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Thomas Sowell: "Us" or "Them"
Creator's Syndicate ^ | October 25, 2005 | Dr. Thomas Sowell

Posted on 10/25/2005 2:24:39 AM PDT by RWR8189

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To: RWR8189
He argued that, since oil was going to be drilled for somewhere in the world anyway, was it not better to drill where there were environmental laws to provide at least some kinds of safeguards, rather than in countries where there were none?

So they broke up over a discussion of environmental policy? Sheesh.

51 posted on 10/25/2005 7:14:00 AM PDT by XJarhead
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To: KMAJ2
I find this article by Sowell to be spot on, and if you step back, his analysis also applies the the current rift among conservatives.

There is no reasoning with trust ...
545 posted on 10/14/2005 10:07:05 AM EDT by Cboldt

52 posted on 10/25/2005 7:14:39 AM PDT by Cboldt
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To: backhoe

I would love to take an Econ course from Dr Williams. He may possibly be the one prof who could make this subject fascinating.


53 posted on 10/25/2005 7:16:10 AM PDT by doberville
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To: backhoe
The thing I like about Williams is his style of explanation in his use of everyday examples that all can relate to when examining a particular topic.

Such as his oft repeated "living document" comparrison when talking about the Constitution.

"How would you like to play poker with me and have the rules be living? Maybe my pair of 7s beats your full house."

54 posted on 10/25/2005 7:23:29 AM PDT by Phantom Lord (Fall on to your knees for the Phantom Lord)
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To: backhoe

"...In other words, it was not really about which policy would produce what results. It was about personal identification with lofty goals and kindred souls.""

This sentence really resonated with me too - I'm tired of those 60's radicals who think they did something significant in protesting the VietNam war.


55 posted on 10/25/2005 7:25:52 AM PDT by GOPPachyderm
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To: USS Alaska

WHat about Star Parker - another great mind and writer!


56 posted on 10/25/2005 7:30:21 AM PDT by GOPPachyderm
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To: js1138
Good point, but I'm thinking more of a faith versus reason approach.

For example the left is using reality-based as a way to differentiate themselves from the religious right, all the while ignoring reality in areas such as health care, more spending on education, environmental concerns, etc.

I interpret Sowell's point also to be that there are people who have such a strong faith in their point of view that no amount of reason will shake it. I think his point also applies to some on the right as well. (Yes, I include myself.)

Re personality, some group recently did a personality profile versus political profile kind of categorization. I recall that some of it, but not all made sense to me. I certainly agree that there are personality types that are more difficult to persuade than others.

But, enough about my sister-in-law....
57 posted on 10/25/2005 7:31:09 AM PDT by LiberationIT
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To: XJarhead
So they broke up over a discussion of environmental policy? Sheesh.

Doesn't surprise me in the least. My former roommate is a major environmental whacko liberal. Our phone discussions during the campaign in 2000 over our support for the different candidates got so heated that we had to agree to let the matter drop, but it never stopped him from spouting the "Earth in the Balance" crap Algore was spewing. We haven't spoken since the Battle of Florida.

Environmentalists are the most zealous, and self-righteous of the left-wing coalition. They'll support abominations like abortion, but God Help You! if you want to drill an oilwell in the frozen wasteland of Alaska. It might inconvenience a caribou!

58 posted on 10/25/2005 7:36:14 AM PDT by ABG(anybody but Gore) (This tagline is under remodeling, thank you for your patience...)
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To: LiberationIT

The question is why are there people on both sides of any issue who are incapable of seeing the other's point of view.

I have always thought there was merit in the philosophy of school debates. You should be able to argue either side equally well. If you can't present your opponent's point of view, you can't argue rationally against it.


59 posted on 10/25/2005 7:38:09 AM PDT by js1138 (Great is the power of steady misrepresentation.)
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To: PatrickHenry
Compromise and tolerance are not the hallmarks of true believers. What they believe in goes to the heart of what they are. As far as true believers are concerned, you are either one of Us or one of Them.

Yes. Sowell discovers Holy Warrior Syndrome.

60 posted on 10/25/2005 7:38:53 AM PDT by VadeRetro (Liberalism is a cancer on society. Creationism is a cancer on conservatism.)
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To: RWR8189
What a brilliant mind. Sowell has, again, reduced a large segment of abstract thought into its most basic principles. This is the hallmark of a great teacher.
61 posted on 10/25/2005 7:46:17 AM PDT by TChris ("The central issue is America's credibility and will to prevail" - Goh Chok Tong)
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To: saveliberty
Both of you touch on a quote that Thomas Sowell has cited not too long ago.
Not long ago indeed. In fact, it was in this column.
62 posted on 10/25/2005 7:48:38 AM PDT by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: RWR8189

Hmmm, a relation broken up by politics. I have a story to tell.

