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Cocky Ignorance (Thomas Sowell)
Townhall.com ^ | June 10, 2008 | Thomas Sowell

Posted on 06/09/2008 9:07:02 PM PDT by jazusamo

Now that Senator Barack Obama has become the Democrats' nominee for President of the United States, to the cheers of the media at home and abroad, he has written a letter to the Secretary of Defense, in a tone as if he is already President, addressing one of his subordinates.

The letter ends: "I look forward to your swift response."

With wars going on in both Iraq and Afghanistan, a Secretary of Defense might have some other things to look after, before making a "swift response" to a political candidate.

Because of the widely publicized statistic that suicide rates among American troops have gone up, Senator Obama says he wants the Secretary of Defense to tell him, swiftly:

"What changes will you make to provide our soldiers in theater with real access to mental health care?"

"What training has the Pentagon provided our medical professionals in theater to recognize who might be at risk of committing suicide?"

"What assistance are you providing families here at home to recognize the risk factors for suicide, so that they may help our service members get the assistance they need?"

"What programs has the Pentagon implemented to help reduce the stigma attached to mental health concerns so that service members are more likely to seek appropriate care?"

All this sounds very plausible, as so many other things that Senator Obama says sound plausible. But, like so many of those other things, it will not stand up under scrutiny.

What has been widely publicized in the media is that suicides among American troops have gone up. What has not been widely publicized is that this higher suicide rate is still not as high as the suicide rate among demographically comparable civilians.

No one needs to be reminded that suicide is a serious matter, whether among soldiers or civilians. But the media have managed to create the impression that it is military service overseas which is the cause of suicides among American troops, when civilians of the same ages and other demographic characteristics are committing suicide at an even higher rate at home.

Moreover, this is not the first time that military service overseas has been portrayed in the media as the cause of problems that are worse in the civilian population at home.

The New York Times led the way in making homicides committed by returning military veterans a front page story, blaming this on "combat trauma and the stress of deployment." Yet the New York Post showed that the homicide rate among returning veterans is a fraction of the homicide rate among demographically comparable civilians.

In other words, if military veterans are not completely immune to the problems found among civilians at home, then the veterans' problems are to be blamed on military service-- at least by the mainstream media.

Does Senator Obama know how the rate of suicides or homicides among military veterans compares to the rate of suicides or homicides among their civilian counterparts? Do the facts matter to him, as compared to an opportunity to score political points?

Perhaps even more important, do the media even care whether Senator Obama knows what he is talking about? Or is the symbolism of "the first black President" paramount, even if that means a President with cocky ignorance at a time of national danger?

The media have been crucial to Barack Obama's whole candidacy. His only achievements of national significance in his entire career have been media achievements and rhetorical achievements.

Perhaps his greatest achievement has been running as a candidate with an image wholly incompatible with what he has actually been doing for decades. This man who is now supposedly going to "unite" us has for years worked hand in glove, and contributed both his own money and the taxpayers' money, to people who have sought to divide us in the most crude demagogic ways.

With all his expressed concern about the war in Iraq, he has not set foot in Iraq for more than two years-- including the very years when progress has been made against the terrorists there.

You don't need to know the facts when you have cocky ignorance and the media behind you.


TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: bo; cockyignorance; democrat; democrats; media; obama; sowell; thomassowell; tsbo
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1 posted on 06/09/2008 9:07:03 PM PDT by jazusamo
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To: AbeKrieger; Alia; Amalie; American Quilter; arthurus; awelliott; Bahbah; bamahead; bboop; ...
*PING*
Thomas Sowell

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Please FReepmail me if you would like to be added to, or removed from, the Thomas Sowell ping list…

2 posted on 06/09/2008 9:08:23 PM PDT by jazusamo (DefendOurMarines.org | DefendOurTroops.org)
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To: jazusamo

Secretary Gates should tell BHO to pound sand.


3 posted on 06/09/2008 9:08:33 PM PDT by Rummyfan (Iraq: it's not about Iraq anymore, it's about the USA!)
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To: jazusamo

I know what I’d give him if I were Secretary of Defense.


4 posted on 06/09/2008 9:09:02 PM PDT by writer33 (I'm Still Whining That Rush Limbaugh Isn't Doing Enough To Elect A Conservative)
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To: Rummyfan

Exactly!


5 posted on 06/09/2008 9:09:09 PM PDT by jazusamo (DefendOurMarines.org | DefendOurTroops.org)
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To: jazusamo
What changes will you make to provide our soldiers in theater with real access to mental health care?

How about making sure B. Hussein isn't elected?

