The Right Opinion

Random Thoughts

By Thomas Sowell · Feb. 12, 2013

Random thoughts on the passing scene:

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.

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12 Comments

India in GA said:

"and when it comes to a prostitute's word against a politician's word, that is too close to call."

Ha! It was worth staying up late to read that one...

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 12:12 AM

Alex in NJ replied:

You beat me to it!
Sowell waxes funny. I love it.
Reagan made a similar joke.
Good one TS!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 1:02 AM

Alex in NJ said:

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.

And that is the story the NRA should spend its dollars selling...not paying for pro gun politicians.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 1:10 AM

rab in jo,mo said:

"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."

I bet the "barking seals" on the left would applaud Goebbels himself were he to give a speech in English. I think it makes the ignorant feel sophisticated to have any piece of eurotrash lecture to them.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 9:16 AM

Dave in SoCal said:

Thomas -

I am surprised at your comments regarding the President's assertion that he can choose to kill American citizens with no judicial review. If an American citizen is actively engaged in fighting America on the battlefield there is no question about the right to kill him in that circumstance. Short of that though, I think some level of judicial review should be required. When we discovered Americans that had turned traitor and become spies for Hitler during WW-II they were not summarily executed at the command of the President, they were tried in a court of law for treason.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 10:07 AM

Cepat2 in Los Angeles CA replied:

To correct your assertion regarding spied in WW2;
Almost all were quickly interrogated, convicted, and executed - usually within days.Many were simply apprehended in the act, or by "stings", and summarily executed without fanfare or trial. The purpose was to take over their identity and pass along disinformtion to the enemy. Can you imagine the process today? We would have a never ending parade of spies on Oprah and clogging the court calendars.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 3:45 PM

Bob in Hattiesburg, MS said:

In the Soviet Union, mental health was used as a weapon against those who opposed the regime. Expect the same to be done here.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 10:10 AM

pete in CA said:

>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."<

The one thing that bothers me most about the mental health issue is that non-professional government appointees will have more say about the severity of PTSD than professional mental health experts, and will decide who and who will and who will not be allowed to have a gun.

As a 100% disabled Vietnam veteran with a partial PTSD rating, I find shooting to be relaxing and therapeutic. It replaced drugs and alcohol in my life, and now some non-hacker government flunky is trying to push me back into dependency.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 1:20 PM

Tod the tool guy in brooklyn ny said:

I sing christian songs and tea party song, all day long. Yesterday I pissed off some libs, bigtime, when I spouted the 400% inkrease koming to Health Kare!!!Now I'm even happier! Praise the Lord, and pass the ammunition!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 1:56 PM

Ambrose in Nipomo, Ca. said:

Thomas.. Great commentary as always. I enjoy all your articles! Thanks.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 2:55 PM

Floyd Rathbun in NV said:

I agree with each of the bullet point statements, but the one that could be expanded upon is "But, if you think the government is never greedy, check out what the government does under the escheat laws and eminent domain."

Government officials have developed a new industry based on declaring that if you are arrested by the government for any reason that means you have forfeited everything you own to the government. Penalties of confiscated property are imposed by government officials and not limited in the sense of the Amendment VIII. Isn't that a formula for corruption just as awful as the use of eminent domain to take property from one citizen and give it to another?

Bureacrats are always self justifying; each of them will do or say whatever is necessary to make sure that their job is in next year's budget. That includes the taking private property by force, calling it forfeiture, and pocketing the cash.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 8:01 PM

enemaofthestatistquo in Monroe, GA replied:

Seizure Forfeiture laws are the newest version of Bills of Attainder- US Constitution, Art3,Sec3.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 1:46 AM