Back this March, I had despaired of ever finding a woman to share my life. But I decided to give it one more try. I signed on one of those on-line dating services. One of the questions they asked was "Who has most influenced you in your life?"

I thought about it a while and put down "Thomas Sowell." Sowell's books and columns helped convince me to give up my leftism and adopt a more mature approach to the world. It didn't just affect my politics. It changed the way I looked at my job and my relations with my family.

I had no idea how women would react to that. Some women who liked the fact that I did creative writing were immediately turned off when they found out I was a conservative. But there was this one very intelligent wonderful conservative woman who answered the ad. She very much likes the ideas of Thomas Sowell. That's just one of many great things about her.

So, I'll be getting married in May. I wonder if I should send Sowell a thank-you card.


63 posted on 10/25/2005 7:49:19 AM PDT by Our man in washington
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To: RWR8189
Many crusades of the political left have been misunderstood by people who do not understand that these crusades are about establishing the identity and the superiority of the crusaders.

T.S. Eliot understood this more than half a century ago when he wrote: "Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don't mean to do harm -- but the harm does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves."

I stand in awe...

64 posted on 10/25/2005 7:55:12 AM PDT by GOPJ (Protest a democrat -- light your hair on fire -- and the MSM still won't take your picture.)
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To: Our man in washington
I wonder if I should send Sowell a thank-you card.

You should not.

You sould send him a wedding invitation, along with the story you just told us.

Who knows? He might even show up!

65 posted on 10/25/2005 7:57:06 AM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is aborting, buggering, and contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: Our man in washington

Congratulations! To a smart man and his obviously smart soon-to-be wife.

And yes, I think you should send Sowell a thank-you card.


66 posted on 10/25/2005 8:02:59 AM PDT by pollyannaish
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To: oh8eleven

:-) But he opened with that quote in a column about one year ago.

Sorry for the confusion.


67 posted on 10/25/2005 8:10:01 AM PDT by saveliberty (I did not break the feed. I may have lost it, but I did not break the feed.)
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To: js1138
I couldn't agree more.

My husband and I were stuck listening to Randi Rhodes on Air America one day on a trip. We were stunned. It was very clear that the reason the network is tanking is that they have no grasp of what and who conservatives really are and therefore did not have the tools to do a meaningful show.

If you entire understanding of an alternative philosophy is based on a caricature, you become a caricature yourself and completely unconvincing. We decided that a good solid entrepreneurial conservative could do the show and actually make it work...because there are a lot of really solid conservatives who deeply understand the left's philosophy.

I often have the opportunity to debate liberals. I learned a few years ago, however, that the first thing I ask them is why they are liberal and what they believe. If they do not have a coherent answer...I don't even bother.

Why debate someone who is liberal because "they don't want to be one of those mean old baby killing money grabbing conservatives." That is pointless to debate because the whole thing becomes impossibly vapid within two minutes.

The good news is...I'm amazed at how many people discover themselves to be conservative once they go study the issues. There's nothing like having your opponents go out and convert themselves trying to convince you the left is right. ; )
68 posted on 10/25/2005 8:14:18 AM PDT by pollyannaish
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To: oh8eleven

:-)


69 posted on 10/25/2005 8:20:41 AM PDT by saveliberty (I did not break the feed. I may have lost it, but I did not break the feed.)
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To: dirtboy; RWR8189

Smartest Man In America Alert (IMHO).

Believe it or not, Sowell used to be a Marxist.

If you like this, read his "Vision of the Anointed".


70 posted on 10/25/2005 8:20:53 AM PDT by George Smiley (This tagline deliberately targeted journalists.)
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To: doberville

ALthought Williams is highly entertaining, I recommend that you get Sowell's "Basic Economics" and "Applied Economics"

Nary a chart or graph in either book, and they're eminently readable.


71 posted on 10/25/2005 8:24:52 AM PDT by George Smiley (This tagline deliberately targeted journalists.)
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To: kjenerette

...good read.


72 posted on 10/25/2005 8:24:54 AM PDT by Van Jenerette (Our Republic...If We Can Keep It!)
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To: ABG(anybody but Gore)

If she was cute, I could overlook the environmentalism. Yes, I'm shallow.


73 posted on 10/25/2005 8:27:46 AM PDT by XJarhead
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To: pollyannaish
...the network is tanking is that they have no grasp of what and who conservatives really are and therefore did not have the tools to do a meaningful show.

I would argue that this applies to most (not all, but most) liberals that I know. I've stopped debating for many of the same reasons that you have - it's no fun to debate with someone when you have a loaded weapon and the other guy doesn't. "Bush is a idiot" is an inaccurate opinion, not a philosophy or platform, and certainly not a debating point.