6 posted on 06/09/2008 9:13:26 PM PDT by GOP_Raider (DU: Standing athwart history yelling "$#@$# you mother$#@$#er!")
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To: jazusamo
The letter ends: “I look forward to your swift response.”

The only thing Obamination is going to get is a swift kick in the pants, if he doesn't watch his tone.
And his teleprompter is not going to save him this time either. What an arrogant, ignorant, clueless idiot.

7 posted on 06/09/2008 9:16:33 PM PDT by KevinJohnson
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To: jazusamo
"You don't need to know the facts when you have cocky ignorance and the media behind you. "

Ouch. This lightweight may just convince me to vote for McCain.

8 posted on 06/09/2008 9:16:49 PM PDT by steelyourfaith
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To: KevinJohnson

Correct on all points. Without a teleprompter or cue cards BO is a bumbler.


9 posted on 06/09/2008 9:19:32 PM PDT by jazusamo (DefendOurMarines.org | DefendOurTroops.org)
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To: jazusamo

Just wait till he makes McPeak his Secretary of Defense.

The military suicide rate will really go up!

Everybody will be recalled from Iraq to wear new designer uniforms.


10 posted on 06/09/2008 9:19:39 PM PDT by oldbill
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To: steelyourfaith

Dr. Sowell has been ripping BO for a couple months but the intensity has incresed his last couple columns on him.


11 posted on 06/09/2008 9:21:06 PM PDT by jazusamo (DefendOurMarines.org | DefendOurTroops.org)
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To: jazusamo
Rush played some soundbites of Obumbler today, and he sounded pitiful.

vaudine

12 posted on 06/09/2008 9:26:16 PM PDT by vaudine (RO)
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To: oldbill; Mr. Silverback
That was brought up on a thread I posted this morning Here and it's a scary thought.
13 posted on 06/09/2008 9:26:31 PM PDT by jazusamo (DefendOurMarines.org | DefendOurTroops.org)
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To: jazusamo

Dr. Sowell would be an excellent choice for the first black president.


14 posted on 06/09/2008 9:28:09 PM PDT by july4thfreedomfoundation (The road to victory in Iraq is through Iran.)
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To: jazusamo

...*wonders when Obama is going to send a letter like this to Iran, Syria and other states that count suicide bombers as a part of their army*.....


15 posted on 06/09/2008 9:28:32 PM PDT by Tzimisce (How Would Mohammed Vote? Hillary for President!)
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To: jazusamo

Obama is a “post turtle.”


16 posted on 06/09/2008 9:33:33 PM PDT by george76 (Ward Churchill : Fake Indian, Fake Scholarship, and Fake Art)
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To: Rummyfan
"he has written a letter to the Secretary of Defense, in a tone as if he is already President, addressing one of his subordinates."

SecDef should invite Hussein to a private give and take briefing to be recorder. If he refuses, release the blank tape.

yitbos

17 posted on 06/09/2008 9:33:38 PM PDT by bruinbirdman ("Those who control language control minds." - Ayn Rand)
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To: jazusamo

Was it drinking or smoking, where stats were falsely written when someone died who had ever had a problem with either, and the deaths were all attributed to the habit?

Same thing here. Take 10 young people in their late 20s who killed themselves, 5 of which were members of the military. The latter group’s suicides will all be attributed to their military service.

It’s phony math.


18 posted on 06/09/2008 9:36:58 PM PDT by Yaelle
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To: george76

Great description of BO, George!


19 posted on 06/09/2008 9:37:42 PM PDT by jazusamo (DefendOurMarines.org | DefendOurTroops.org)
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To: jazusamo
"I look forward to your swift response."

Swiftly Return to Sender.

20 posted on 06/09/2008 9:37:50 PM PDT by RJL
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To: jazusamo

It is not inappropriate for a senator to write a cabinet official requesting information on government programs.

I agree his tone is a little over the top.


21 posted on 06/09/2008 9:38:54 PM PDT by Sherman Logan (Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves. - A. Lincoln)
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To: Yaelle

Yes, it’s phony math and I love the way Dr. Sowell shows it for what it is in a simple manner.


22 posted on 06/09/2008 9:45:35 PM PDT by jazusamo (DefendOurMarines.org | DefendOurTroops.org)
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To: jazusamo

Thiat report of suicide rates immediately prompted me to search for comparable suicide rate data for civilians in the same age cohorts, but I don’t know where to look.
An honest, curious “news” reporter or commentator would find and report such comparisons.


23 posted on 06/09/2008 9:46:56 PM PDT by Elsiejay (Rev.)
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To: Sherman Logan

I think Dr. Sowell pointed it out well that BO is a political candidate, even though he is a senator the letter was written to score political points and as you say the tone was a little over the top.


