Sowell: Public's 'right to know' jeopardizes fight against terror

By Thomas Sowell December 16, 2014 6 a.m.

Critics and defenders of the harsh interrogation methods applied to captured terrorists can argue forever over whether those methods were "torture." But any serious discussion of a serious issue — and surely terrorism qualifies as serious — has to move beyond semantics and confront the ultimate question: "Compared to what alternative?"

Sowell: Escape chaos by curling up with straight-talking books

By Thomas Sowell December 9, 2014 6 a.m.

This year, Christmas shopping may be an especially welcome respite from the ugly events going on across the country, as mobs take to the streets because grand juries that examined evidence reached different conclusions from those reached by mobs who made up their minds without examining that evidence.

Sowell: Ferguson mob rampages will have lingering effects

By Thomas Sowell December 2, 2014 6 a.m.

Everyone seems to have an opinion about the tragic events in Ferguson, Mo. But, as Daniel Patrick Moynihan used to say, "You're entitled to your own opinion but you're not entitled to your own facts."

Sowell: Liberals' political games assume Americans are dumb

By Thomas Sowell November 25, 2014 6 a.m.

Jonathan Gruber's several videotaped remarks about the gross deceptions that got Obamacare passed in Congress should tell us a lot about the Obama administration. And the way that the mainstream media hesitated for days to even mention what Professor Gruber said, while they obsessed over unsubstantiated charges against Bill Cosby, should tell us a lot about the media.

Sowell: Viewing Obama as weak lame duck would be unwise

By Thomas Sowell November 11, 2014 6 a.m.

Just what happened last week on Election Day? And what is going to happen in the years ahead?

Sowell: Fraudulence in pursuit of black votes knows no bounds

By Thomas Sowell November 4, 2014 6 a.m.

One of the biggest voter frauds may be the idea promoted by Attorney General Eric Holder and others that there is no voter fraud, that laws requiring voters to have a photo identification are just attempts to suppress black voting. Reporter John Fund has written three books on voter fraud, and a recent survey by Old Dominion University indicates that there are more than 1 million registered voters who are not citizens, and who therefore are not legally entitled to vote.

Sowell: Random thoughts, from Obama's 'allies' to pro sports

By Thomas Sowell October 28, 2014 6 a.m.

Random thoughts on the passing scene.

Sowell: Negative effects of 'predatory lending' greatly exaggerated

By Thomas Sowell October 21, 2014 6 a.m.

The New York Times is again on the warpath against what it calls "predatory lending." Just what is predatory lending? It is lending that charges a higher interest rate than people like those at the New York Times approve of.

Sowell: Local vote can have far-reaching, national implications

By Thomas Sowell October 14, 2014 6 a.m.

Former Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill once said, "All politics is local." That may have been true in Tip O'Neill's day, but some elections are decisively on national issues — and the congressional elections this year are overwhelmingly national, just as the elections of 1860 were dominated by one national issue, namely slavery.

Sowell: Obama's actions related to Ebola put Americans at risk

By Thomas Sowell October 7, 2014 6 a.m.

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is both a danger in itself and a wake-up call for Americans — about President Obama, about the institutions of this country and, most important, about ourselves.

Sowell: Random thoughts on politics, decency and baseball

By Thomas Sowell September 30, 2014 6 a.m.

Random thoughts on the passing scene by Thomas Sowell.

Sowell: Obama must realize that war is not always optional

By Thomas Sowell September 23, 2014 6 a.m.

Some pundits are saying that President Obama has been floundering in his response to the Islamic State crisis because public opinion polls show most Americans don't want another war.

Sowell: Book sheds light on why some kids start speaking late

By Thomas Sowell September 16, 2014 6 a.m.

Anyone who knows what anxiety, and sometimes anguish, parents go through when they have a child who is still not talking at age 2, 3 or even 4 can appreciate what a blessing it can be to have someone who can tell them what to do — and what not to do.

Sowell: Mob rule tactics used to push minimum wage agenda

By Thomas Sowell September 9, 2014 6 a.m.

While we talk about democracy and equal rights, we seem increasingly to let both private and government decisions be determined by mob rule.

Sowell: We shouldn't elect 'a woman' just to elect 'a woman'

By Thomas Sowell September 2, 2014 6 a.m.

The latest Gallup poll indicates that 14 percent of the people "moderately disapprove" of Barack Obama's performance as president and 39 percent "strongly disapprove." Since Obama won two presidential elections, chances are that some of those who now "strongly disapprove" of what he has done voted to put him in office. We all make mistakes, but the real question is whether we learn from them.

Sowell: Prevailing liberal social vision at odds with hard facts

By Thomas Sowell August 26, 2014 6 a.m.

The political left has been campaigning against the use of force since at least the 18th century. So it is not surprising that they are now arguing that heavily armed or aggressive police forces only inflame protesters and thus provoke violence.

Sowell: Random thoughts, from baseball to Israel to Obama

By Thomas Sowell August 19, 2014 6 a.m.

Random thoughts on the passing scene:

Sowell: N.Y.C. mayor trying to solve nonexistent problems

By Thomas Sowell August 12, 2014 6 a.m.

