Thomas Sowell: Random thoughts on the passing scene

• A reader asks: "Why do we drive on the parkway and park on the driveway?"

• You can fall in love with an individual but you marry into a whole family.

• It is fascinating to hear subprime lenders being accused of "exploitation" while they are losing millions of dollars and some of them are going bankrupt.

• Will those who are dismantling this society from within or those who seek to destroy us from without be the first to achieve their goal? It is too close to call.

• One of the many fashionable excuses of our time is that some words or actions were "taken out of context." Those who say this seldom, if ever, bother to say what these words or actions mean when taken in context.

• No music moves me like the third movement of the Grieg Concerto. Am I not supposed to appreciate it because I am not Norwegian?

• According to a report from a news agency in Kuwait, deaths of American troops are down since the recent "surge" in U.S. troop strength. But the mainstream American media apparently do not consider that news, since it goes against their political grain.

• "Women's Liberation" and the "sexual revolution" have not liberated women. They have liberated the sort of man who is a "love and leave 'em" kind of guy, who lets the woman deal with the consequences, including pregnancy.

• Amid all the media hysteria over the price of gasoline and the profits of "Big Oil," one simple fact has been repeatedly overlooked: The oil companies' earnings are just under 10 percent of the price of a gallon of gas, while taxes take 17 percent. Yet who ever accuses the government of "greed"?

• After President Bush fired a handful of U.S. attorneys, it has become a big scandal in the media. But when President Clinton fired all the U.S. attorneys in the country — including those who were investigating him for corruption in Arkansas — it was no big deal. Yet many in the media still claim that there is no bias.

• Where are all the beautiful movie actresses? There are some better looking women on television news programs.

• Why did special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald put a reporter in jail and ruin a government official's life in an "investigation" of things he already knew, including the fact that it was Richard Armitage who revealed that Joe Wilson's wife worked for the CIA? Perhaps it was the corrupting influence of unbridled power.

• Despite political spin about "tax cuts for the rich," cuts in tax rates have led to increases in tax revenues — not only in this administration, but in the Reagan administration before that, and the Kennedy administration before that, not to mention in India and Iceland as well.

• When the Constitution's protection of private property was disregarded, so that politicians could rob from the rich to give to the poor, that also gave politicians the power to rob from the poor and give to the rich — such as seizing homes in low-income neighborhoods and turning that property over to developers.

• Whenever I see the kinds of expressions on the faces of people in high-fashion ads, I feel lucky that I never met them.

• When the University of California system and the California State University system raised their tuitions, the headline in the San Francisco Chronicle read: "UC, CSU Reach Again for Students' Wallets." Apparently you are only supposed to reach for the taxpayers' wallets.

• A reader says that he had a T-shirt made that said: "Stop Continental Drift!" It made as much sense as "Stop Global Warming."

• When Democrats are criticized, they counter-attack. When Republicans are criticized, they apparently believe in "the soft answer which turneth away wrath." In politics, however, a soft answer is like blood in the water that provokes piranhas to more vicious attacks.

• At a recent debate over global warming sponsored by National Public Radio, the audience was polled beforehand and was solidly on the side of the hysterical predictions. Afterwards, they switched to a slight plurality against those predictions. Don't look for the global warming crusaders to risk doing any more debates. Why should they, when they have virtually a monopoly in the media, in schools and colleges, and among politicians?

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305. His Web site is www.tsowell.com.

© 2007 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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