24 posted on 06/09/2008 9:51:02 PM PDT by jazusamo (DefendOurMarines.org | DefendOurTroops.org)
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To: bruinbirdman
"he has written a letter to the Secretary of Defense, in a tone as if he is already President, addressing one of his subordinates."
SecDef should invite Hussein to a private give and take briefing to be recorder. If he refuses, release the blank tape
live televised one-on-one interview at a time chosen by Secretary Gates.

At which time Mr. Gates can simply point out that suicide is of course as serious a matter for civilians and soldiers alike - and ask "President" (Heaven forefend) Obama why the civilian rate is higher than the military rate.

And why Obama thinks that patronizing the troops increases their morale and reduces their suicide rate.


25 posted on 06/09/2008 9:55:31 PM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion (Thomas Sowell for vice president.)
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To: KevinJohnson
“The letter ends: “I look forward to your swift response.”

"Well," I would reply with a cocktail-party smile, "it's always nice to have something to look forward to, isn't it?"

The man is a pompous ass. But then what am I saying? A million to one says he didn't write that letter any more than any one of us did.

26 posted on 06/09/2008 9:59:51 PM PDT by yankeedame ("Oh, I can take it but I'd much rather dish it out.")
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To: Rummyfan
A two line response should be sufficient.

"As to your questions, Mr. Obama, I refer you to the many speeches and interviews I have given to the press answering specifically the questions you ask".

"Good day sir."

27 posted on 06/09/2008 10:13:02 PM PDT by HardStarboard (Take No Prisoners - We're Out Of Qurans)
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To: jazusamo
"I look forward to your swift response."

The Associate Assisant to the Acting Director of Pentagon Lunchroom will be right back to in early December. Thank you for your concern.

28 posted on 06/09/2008 10:44:25 PM PDT by glorgau
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To: jazusamo

What is not touched on in Dr. Sowell’s article is the possible reason for suicides being lower among the military that in the civilian population. I would like to suggest an answer.

Soldiers, especially volunteers, have a sense of purpose - something woefully lacking among their demographic at home.


29 posted on 06/09/2008 10:50:52 PM PDT by shibumi (".....panta en pasin....." - Origen)
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To: jazusamo
"With all his expressed concern about the war in Iraq, he has not set foot in Iraq for more than two years-- including the very years when progress has been made against the terrorists there."


He's probably afraid that he might be identified as one of them.
30 posted on 06/09/2008 10:52:41 PM PDT by shibumi (".....panta en pasin....." - Origen)
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To: shibumi
Soldiers, especially volunteers, have a sense of purpose - something woefully lacking among their demographic at home.

That's an excellent point and right on the money, IMO.

31 posted on 06/09/2008 11:01:29 PM PDT by jazusamo (DefendOurMarines.org | DefendOurTroops.org)
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To: Rummyfan
Secretary Gates should tell BHO to pound sand.

I'd tell him to pound something else. It's basically what he does for his supporters and what they do for him. A real circle jerk goin' on.

FMCDH(BITS)

32 posted on 06/09/2008 11:02:37 PM PDT by nothingnew (I fear for my Republic due to marxist influence in our government. Open eyes/see)
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To: jazusamo

Dear Senator Obama,

In response to the issues you raise in your recent letter, I am sure you will agree that these matters are too serious and important to be left to a few soundbites in the media. I assume that details can be provided to the next meeting of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s “Sub-Committee on Europe” which oversees NATO and our US combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

You do chair that sub-committe, don’t you? OH WAIT, I almost forgot, your sub-committee never meets!! It has never met since you became Chairman and apparently it will never meet. Let me say this, Mr. Obama: when you begin to do your job and actually earn the public salary paid to you by taxpayers, then I will try to find in my hectic schedule, in the midst of a war on multiple fronts, to come before your sub-committee and address your questions in a thorough and substantive way.

Until then, continue as the lightweight, dishonest, shameless Demagogue that you are!

Sincerely,

Robert Gates
Secretary of Defense

[I can dream, can’t I???]


33 posted on 06/09/2008 11:11:49 PM PDT by Enchante (Barack Chamberlain: My 1930s Appeasement Policy Goes Well With My 1960s Socialist Policies!)
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To: jazusamo

look for the black lady Macbeth to call Sowell a Tom down the road


34 posted on 06/09/2008 11:14:10 PM PDT by wardaddy (it's hot as hell again in Dixie)
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To: wardaddy
"...look for the black lady Macbeth to call Sowell a Tom down the road."

I'm sure he covets the affections and good graces of that obnoxious harridan.