New York's mayor, Bill de Blasio, like so many others who call themselves "progressive," is gung-ho to solve social problems. In fact, he is currently on a crusade to solve an educational problem that doesn't exist, even though there are plenty of other educational problems that definitely do exist.

Sowell: Stances on Israel, immigrants typify post-thinking era

By Thomas Sowell August 5, 2014 6 a.m.

Some have said we are living in a post-industrial era, while others have said we are living in a post-racial era. But growing evidence suggests that we are living in a post-thinking era.

Sowell: In the long run, cease-fires do little to halt bloodshed

By Thomas Sowell July 29, 2014 6 a.m.

Many years ago, on my first trip around the world, I was struck by how the children in the Middle East — Arab and Israeli alike — were among the nicest-looking little children I had seen anywhere.

Sowell: Playing of race card in immigrant debate a cheap tactic

By Thomas Sowell July 22, 2014 6 a.m.

In a recent confrontation between protesters against the illegal flood of unaccompanied children into the United States and counter-protests by a Hispanic group, one man from the latter group said angrily, "We are as good as you are!"

Sowell: GOP threats to Obama are dangerous self-indulgence

By Thomas Sowell July 15, 2014 6 a.m.

Whenever Democrats are in real trouble politically, the Republicans seem to come up with something new that distracts the public's attention from the Democrats' problems. Who says Republicans are not compassionate?

Sowell: 'Please Stop Helping Us' a factual look at race issues

By Thomas Sowell July 8, 2014 6 a.m.

Back in the heyday of the British Empire, a man from one of the colonies addressed a London audience. "Please do not do any more good in my country," he said. "We have suffered too much already from all the good that you have done."

Sowell: Happy birthday, America, but wake up before all is lost

By Thomas Sowell July 1, 2014 6 a.m.

Birthdays are supposed to be times for celebration and gift-giving. But America's upcoming birthday on the Fourth of July is a time when the gift most needed is an urgent warning about the dangers of losing the things that have made this country America — and have long made "America" a ringing word of freedom, not only in this country but to people around the world.

Sowell: Obama on course to create a lame duck democracy

By Thomas Sowell June 24, 2014 6 a.m.

Pundits are pointing to President Barack Obama's recent decline in public opinion polls, and saying that he may now become another "lame duck" president, unable to accomplish much during his final term in office.

Sowell: Lessons must be learned as Iraq slips back into chaos

By Thomas Sowell June 17, 2014 6 a.m.

The news from Iraq that Islamic terrorists have now taken over cities that American troops liberated during the Iraq war must have left an especially bitter aftertaste for Americans who lost a loved one who died taking one of those cities, or for a survivor who came back without an arm or leg, or with other traumas to body or mind. Surely, we need to learn from a tragedy of this magnitude.

Sowell: What did President Obama get out of prisoner swap?

By Thomas Sowell June 10, 2014 6 a.m.

People are arguing about what the United States got out of the deal that swapped five top-level terrorist leaders for one American soldier who was, at best, absent from his post in a war zone. Soldiers who served in the same unit with him call him a deserter.

Sowell: U.S. post office a bottomless pit for taxpayers' dollars

By Thomas Sowell June 3, 2014 6 a.m.

At one time, people in India had to get on a waiting list to buy Hindustan Motors' Ambassador automobile, even though it was an obvious copy of Britain's Morris Oxford of some decades earlier. The reason was simple: The Indian government would not allow cars to be imported to compete with it.

Sowell: Random thoughts on the political, social scene

By Thomas Sowell May 27, 2014 6 a.m.

Random thoughts on a passing scene:

Sowell: Youth unable, unwilling to escape poverty snowstorm

By Thomas Sowell May 20, 2014 6 a.m.

Many years ago, in upstate New York, there was a lady who was caught in a fierce snowstorm that produced conditions called a "whiteout." That's when the snow is falling so thick and fast that all you can see in any direction is just sheer white. This lady wandered around in the storm, struggling to try to get home, but there was no way for her to know where home was.

Sowell: Mingling of poor, rich kids a study in moral bankruptcy

By Thomas Sowell May 13, 2014 6 a.m.

If you want to get some idea of the moral bankruptcy of our educational system, read an article in the May 4 issue of New York Times Magazine titled "The Tale of Two Schools."

Sowell: When it comes to education, helpers are demonized

By Thomas Sowell May 6, 2014 6 a.m.

It is not easy to demonize people who have spent hundreds of millions of dollars of their own money to help educate poor children. But some members of the education establishment are taking a shot at it.

Sowell: Controversy revisits once-elite school in Washington, D.C.

By Thomas Sowell April 29, 2014 6 a.m.

Dunbar High School in Washington is becoming a controversial issue again — and the controversy that is beginning to develop has implications for American education well beyond the District of Columbia.

Sowell: Housing example illustrates high cost of liberalism

By Thomas Sowell April 22, 2014 6 a.m.

