Sowell’s wisdom


(Today, we hand The Moon over to a guest columnist, one of the world’s most intelligent men, Thomas Sowell. Since Sowell is black, if you take issue with anything that follows, you are a racist and not fit for civilized company.)

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Random thoughts on the passing scene:

One of the problems with being a pessimist is that you can never celebrate when you are proven right.

If what you want from politicians are quick and easy answers, someone is sure to supply them, regardless of which party you follow. History can tell you where quick and easy answers lead. But, if you don’t want to bother reading history, you can just wait and relive its catastrophes.

What is “economic power”? What can Bill Gates stop you from doing?

I don’t understand how people who cannot predict the weather five days in advance can predict the climate decades from now.

One of history’s painful ironies is how often people on the brink of disaster have been preoccupied with trivialities. With a nuclear Iran with intercontinental missiles looming on the horizon, our intelligentsia are preoccupied with calling achievements “privilege” and playing other word games.

Of life’s many surprises, encountering an old flame, years later, is in a class by itself.

Some people seem to think that Donald Trump has great abilities because he is a billionaire. But being born rich and getter richer is not exactly a Horatio Alger miracle.

Of all the disheartening signs of the utter ignorance of so many American college students, nothing so completely disheartened me as seeing on television a black college student who did not know what the Civil War was about. Fifty years ago, it would have been virtually impossible to find a black adult, with even an elementary school education, who did not know what the Civil War was about.

Global warming, due to greenhouse gasses, is the latest in a long series of one-factor theories about a multi-factor world. Such theories have often enjoyed great popularity, despite how often they have turned out to be wrong.

One of the most richly rewarded skills in politics is the ability to make self-interest sound like idealism. Nowhere is this tactic more successful than in so-called “campaign finance reform” laws — spending restrictions that prevent challenger candidates from buying enough publicity to offset the free publicity that incumbents get from the media.

At one time, it seemed as if the free world had defeated the world of totalitarian dictatorships twice — first the Nazis and then the Communists. But, with the slow but steady expansion of government control over our lives and the spread of the idea that people who deny “climate change” (are) criminals, it seems as if totalitarianism may be winning, after all.

People who want to redistribute wealth often misunderstand the nature and causes of wealth. Tangible wealth can be confiscated, but you cannot confiscate the knowledge which produced that wealth. Countries that confiscated the wealth of some groups and expelled them, destitute, have often seen the economy collapse, while the expelled people became prosperous again elsewhere.

Some people think that Ted Cruz would not have as good a chance against Hillary Clinton as would Donald Trump. They say that Cruz does not have a sparkling style of speaking. But, after months of hearing childish insults from Trump, the public may be ready for some serious adult talk by someone with substance, who can cut right through Hillary’s shallow evasions.

To me, beautiful music is whatever music makes you glad to be a human being, whether it is “Musetta’s Waltz” from “La Boheme” or “Muskrat Ramble” from New Orleans. Much of what passes for music today makes me wish that, if there is such a thing as reincarnation, I can come back as a dolphin.

Republican leaders seem to be worried that Donald Trump will get the nomination and lose the election. Those of us who are not Republicans should worry that Trump will get the nomination and win the election. After all, the fate of the country is a lot more important than the fate of a political party — and in far greater danger.

As this country continues to degenerate, we hope that it never reaches the desperate stage where only a military coup can rescue it from catastrophes created by feckless politicians. But, if that day ever arrives, we can only hope that the military will do their duty and step in. It is one of the few institutions dedicated to something besides individual self-interest.

21 thoughts on “Sowell’s wisdom

      1. She has sung!!! Will Rafael now answer the straightforward question he continually dodged? Will he support Trump?


        1. Clete: Yes, she has sung loud and clear. As for Ted backing Trump, he did not mention Trump in his departure speech. After the extreme grossness and lying with which Trump treated Ted, I rather doubt he will join the Trump Train. I wouldn’t.


  1. I have followed Sowell for years. It is always thoughtful and generally spot on with current events.


    1. Michael: We are of one mind. Alas, Sowell is now 85, so I wonder how much longer we’ll be enjoying his wisdom. But then, that old lefty Bertrand Russell made it to 97, so who knows?


  2. I suspect Mr. Sowell is on the list of Pariahs (along with many of us). I’ve always wondered what the Greeks’ and Romans’ thoughts were when their empires collapsed, and it looks as if I may have the chance to find out. I pity my grandchildren. They will have to pick up the pieces.


  3. He lost me on climate change. I don’t really understand why this should be a left/right issue. Seems like everyone should get together and look at the weight of the science and go from there.

    But the rest of it makes sense. Alas, America has a lot of problems, though it is still, in many ways, the “cleanest dirty shirt.”

    But I’m still keeping an open mind about “Making America Great Again.”

    If nothing else, the status quo is killing us.


    Kim G
    CDMX, México
    Where the longer I live here, the more I realize this place both could be a rich country and yet likely never will be.


    1. The status quo is killing us and Hillary represents the status quo of wide open borders and the continuation of most of Obama’s policies both foreign and domestic.


      1. The borders aren’t “wide open.” That’s just a right wing fantasy. But yeah, she’ll just be the third term of Obama or her husband in many ways. We need change.


        1. “Muslims should be banned from entering the country until we can figure out what’s going on,” Trump said that he didn’t care if the policy hurt his chances in a general election. “Look at what’s happening. It’s terrible what they have done to some of these countries of they are going to destroy — they are destroying Europe. I’m not going to let that happen to the United States.”

          Polls taken immediately after the remarks showed that a majority of Americans supported a temporary ban on Muslim immigration.


    2. Kim: Climate change is, of course, very much a political issue. “The science” is very different, depending on one’s political beliefs. We see what we want to see. I agree with Sowell.

      And I think Mexico already is a rich country in many ways, and in far less a mess than the richer United States.


      1. Science is fact-based and objective. Once you start to believe it’s political, you align yourself with the Catholic Church against Galileo.


          1. It’s just that one side has a lot more facts, a lot more evidence, and a lot more compelling story than the other side. Science isn’t always non controversial, particularly when it relies on statistics, a branch of math most people are inherently bad at. This climate change “debate” isn’t balanced at all. There’s a few cranks on one side, and the massive majority of scientists on the other. And that’s why virtually all of the arguments out of the right are political and ad hominem; there’s really no scientific case to be made.


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