35 posted on 06/09/2008 11:22:03 PM PDT by VR-21
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To: jazusamo

I thought that just by his being nominated, the Obamassiah was going to make the oceans rise. So how come he can’t HEAL the soldiers. Just bring them all home from ALL points of the world, not just Irag, but Germany, Japan,Guam etc. Bting em all home. Serving our country is just toooo much to ask of any person. Besides, we will have no enemies when the Obamassiah has come. There will be peace.


36 posted on 06/09/2008 11:24:44 PM PDT by Semperfiwife (Common sense is in short supply in Washington)
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To: oldbill
McPeak....designer uniforms...

Stop it! I don't need to re-live the McPeak nighmare. Stop it, before I say "Year of Training" or "TQM"!

37 posted on 06/09/2008 11:29:42 PM PDT by FlyVet
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To: KevinJohnson

“What an arrogant, ignorant, clueless idiot.”

Well, BHO does have the Audacity....of Audacity.

Seriously, this whole thing is indicative of something DEEPLY disturbing for America. Please, please, please vote for the candidate most likely to defeat this dangerous guy who does NOT love this country.


38 posted on 06/10/2008 12:37:39 AM PDT by llandres (I'd rather be alive and bankrupt than dead and solvent)
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To: jazusamo

He’s a Senator. Shouldn’t he already know these things if he hasn’t been slacking off his whole tenure?


39 posted on 06/10/2008 1:16:22 AM PDT by TigersEye (Berlin 1936. Olympics for murdering regimes. Beijing 2008.)
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To: jazusamo
Dear Hussein,

Since neither yourself nor any other member of your family ever bothered to serve this great nation by wearing the uniform, I don't see what possible interest in the matter you might have.

40 posted on 06/10/2008 1:23:58 AM PDT by AlaskaErik (I served and protected my country for 31 years. Democrats spent that time trying to destroy it.)
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To: Enchante

You nailed it. In fact it wouldn’t be surprising to find that Obama’s sub-committee has received the briefs on this subject but they sit in unopened folders.


41 posted on 06/10/2008 1:25:08 AM PDT by TigersEye (Berlin 1936. Olympics for murdering regimes. Beijing 2008.)
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To: jazusamo

bttt


42 posted on 06/10/2008 1:25:17 AM PDT by bmwcyle (If God wanted us to be Socialist, Karl Marx would have been born in America.)
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To: jazusamo

43 posted on 06/10/2008 2:35:52 AM PDT by IPWGOP (I'm Linda Eddy... I'm the cartoonist for iowapresidentialwatch.com)
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To: jazusamo
You don't need to know the facts when you have cocky ignorance and the media behind you.

Good article! That sums it up. BO is ignorant of just about any issue you can name, but it doesn't matter.

The other thing BO has is an incredible will to power and a political ruthlessness (which many underestimate) that will probably get him there.

44 posted on 06/10/2008 2:41:20 AM PDT by livius
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To: Rummyfan
Secretary Gates should tell BHO to pound sand.

He won't. Questions like this are routine at the Pentagon. They will be staffed and answered.

45 posted on 06/10/2008 3:08:27 AM PDT by Fundamentally Fair (3/5 > 1/2)
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To: Elsiejay
An honest, curious “news” reporter or commentator would find and report such comparisons.

Yeah, now if we could just find an honest and curious news reporter or commentator.

46 posted on 06/10/2008 3:58:39 AM PDT by tsmith130
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To: jazusamo
Why doesn’t John McCain surprise us and pick Sowell as his VP running mate
47 posted on 06/10/2008 4:03:17 AM PDT by OKIEDOC (OBAMATIZATION - A Liberals Religion ABORTION-The ultimate form of Liberal Child Abuse.)
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To: jazusamo

obama thinks he’s relevant.


48 posted on 06/10/2008 4:51:07 AM PDT by the invisib1e hand (Obama's a front man. Who's behind him?)
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To: july4thfreedomfoundation
Dr. Sowell would be an excellent choice for the first black president.

I'd vote for him in a heartbeat.

49 posted on 06/10/2008 4:56:39 AM PDT by Bob
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To: FlyVet
Stop it! I don't need to re-live the McPeak nighmare. Stop it, before I say "Year of Training" or "TQM"!

Oh, groan!

You bring back really bad memories with that.

We wasted enough mandays on TQM nonsense that we could have fought the entire War on Terror and avoided second tours to Iraq.

Now, years later, no one admits what a stupid mistake that fad was, and no one was ever fired for the waste of time it inflicted on airmen.

50 posted on 06/10/2008 6:05:23 AM PDT by oldbill
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