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The Audacity of Hype
Random thoughts on the passing scene . . .


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Thomas Sowell

One of the problems with successfully dealing with threats is that people start believing that there is no threat. That is where we are, seven years after 9/11, so that reminding people of terrorist dangers can be dismissed as “the politics of fear” by Barack Obama, who has a rhetorical answer for everything.

If you took all the fraud out of politics, there might not be a lot left.

The reason so many people misunderstand so many issues is not that these issues are so complex, but that people do not want a factual or analytical explanation that leaves them emotionally unsatisfied. They want villains to hate and heroes to cheer — and they don’t want explanations that do not give them that.

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Has anyone noticed Yankee pitcher Joba Chamberlain’s facial resemblance to Babe Ruth? If he can be anywhere near as good a pitcher as Ruth was, he will have a great career. The Babe could have made the Hall of Fame if he had remained a pitcher and never hit a home run. He still holds a couple of pitching records.

Although you can block unwanted phone calls from commercial sources, you cannot block automated phone calls from politicians, which will be inundating us this election year. Apparently the courts think that the right of “free speech” includes the right to impose that speech on an unwilling audience. Maybe we need a new Constitutional Amendment, guaranteeing “freedom from speech.”

There are countries in Europe that would love to have their unemployment rate fall to the 5.7 percent unemployment rate to which ours has risen. Yet those who seem to want us to imitate European economic and social policies never seem to want to consider the actual consequences of those policies.

“Unacceptable” is one of the big weasel words of our time — almost always said when the person who says it has no intention of doing anything, and so is accepting what is called “unacceptable.”

Republicans won big, running as Republicans, in 2004. But once they took control of Congress, they started acting like Democrats and lost big. There is a lesson in that somewhere but whether Republicans will learn it is another story entirely.

When we hear about rent control or gun control, we may think about rent or guns but the word that really matters is “control.” That is what the political Left is all about, as you can see by the incessant creation of new restrictions in places where they are strongly entrenched in power, such as San Francisco or New York.

Now that the senator with the furthest left voting record in the Senate and the senator with the third furthest left voting record are the Democrats’ nominees for president and vice president, there will be great expressions of indignation over being “negative” if anyone dares call them “liberals.” Actually, leftists would be more accurate.



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