Random thoughts on the passing scene

  • Thursday, February 14, 2013

By Thomas Sowell

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 www.tsowell.com. To find out more about Thomas Sowell and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2013 CREATORS.COM

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