Politics & Policy

When TV Determines Guilt or Innocence

Police deploy on Florissant Avenue, August 16, 2014. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Random thoughts on the passing scene

I don’t know why we are spending our hard-earned money paying taxes to support a criminal-justice system, when issues of guilt and innocence are being determined on television — and even punishment is being meted out by CNN’s showing the home and address of the policeman accused in the Ferguson, Mo., shooting.

One of the big differences between Democrats and Republicans is that we at least know what the Democrats stand for, whether we agree with it or not. But, for Republicans, we have to guess.

It is amazing how many otherwise sane people want Israel to become the first nation in history to respond to military attacks by restricting what they do, so that it is “proportionate” to the damage inflicted by the attacks.

Amid all the things being said on all sides about the massive, illegal influx of children from countries in Central America, we have yet to hear some American parent saying, “I don’t owe it to anybody to have my child exposed to diseases brought into this country, no matter what problems exist in other countries!”

Two headlines in the August 10th New York Times speak volumes about Barack Obama. The top headline reads: “Iraq Strikes May Last Months, Obama Says.” A secondary headline reads: “No Ground Force Will Be Sent, He Repeats.” Time was when enemy spies had to risk their lives to acquire such information. Now all they have to do is read the headlines.

It is amazing how many people think they are doing blacks a favor by exempting them from standards that others are expected to meet.

If you want to know who was the greatest baseball player of all time, please check out the pitcher who led the American League with the lowest earned run average in 1916. He was the only ballplayer who could do it all, including stealing home.

British prime minister Neville Chamberlain was a hawk compared with Barack Obama. At least Chamberlain was building up his country’s military forces while trying to appease Hitler. Obama is cutting back on our military forces while our enemies around the world are expanding theirs.

Medical authorities who are trying to reassure us that safeguards will prevent the spread of Ebola in the United States may be unconvincing to those of us who remember how they lied about whether AIDS could be transmitted by blood transfusions. They might be telling the truth this time, but credibility is one of those things that are far easier to maintain than to repair.

Too many people in Washington are full of themselves, among other things that they are full of.

However common it may be in politics to “split the difference” when making decisions, it is unconscionable to send American troops into a war zone in numbers too small to defend themselves. The smug and smirking contempt of IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, when he began testifying before a congressional committee in the IRS scandal investigation, told us all we needed to know, even if we never get the information that was supposedly “lost” when Lois Lerner’s computer supposedly crashed.

Ted Williams’s great career was interrupted twice by military service — once during World War II and again when he returned to the Marine Corps during the Korean war. What sports star today would voluntarily interrupt a Hall of Fame career to go fight for America, after having already served in the military?

Despite TV pundits who say that public-opinion polls show Barack Obama is in trouble, the president is not in the slightest trouble. He is doing whatever he feels like doing, regardless of the Constitution and regardless of how many people don’t like it, because he is virtually impeachment-proof. The country is in huge trouble and real danger because of his policies, but he is not.

One of the most frustrating aspects of watching television news programs that feature debates is the guests who sidestep any question that gets to the heart of the issue at hand, and just go off on a tangent, repeating their standard talking points. That’s usually a good time to change the channel or turn off the TV.

If politics were like sports, we could ask Israel to trade us Benjamin Netanyahu for Barack Obama. Of course, we would have to throw in trillions of dollars to get Israel to agree to the deal, but it would be money well spent.

— Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. © 2014 Creators Syndicate Inc.

Thomas Sowell — Thomas Sowell is an American economist, social theorist, political philosopher, and author, whose books include Basic Economics. He is currently senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

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