I hope that the Democratic party eventually stops embracing these fringe elements. No good comes from one party being too powerful - think of the Republicans now, and the Democrats back in the 70s. I think that both parties have valid ideas, and the Dems will never challenge the Republicans as long as they promote wild-eyed fanatics like AirAmerica as 'representative of their party'. They no more represent the 'common man', than lunatics like Eric Rudolph represent all Republicans.

74 posted on 10/25/2005 8:28:51 AM PDT by wbill
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To: NattieShea; PowerBaby

Ping to the students


75 posted on 10/25/2005 8:31:22 AM PDT by Carry_Okie (There are people in power who are REALLY stupid.)
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To: Pusterfuss

Sowell is a true intellectual, not a pandering rabble rouser; he writes from the truth, not towards coercive persuasion; he knows better than the reader that his words are meant for history, not revolution.


76 posted on 10/25/2005 8:33:55 AM PDT by Old Professer (Fix the problem, not the blame!)
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To: Phantom Lord

"The thing I like about Williams is his style of explanation in his use of everyday examples..."

The thing I like about Williams is the way he lords over his household and the gifts he buys for his wife! ;-)


77 posted on 10/25/2005 8:34:10 AM PDT by CSM (When laws are written, they apply to ALL...Not just the yucky people you don't like. - HairOfTheDog)
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To: backhoe
One of the definitions I heard of "genius" many years ago was "the art of taking something hard or complex, and making it look easy." He does that, and does it very well.

I love that as an academic he refuses to obscure his ideas with self serving academic jargon. I imagine his clarity has unnerved many an intellectual opponent.

78 posted on 10/25/2005 8:34:29 AM PDT by SupplySider
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To: KMAJ2
I find this article by Sowell to be spot on, and if you step back, his analysis also applies the the current rift among conservatives.

Ya got that right, at least from a lot of the Republican base.

But that does not explain all of it. Personally, I suspect a hidden agenda from some members of the lynch mob.

For instance, prior to this the Bush administration was in position to heavily influence selection of the next Republican presidential nominee. Weakening President Bush simultaneously opens the door to candidates who would find a strong President Bush an obstacle.

Likewise, this is a golden opportunity for some to "even the score". Politicians have enemies, most of whom will lie low when they perceive strength. But when they see weakness, the long knives come out and they extract revenge.

79 posted on 10/25/2005 8:34:49 AM PDT by EternalHope (Boycott everything French forever. Including their vassal nations.)
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To: counterpunch
Back during the 1930s, in the years leading up to World War II, one of the fashionable self-indulgences of the left in Britain was to argue that the British should disarm "as an example to others" in order to serve the interests of peace.


80 posted on 10/25/2005 8:36:49 AM PDT by Niteranger68 ("Spare the rod, spoil the liberal.")
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To: Our man in washington

Congratulations. Thanks for giving some of us hope of finding a good Conservative that is still available.


81 posted on 10/25/2005 8:37:27 AM PDT by CSM (When laws are written, they apply to ALL...Not just the yucky people you don't like. - HairOfTheDog)
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To: XJarhead

Lucky guy. Imagine if he had married her...


82 posted on 10/25/2005 8:38:54 AM PDT by Little Ray (I'm a reactionary, hirsute, gun-owning, knuckle dragging, Christian Neanderthal and proud of it!)
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To: RWR8189
This has always been a key difference between true conservatism and others:

In other words, it was not really about which policy would produce what results. It was about personal identification with lofty goals and kindred souls.

83 posted on 10/25/2005 8:39:18 AM PDT by wardaddy (feel the love brothers and sisters...what if?)
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To: RWR8189; kristinn; tgslTakoma; Landry Fan; Albion Wilde; Justanobody; BufordP; bmwcyle; ...

Excellent Article. New tag line.

TS nails it. This is precisely how the CANSWER crowd and the Code Pinkos think. 'Pod.


84 posted on 10/25/2005 8:39:26 AM PDT by sauropod ("Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important." - T.S. Eliot)
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To: George Smiley
Believe it or not, Sowell used to be a Marxist.

I can believe it, as I used to be one myself. At least I share something with the brilliant professor!

85 posted on 10/25/2005 8:40:08 AM PDT by SupplySider
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To: hellinahandcart


86 posted on 10/25/2005 8:40:45 AM PDT by sauropod ("Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important." - T.S. Eliot)
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To: RWR8189
when in fact he was asking her to give up her sense of being one of the morally anointed.

Excellent point in an excellent article.

87 posted on 10/25/2005 8:41:06 AM PDT by livius
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To: XJarhead

Actually, it was a he, we were frat brothers, and once best friends. We roomed together to save on rent and utilities, but he could never get over the fact that I was an evil Republican, just like his parents were. We didn't speak for two weeks after the 1994 election, because he was so stunned by the Gingrich takeover, and like I said earlier, we haven't spoken since the Battle of Florida. His own idol, Algore, couldn't steal the election, and it drove him over the edge.

