Last Updated:November 24 @ 07:08 pm

Sowell: Random Thoughts

By Thomas Sowell

Random thoughts on the passing scene:

I can't get excited by the question of whether Senator Robert Menendez had sex with a prostitute in Central America. It is her word against his -- and when it comes to a prostitute's word against a politician's word, that is too close to call.

If an American citizen went off to join Hitler's army during World War II, would there have been any question that this alone would make it legal to kill him? Why then is there an uproar about killing an American citizen who has joined terrorist organizations that are at war against the United States today?

Of all the things said during the gun control controversy, one of the most disquieting has been the emphasis on "mental health." If that ends up letting the guesses of shrinks put more murderers back on the street, the public can be in even greater danger after such a "reform."

However emotionally similar envy and resentment may seem, their consequences are often very different. Envy may spur some people to efforts to lift themselves up, while resentment is more likely to spur efforts to tear others down.

New York's Mayor Bloomberg wants to restrict the use of pain-killers in hospitals. Is there any subject on which this man does not consider himself an expert? There are, after all, doctors treating individual patients who currently decide how much pain-killer to use.

One of the talking points in favor of confirming Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense is that he was a wounded combat veteran. How does that qualify anyone to run the whole military establishment? Benedict Arnold was a wounded combat veteran!

In the modern welfare state, a vote becomes a license to take what others create -- and these others include generations yet unborn.

Some people seem to think that glib and shallow political correctness becomes Deep Stuff when it comes from a TV commentator with a foreign accent.

Can anyone explain why, when someone dies, most of what he has saved up over a lifetime should be turned over to politicians, rather than to his heirs?

The front page of the February issue of Townhall magazine says: "It's Messaging -- not principles -- that's hurting the GOP with Minority Voters." Neglecting to make their message clear hurts Republicans with all voters, but especially minority voters.

Why do so many judges' views of criminals seem to be the opposite of policemen's view? It could be that judges see criminals when they are on their best behavior, while the police see them at their worst. But I believe it is because judges have usually spent more time in educational institutions than policemen, and have picked up more politically correct nonsense as a result.

With all the discussion about gun control, I have not heard anybody on any side of this issue mention how many lives are saved by guns every year -- which are far more than are lost in even the mass shootings that get so much media attention. But most of the media never mention the lives saved by guns.

Does anyone think that Iran and North Korea would be as threatening as they are if Ronald Reagan were President? I don't think it was a coincidence that the Iranians freed their American hostages just hours before Reagan took the oath of office.

People who are forever ready to charge others with "greed" never apply that word to the government. But, if you think the government is never greedy, check out what the government does under the escheat laws and eminent domain.

The latest anti-trust farce is the Justice Department's lawsuit to prevent the makers of Budweiser from buying up Corona beer. Even if this sale goes through, more than half of all the beer in the country will still be made by more than 2,700 other brewers, large and small.

I don't know how many Hispanic votes the Republicans think they are going to pick up by going soft on illegal immigration. But it may not be enough to offset the votes they lose from their existing supporters, not counting the future voters added for the Democrats as a result of legalizing existing illegals and attracting more illegals in the future.


Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305. His website is To find out more about Thomas Sowell and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at


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  1. Ollie_FanComment by Ollie_Fan
    February 12, 2013 @ 10:00 am

    My trust would be with the “Lady of the Evening”. They have little to gain and a lot to lose by coming forward – envision a “suicide” where she shot herself four times in the head and you’ll see where I’m going with this.

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  2. inluminatuoComment by inluminatuo
    February 12, 2013 @ 10:35 am

