SOWELL: Random thoughts

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COMMENTARY:

Government bailouts are like potato chips: You can’t stop with just one.

Anyone who is honest with himself and with others knows there is not a snowball’s chance in hell to have an honest dialogue about race.

I wonder what radical feminists make of the fact that it was men who created the rule of “women and children first” when it came to rescuing people from life-threatening emergencies.

Barack Obama” href=”/themes/?Theme=Barack+Obama“>Barack Obama’s motto “Change you can believe in” has acquired a new meaning - changing his positions is the only thing you can believe in. His campaign began with a huge change in the image he projects, compared to what he was doing for 20 years before.

Despite the New York Yankees‘ awesome record over the years, no one has ever made 3,000 hits in his career as a Yankee, nor has any pitcher ever had 300 lifetime victories with the Yankees. Despite their well-deserved reputation as “the Bronx Bombers,” there is only one Yankee among the top 10 career home run hitters.

After getting DVDs of old “Perry Mason” TV programs and old “Law & Order” programs, I found myself watching far more of the “Perry Mason” series. The difference is that too many “Law & Order” programs tried to raise my consciousness on social issues, as if that is their role or their competence.

It is amazing this year how many people have bought the fundamentally childish notion that, if you don’t like the way things are going, the answer is to write a blank check for generic “change,” empowering someone chosen not on the basis of any track record but on the basis of his skill with words.

With all the big-name entertainers who have put on shows in prisons, why have so few put on shows for our troops in Iraq?

To me, the phrase “glass ceiling” is an insult to my intelligence. What does the word “glass” mean, in this context, except that you can’t see it? Yet I am supposed to believe it without evidence because, otherwise, I will be considered a bad person and called names.

When New York Times writer Linda Greenhouse recently declared the 1987 confirmation hearings for Judge Robert Bork “both fair and profound,” it was as close to a declaration of moral bankruptcy as possible. Those hearings were a triumph of character assassination by politicians with no character of their own. The country is still paying the price, as potential judicial nominees decline to be nominated and then smeared on nationwide television.

Some of the most emotionally powerful words are undefined, such as “social justice,” “a living wage,” “price gouging” or a “fragile” environment, for example. Such terms are especially valuable to politicians during an election year, for these terms can attract the votes of people who mean very different - and even mutually contradictory - things when they use these words.

It may not be possible to have machines call balls and strikes in baseball, since the vertical strike zone depends on the height of each batter. But a machine can tell whether any part of the ball passed over any part of the plate, so that umpires won’t be able to call their own “wide strikes” any more.

It is hard to get the supporters of Barack Obama to give a coherent reason for their support. The basis for their support seems to be guilt, gullibility or - in the case of some conservatives - a hatred of John McCain.

It is heart-warming to see the Williams sisters maturing as people. They made tennis history from the beginning but they had a lot to learn about human relations - and now they seem to have learned it.

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