October 18, 2005
Random Thoughts on the Passing Scene
Neither the depth
of despondency nor the height of euphoria tells you how long either
We are so easily
deceived that many people think that the Senate Judiciary Committee
is acting nicely if the Senators wear a genial expression while
asking insulting questions or smile while they are lying about
Virtually no idea
is too ridiculous to be accepted, even by very intelligent and
highly educated people, if it provides a way for them to feel
special and important. Some confuse that feeling with idealism.
read the Wall Street Journal before breakfast. I can't
take the New York Times on an empty stomach.
not new. John Stuart Mill was homeschooled two centuries ago and
never spent a day in a school or college.
People who think
that they don't owe anything to anybody should read David McCullough's
outstanding new book "1776," to see what hell other
people went through to create the freedom that we enjoy and abuse
Senator Dianne Feinstein
asked Judge John Roberts whether his being Catholic would interfere
with carrying out his duties on the Supreme Court but she would
undoubtedly have felt insulted if anyone had asked her whether
being Jewish would interfere with her carrying out her duties
as a Senator.
One of the reasons
for the poverty in the United States that is seldom mentioned
by the left is that many poor people are coming here, both legally
and illegally, from other countries.
I don't know anything
about Judge Consuelo Callahan but I love the name. Possibly she
could be related to the economist Pedro Schwartz.
The Middle East "peace
process" is an illusion. No one can make peace with others
who is not at peace with himself -- and the Arabs cannot be at
peace with themselves so long as they lag so visibly far behind
the rest of the world. No concessions from others can give them
what would satisfy them, their own achievements and self-respect.
Levitt's best-selling book "Freakonomics" is not really
about economics. It is about applying systematic reasoning to
all sorts of social problems. Systematic reasoning is needed even
more than economics.
surrounding Bill Cosby should force more black leaders to decide
whether their top priority is protecting the image of blacks or
promoting the future of blacks, especially the younger generation.
If a word means everything,
then it means nothing. Stretching words like "marriage"
and "family" to include all sorts of things that they
never meant before is reducing these words -- and the institutions
they represent -- to nothing.
Any given writer
might write in a vague, lofty, convoluted, and romantic style.
But when all the people who write on a given subject write that
same way, there is something else going on. Try to think of any
defender of progressive education or judicial activism who writes
in a plain, straightforward and factual style.
Some of the most
vocal critics of the way things are being done are people who
have done nothing themselves, and whose only contributions to
society are their complaints and moral exhibitionism.
My brother recalled
his younger days down South during the Jim Crow era, when he had
a job working late. After work, he had a long walk back home in
the middle of the night. But, he says, "When I got to the
black neighborhood, I felt safe!" That speaks volumes about
what has happened since then.
Two recent books
tell about a million Europeans who were once enslaved by North
African pirates. But these books ("Christian Slaves, Muslim
Masters" by R.C. Davis and "White Gold" by Giles
Milton) are largely ignored by people who claim to be outraged
about slavery in the past.
Much as I enjoy most
e-mails from most readers, even though I cannot answer so many,
it is a waste to send me attachments. In this era of devastating
viruses, I open attachments only from people I know personally.
2005 Creators Syndicate