Liberals advocate many wonderful things. In fact, I suspect that most conservatives would prefer to live in the kind of world envisioned by liberals, rather than in the kind of world envisioned by conservatives. Unfortunately, the only kind of world that any of us can live in is the world that actually exists. Trying to live in the kind of world that liberals envision has costs that will not go away just because these costs are often ignored by liberals.

Sowell: Gap in pay between genders is a statistical falsehood

By Thomas Sowell April 15, 2014 6 a.m.

The “war on women” political slogan is in fact a war against common sense. It is a statistical fraud when Barack Obama and other politicians say that women earn only 77 percent of what men earn — and that this is because of discrimination.

Sowell: Campaign finance reform protects those in power

By Thomas Sowell April 8, 2014 6 a.m.

The recent Supreme Court decision overruling some Federal Election Commission restrictions on political campaign contributions has provoked angry reactions on the left. That is what often happens whenever the High Court rules that the First Amendment means what it says — free speech for everybody.

Sowell: With right message, GOP could resonate with blacks

By Thomas Sowell April 1, 2014 6 a.m.

Recently, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice added her voice to those who have long been urging the Republican Party to reach out to black voters. Not only is that long overdue, what is also long overdue is putting some time — and, above all, some serious thought — into how to go about doing it.

Sowell: Book shows how welfare state hurts American Dream

By Thomas Sowell March 25, 2014 6 a.m.

Professor Amy Chua of the Yale law school is better known as a "Tiger Mom" because of her take-no-prisoners, tough love approach to raising children. She and her husband, Jed Rubenfeld (a fellow Yale law professor), have written what may turn out to be the best book of this year.

Sowell: Republicans should heed danger of self-righteousness

By Thomas Sowell March 18, 2014 6 a.m.

At a time when polls show public opinion turning against the Democrats, some Republicans seem to be turning against each other. Even with the prospect of being able to win control of the Senate in this fall's elections, some Republicans are busy manufacturing ammunition for their own circular firing squad.

Sowell: Left's lack of concern for minorities shows in education

By Thomas Sowell March 11, 2014 6 a.m.

If anyone wanted to pick a time and place where the political left's avowed concern for minorities was definitively exposed as a fraud, it would be now -- and the place would be New York City, where far left Mayor Bill de Blasio has launched an attack on charter schools, cutting their funding, among other things.

Sowell: Freedom fighters are needed to protect Constitution

By Thomas Sowell March 4, 2014 6 a.m.

There may be something to the claim that all people want to be free. But it is a demonstrable fact that freedom has been under attack, usually successfully, for thousands of years.

Sowell: The 'Fairness' Fraud: Differing aspirations play a role

By Thomas Sowell February 25, 2014 6 a.m.

It seems as if, everywhere you turn these days, there are studies claiming to show that America has lost its upward mobility for people born in the lower socioeconomic levels. But there is a sharp difference between upward "mobility," defined as an opportunity to rise, and mobility defined as actually having risen.

Sowell: Random thoughts and observations about our world

By Thomas Sowell February 11, 2014 6 a.m.

Random thoughts on the passing scene:

Sowell: GOP immigration reform plan may benefit Democrats

By Thomas Sowell February 4, 2014 6 a.m.

Some supporters of President Obama may be worried about how he and the Democrats are going to fare politically, as the problems of Obamacare continue to escalate and it looks like the Republicans have a chance to win a majority in the Senate.

Sowell: Talk of income inequality ignores an important point

By Thomas Sowell January 28, 2014 6 a.m.

During a recent lunch in a restaurant, someone complimented my wife on the perfume she was wearing. But I was wholly unaware that she was wearing perfume, even though we had been in a car together for about half an hour, driving to the restaurant.

Sowell: Fact-free liberals reduced to character assassination

By Thomas Sowell January 21, 2014 6 a.m.

One of the things that attracted me to the political left, as a young man, was a belief that leftists were for "the people."

Sowell: Christie's straight talk could be beneficial for GOP

By Thomas Sowell January 14, 2014 6 a.m.

The first time I saw New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on television, a few years ago, my first reaction was astonishment: "A talking Republican!"

Sowell: Left uses 'trickle-down' bogeyman as a scare tactic

By Thomas Sowell January 7, 2014 6 a.m.

New York's new mayor, Bill de Blasio, in his inaugural speech, denounced people "on the far right" who "continue to preach the virtue of trickle-down economics." According to Mayor de Blasio, "They believe that the way to move forward is to give more to the most fortunate, and that somehow the benefits will work their way down to everyone else."

Sowell: Big question for 2014: Will we be citizens or subjects?

By Thomas Sowell December 31, 2013 6 a.m.

Whenever we stand on the threshold of a new year, we are tempted to forget the hazards of prophecy, and try to see what may lie on the other side of this arbitrary division of time.

Sowell: Thought-provoking reading for Christmastime, beyond

By Thomas Sowell December 10, 2013 6 a.m.

As Christmas approaches, the shopping mall can become a shopping maul. One of the ways of buying gifts for family and friends, without becoming part of a mob scene in the stores, is to shop on the Internet. However, for many kinds of gifts, you want to be able to see it directly, and perhaps handle it, before you part with your hard-earned cash.