Most of the cute girls I either hung out with or dated in college were already conservative, or I converted them. Once they get out of the comfy confines of school and into the real world, they learned real fast that maybe I wasn't so crazy after all to be warning them about the perils of liberalism. ;^)


88 posted on 10/25/2005 8:42:43 AM PDT by ABG(anybody but Gore) (This tagline is under remodeling, thank you for your patience...)
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To: Our man in washington
convince me to give up my leftism and adopt a more mature approach to the world.

maturity is a lot of it....i'm amazed at some who never grow up...or worse, liberalize with age.

congrats.

89 posted on 10/25/2005 8:42:46 AM PDT by wardaddy (feel the love brothers and sisters...what if?)
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To: RWR8189
Many crusades of the political left have been misunderstood by people who do not understand that these crusades are about establishing the identity and the superiority of the crusaders.

Political correctness is like this too, with the added motivation of wanting to signal to other people what a fine person you are. Thus we get this sort of race to the bottom to see who in the West can self-loathe the fastest with the mostest. This is the stuff of which piggy banks in Britain are banned, and mass-casualty bombings of civilian targets become the fault of everyone but the bomber.

90 posted on 10/25/2005 8:43:22 AM PDT by untenured (http://futureuncertain.blogspot.com)
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To: Our man in washington

Great story! As one who has often suffered through the "well, I really liked you until I discovered you were conservative" response, you have my sympathies - but you have given hope to us all!


91 posted on 10/25/2005 8:43:32 AM PDT by livius
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To: KMAJ2
if you step back, his analysis also applies the the current rift among conservatives.

I assume you're speaking of Miers but I don't see much resemblence myself.

92 posted on 10/25/2005 8:44:24 AM PDT by edsheppa
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To: Pusterfuss
I rank Dr. Sowell right up there with Mark Steyn.

Hmmm, that's being very generous to Steyn.

93 posted on 10/25/2005 8:45:36 AM PDT by edsheppa
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To: wbill
I hope that the Democratic party eventually stops embracing these fringe elements.

That is the only place I disagree with you. The Democrat party should go the way of the dinosaur.

I completely agree we need two powerful parties—just make it Republicans and Libertarians...or some other combination of groups who are currently, at least partially, aligned on the right. Make the "smaller government" part fundamental and the argument becomes "how small." The Democrats constantly pull us left, whereas a different set up would pull us right. A matter of degrees.

I'm picking nits, though. How blessed we are, at this particular point in history, with such, um, special opposition. I'm not sure that we'd be up to a much greater task.

94 posted on 10/25/2005 8:45:43 AM PDT by pollyannaish
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To: Temple Owl

ping


95 posted on 10/25/2005 8:48:25 AM PDT by Tribune7
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To: TChris; backhoe; jimfree; GBA
I used to have lunch a few times a year with a liberal friend/colleague in San Francisco (yeah, I know...). On one of these occasions Dr. Sowell's name came up, and my friend (a photographer by trade, and white) said "Oh, him. Another black man who's sold out his heritage."

We don't get together much any more...

96 posted on 10/25/2005 8:48:27 AM PDT by Tenniel (I'm against a homogenized society because I want the cream to rise. -- Robert Frost)
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To: pollyannaish
If you entire understanding of an alternative philosophy is based on a caricature, you become a caricature yourself and completely unconvincing.

It's worse than that, I'm afraid...I believe libs have defined themselves in opposition. If conservatives say yes, libs say no. Suppose you define yourself as a mirror image of a cariacture?

That's why the left continues off the cliff, and can't stop themselves.

97 posted on 10/25/2005 8:49:56 AM PDT by gogeo (Often wrong but seldom in doubt.)
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To: RWR8189
Back during the 1930s, in the years leading up to World War II, one of the fashionable self-indulgences of the left in Britain was to argue that the British should disarm "as an example to others" in order to serve the interests of peace.

Great piece. Sowell nails it yet again.

98 posted on 10/25/2005 8:54:39 AM PDT by T. Buzzard Trueblood ("(I've had) too many wives and taken too many drugs." -Ambassador Joe Wilson)
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To: ABG(anybody but Gore)
My best friend is somewhere around Michael Moore in terms of his politics, though more rational so we actually can discuss things.

Most of the cute girls I either hung out with or dated in college were already conservative, or I converted them.

Well, there's the saying that there's only one good reason for a guy to be a feminist....

99 posted on 10/25/2005 8:56:03 AM PDT by XJarhead
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To: gogeo

: D. It's fun to watch them go.

As long as we are learning valuable lessons in the process.


100 posted on 10/25/2005 9:03:03 AM PDT by pollyannaish
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