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May 22nd, 2017

Insight

Random Thoughts

Thomas Sowell

By Thomas Sowell

Published Oct. 28, 2014

Random thoughts on the passing scene:

The great boxing champion Joe Louis once said about one of his opponents, who was known for his speed: "He can run but he can't hide." In the Congressional elections this year, many Democrats are running away from Barack Obama, but they can't hide their record of voting for Obama's agenda more than 90 percent of the time.

Now that the Western democracies have learned the hard way what the consequences are when you admit all sorts of people into your country — including people who hate both the principles and the people of your society — will that cause zealots for open borders and amnesty to have some second thoughts, or perhaps first thoughts?

I hope Yankees manager Joe Girardi was watching the World Series when Madison Bumgarner was allowed to come out and pitch the 9th inning, even though he had already made 107 pitches. Time and again, Girardi has taken out a pitcher who was pitching a great game, and brought in a reliever who lost it. Baseball statistics provide good rules of thumb, but bad dogmas on a given day.

There seem to be a lot of comic-book-level movies, with human beings playing the role of cartoons.

Never take other people for granted. There is a point of no return in all relationships.

Back in 1947, J.A. Schumpeter said, "effective political reasoning consists mainly in trying to exalt certain propositions into axioms and to put others out of court." That is still the game being played by "global warming" zealots.

Some people question Barack Obama's competence, because he appointed a man with no medical background to be the Ebola czar. But Obama is not trying to solve a medical problem. He is trying to solve a political problem, on the eve of an election — and a political partisan is the way to do that. Expecting Obama to be concerned about a medical threat to the American people is unrealistic, in view of the man's whole history.

When I see some of the bonehead plays by professional football players, I cannot understand why guys getting paid millions of dollars cannot stay alert for two hours, once a week.

Too many intellectuals are too impressed with the fact that they know more than other people. Even if an intellectual knows more than anybody else, that is not the same as saying that he knows more than everybody else put together — which is what would be needed to justify substituting his judgment for that expressed by millions of others through the market or through the ballot box.

Sean Hannity recently pointed out an essential parallel between Islamic extremists and Nazis. One believed that they were the "master race" and the other that they are the only true religion. Both believed that this entitled them to kill others, just for not being part of their group.

Unless the Secret Service is given unambiguous authority to shoot anyone who climbs over the White House fence, without being second-guessed by people who will say "he shot an unarmed man," any president is needlessly at risk — and millions of American voters' choice for that office can be nullified by any crackpot. You don't know who is armed or unarmed until it is too late.

Attorney General Eric Holder hit a new low, even for him, when he acted indignant about the leak of evidence supporting the police officer in the Ferguson, Missouri shooting — on grounds that this was an attempt to influence public opinion before the grand jury makes its ruling. What was Holder doing from day one, other than trying to influence public opinion in the opposite direction?

In going through my mail, I am always amazed at how many people seem to think that a series of unsubstantiated pronouncements constitutes an argument.

Except for Congressional elections, the most important election this year is the close race for governor of Wisconsin. Governor Scott Walker has shown that he has substance and guts, rather than image and rhetoric, by opposing the government employee unions that have been bleeding the taxpayers. He would make a far better Republican presidential candidate in 2016 than Congressional phrase-makers or a retreaded candidate who lost in 2012.

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Thomas Sowell, a National Humanities Medal winner, is an American economist, social theorist, political philosopher and author. He is currently Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

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