace freedom of speech. But you are free to speak only if you engage in liberal, PC speech. True diversity,diversity of thought, is discouraged since it could very well upset the apple cart of the status quo. If it doesn’t fit the collective thought processes that are taught in these places it is rejected off hand. These lovely, tolerant souls will one day publish a news paper with a headline that reads…..”The last bastion of intolerance eradicated.” I think that says it all.

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  2. lokiswifeComment by lokiswife
    October 16, 2012 @ 4:25 pm

    Thomas Sowell sitting alone writing at his desk has more intelligence, character and humanity than Obama and his whole cabinet meeting in a large room….Thank you Thomas, I enjoy your “random thoughts”!

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  3. smthnsmllsnthewhthowsmstbobaaaamaComment by smthnsmllsnthewhthowsmstbobaaaama
    October 16, 2012 @ 5:45 pm

    Great thoughts! Ditto!

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  4. JDZComment by JDZ
    October 16, 2012 @ 7:31 pm

    You are absolutely right Mr. Sowell when you say Barack Obama sets the gold (maybe brass) standard for con artists. He has not only conned the American people, but the world at large. He is just hoping he can keep it going long enough to get re-elected.

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  5. rushbabe49Comment by rushbabe49
    October 16, 2012 @ 10:50 pm

    How to save the Government bags of money:
    Immediately lay off anyone with “diversity” in their job title. Then, lay off anyone with the job title “Deputy Under-Secretary” of anything. Millions saved right there.
    All the words said by Mr. Sowell are golden-maybe they can cancel out all the words of our campaigner-in-chief.
    One last thought. You cannot influence a liberal by pointing out facts to them. They do not care about facts. They just care about Feelings. Conservatives Think. Liberals Feel.

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    • Haywood JablomieComment by Haywood Jablomie
      October 21, 2012 @ 11:22 am

      Absolutely! For years I’ve been saying “Liberals operate on emotion, conservatives operate on facts.”

      I also make a distinction between liberals and leftists:
      “Leftists create the lies, liberals swallow the lies.”

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  6. FlyboyComment by tw4300
    October 17, 2012 @ 12:02 am

    I’m very thankful for thoughtful and intelligent people such as yourself Dr Sowell. You come from a different world. I have been called a relic of the past so In guess I come from that world too. I was raised in the old fashioned way. My parents set the rules for conduct in our home. Lying was not tolerated. Neither was disrespect expressed in any form. We went to Church where we learned the moral code by which Gods people were expected to live. This was reinforced in our home and at school. We still observed a moment of prayer at school and we recited the pledge of allegiance each day. Teachers could still paddle an unruly student and escort them to the principals office. That didn’t happen very often at all. Teachers were respected. I could go on and on. To make a long story short, it’s not difficult to understand where you come from in your commentaries. Many of these issues both political and social are common sense to people who know right from wrong and understand the nature of man and that we will not, as either a culture or mankind in general, evolve our way beyond these things that plague human kind. I recall a question that was asked at a town hall debate between Then President Clinton and Senator Bob Dole. The question was….”What can you as do as President of the United States, to effect a change that will bring this nation back to it’s moral and ethical foundations?” Neither candidate really answered the question. The answer I was hoping to hear would have gone something like this. “There is little I could do as President to effect the kind of change you’re talking about. Other than trying to be the best example I can be of piety and spiritual devotion and humility. What I would do is call every Pastor, Rabbi, preacher, teacher in every Church, Synagogue, Seminary and any other place of worship to take an extended time away with just yourself and Gods word. Isolate yourselves from all distractions and get back to basics in your own spiritual life. Fast, pray, seek God with all your hearts, repent of your sins and ask forgiveness for the sins of your people. Wait on God since they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength….Don’t leave that place til you know that you know that you have reconnected with God, then return to your pulpit and in all humility and conviction call your people to do the same. In only this way will a Holy fire of repentance and revival sweep across this nation. That is the only way I can see that this kind of change can take place.”

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  7. Haywood JablomieComment by Haywood Jablomie
    October 21, 2012 @ 11:20 am

    If only President Romney would beg Thomas Sowell to join his cabinet. His brilliant mind would be SUCH an asset to the president and to America.

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