    On Bloomberg and restricting the use of pain medicine, we often fail to understand the positive force of pain in our lives to correct our own self-destructive behavior. The whole thesis of the Liberal Progressive is to entrap their victims in the dependency pleasure of the immediate gratification and shield them from the corrective pain that would change their deleterious self-destructive behavior into positive creative healing. This is why the people whose minds they control in the shielding from the corrective pain never escape the slavery of their dependency addiction to the experience of pleasure and avoidance of corrective pain at all costs. It works for the Democrats in the voting booth to empower and enrich those who dispense the Liberal Drugs of dependency, but does not work in the cumulative collective of liberal drug addiction which destroys that which it enslaves in dependency. If society and government would step back and let people suffer the slings, arrows and pains of their own self-chosen poor life decisions, then they in their own natural desire to survive and avoid the pain would change their self-destructive behavior. The last election has shown just how many have imbibed the Liberal socialist drugs of dependency. It appears it will ultimately take an uncontrolled financial depression of a self chosen bankrupt government, or the sane decision of an unenthralled people in the voting booth to defund the Liberal government Drug Dealers. Either way it will not end well for a people continually addicted to dependency on anything but their own strength will to live and succeed in life on their own in INDEPENDENCE not IN Dependence. Social Pain can sometime be your corrective friend. It wakes you out of your somnambulism, and replaces sleep with productive action. No loving parent would shield their child from the corrective pain of detoxification by giving him more drugs,,,,,so why do we give our people more federal dependency which only postpones the correective pain and extends the dependency and pain to lower the level of their existence and prohibits them from ever becoming a creative force in society? Obama is the current drug dealer of choice,,,,so Republicans need to offer the escape or at least another drug that heals.

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  3. CharieComment by Charie
    February 12, 2013 @ 11:14 am

    ****With all the discussion about gun control, I have not heard anybody on any side of this issue mention how many lives are saved by guns every year****

    Ordinarily, I can agree with Dr. Sowell 100% but I wonder to whom he is referring in this sentence? If he refers to the news media, I agree, but if he’s including the internet he’s wrong. I read about this all the time on various websites including Facebook, where not a day goes by without reading of at least one person who saved his/her own life and the lives of their family by using a gun.

    I’m not sure why he doesn’t know this.

    I certainly am a firm believer in his comment about illegal immigration. Why by any stretch of the imagination would a Republican think amnesty is a good idea for Republicans to back? If my senator or representative sounded as though they’d vote for any such thing, they’d hear from me!

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    • vevaComment by veva
      February 12, 2013 @ 12:44 pm

      Dr. Sowell seems to be listing thoughts on many subjects, most likely to get readers to think about them. And I also read in the last two days about a person who saved another’s life, plus their own, by owning a gun. We don’t read that in the papers, or hear it on the evening news. In a poll taken on election night, 40% of hispanics agree that illegals should return home!

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    • SickUpandFedComment by sickupandfed
      February 12, 2013 @ 1:40 pm

      My interpretation of Dr. Sowell’s comment on lives saved is the lack of annual totals reporting.

      While it is true that you can find many instances of lives saved by defensive gun use. No one seems to keep track or report cumulative totals on lives saved. Yet you can easily google and see that there were 358 deaths from rifles and 6009 from handguns last year.

      I’ll bet if you shoot & kill a bad guy in self defense, that the police will report the death of the bad guy but no statistical reporting of your life nor your families lives being saved will ever be recorded.

      I find it interesting that those 358 deaths by rifle include the infamous AR15 that is getting all the negative press while over 6,000 handgun/pistol deaths are virtually ignored. Go figure!

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  4. Pingback: Second Quote of the Day - Thomas Sowell Edition - My Note Book

  5. VoiceOfReasonComment by VoiceOfReason
    February 12, 2013 @ 6:55 pm

    I certainly shed no tears for Americans like Anwar al-Awlaki who join Al Qaida and other anti-American terrorist groups abroad and who are killed in drone strikes. What does concern me is that the head of DHS refused to disavow a DHS memorandum that referred to veterans (I am one) and people on the right (as I am also) as potential terrorists and then the DHS began buying billions of rounds of hollow-point ammunition (used for killing people, not target practice using cardboard targets). DHS is also buying assault rifles–real ones that fire full automatic– and armored vehicles, equivalent to those used by the military in Iraq and Afghanistan. What is this administration planning to do with this equipment?

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  6. gimmesometruthComment by gimmesometruth
    February 13, 2013 @ 10:00 am

    I have another ‘random’ thought for Mr. Sowell. Does America need a converted muslim to run the CIA at this time when radical muslims like the brotherhood are trying to overrun us from within? Oh yeah, Brennan is a converted muslim.

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