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Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow with the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

Articles by Thomas Sowell

Ted Williams Baseball Card

Random observations for summer 2014

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. For Republicans, though, we have to guess. Published August 19, 2014

Intellectual or pathological?

There has probably never been an era in history when intellectuals have played a larger role in society. When intellectuals who generate ideas are surrounded by a wide range of others who disseminate those ideas - whether as journalists, teachers, staffers to legislators or clerks to judges - the influence of intellectuals on the way a society evolves can be huge. Trying for years to understand the nature of that influence eventually led me to write the book "Intellectuals and Society," which has just been published. Published January 6, 2010

Christmas books

One way to reduce the wear and tear of Christmas shopping at the mall is to give books as presents. Books can be bought on the Internet, and they can be matched to the person who receives them without having to know that person's measurements. Published December 19, 2009

Bowing to 'world opinion'

In the string of amazing decisions made during the first year of the Obama administration, nothing seems more like sheer insanity than the decision to try foreign terrorists who have committed acts of war against the United States in federal court, as if they were American citizens accused of crimes. Published November 21, 2009

The 'costs' of care

We are incessantly being told that the cost of medical care is "too high" - either absolutely or as a growing percentage of our incomes. But nothing that is being proposed by the government is likely to lower those costs, and much that is being proposed is almost certain to increase the costs. Published November 7, 2009

To sue or not to sue

To sue or not to sue? After racist statements were made up out of thin air and then attributed to Rush Limbaugh, these were the options he had. Published October 24, 2009

Marxism was, now isn't

Upon learning that the Constitution requires a president to be a natural born citizen, a college student said: "What makes a natural born citizen any more qualified than one born by C-section?" Published October 10, 2009

Fables for adults

Many years ago, as a small child, I was told one of those old-fashioned fables for children. It was about a dog with a bone in his mouth who was walking on a log across a stream. Published September 19, 2009

Who gets to decide?

There was a time when rushing a thousand-page bill through Congress so fast that no one has time to read it would have provoked public outrage. But now, this has been attempted twice in the first six months of a new administration. Published August 22, 2009

Equality on trial

For the fourth time in six cases, the Supreme Court of the United States has reversed a decision for which Judge Sonia Sotomayor voted on the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. If this nominee were a white male, would this not raise questions about whether he should be elevated to a court that has found his previous decisions wrong two-thirds of the times when those decisions have been reviewed? Published July 4, 2009

SOWELL: Trying a clarification cure

In Washington, the clearer a statement, the more certain it is to be followed by a "clarification" when people realize what was said. Published June 3, 2009

SOWELL: Random thoughts

They say people mellow with age. However, the older I get, the less patience I have with cleverness. Published May 30, 2009

SOWELL: 'Empathy' in black robes

It is one of the signs of our times that so many in the media are focusing on the life story of Judge Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama's nominee for the Supreme Court. Published May 29, 2009

SOWELL: Photographic fraud

The media have an obvious vested interest in constantly urging that cameras be allowed in more places where governmental decisions are being made, including the Supreme Court. Like so many things that are said to be good for the public, this is something that would be good only for its advocates - and harmful to the process of making decisions in the public interest, as distinguished from providing a forum for grandstanding. Published May 23, 2009

SOWELL: The blame game

After virtually every disaster created by Beltway politicians, you can hear the sound of feet scurrying for cover in Washington, see fingers pointing in every direction away from Washington and watch all sorts of scapegoats being hauled up before congressional committees to be denounced on television for the disasters created by members of the committee who are lecturing them. Published May 16, 2009

SOWELL: 'Empathy' revisited

The great Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes is not the kind of justice who would have been appointed under President Obama's criterion of "empathy" for certain groups. Published May 10, 2009

SOWELL: 'Empathy' versus law

Justice David H. Souter's retirement from the Supreme Court presents President Obama with his first opportunity to appoint someone to the High Court. People who are speculating about whether the next nominee will be a woman, a Hispanic or whatever, miss the point. Published May 9, 2009

SOWELL: Magic words don't work magic

China is the largest foreign holder of U.S. government bonds. But instead of buying more of those bonds as our skyrocketing national debt leads to more bonds being issued, China has been selling some of its U.S. government bonds this year. Published April 17, 2009

SOWELL: Music once was musical

We have become such suckers for words that politicians can spend our tax money like drunken sailors, provided they call it "investment." Published April 11, 2009