On this New Year’s Eve, we recycle a message from a past year because we like it:
“New Year’s Day: Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.”
– Mark Twain
A Happy New Year to all who see this page!
Thomas Sowell is one of the (rare) great thinkers of our time.
The Daily Caller reports:
Economist and conservative public intellectual Thomas Sowell announced his retirement in his final column Tuesday.
“Even the best things come to an end. After enjoying a quarter of a century of writing this column for Creators Syndicate, I have decided to stop. Age 86 is well past the usual retirement age, so the question is not why I am quitting, but why I kept at it so long,” Sowell wrote.
Fifty quotations follow. We relish them all – and emphasize our favorites:
“If you have always believed that everyone should play by the same rules and be judged by the same standards, that would have gotten you labeled a radical 60 years ago, a liberal 30 years ago and a racist today.”
“It is amazing that people who think we cannot afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, and medication somehow think that we can afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, medication and a government bureaucracy to administer it.”
“The biggest and most deadly ‘tax’ rate on the poor comes from a loss of various welfare state benefits — food stamps, housing subsidies and the like — if their income goes up.”
“The real minimum wage is zero.”
“Elections should be held on April 16th — the day after we pay our income taxes. That is one of the few things that might discourage politicians from being big spenders.”
“The black family survived centuries of slavery and generations of Jim Crow, but it has disintegrated in the wake of the liberals’ expansion of the welfare state.”
“Helping those who have been struck by unforeseeable misfortunes is fundamentally different from making dependency a way of life.”
“The most fundamental fact about the ideas of the political left is that they do not work. Therefore we should not be surprised to find the left concentrated in institutions where ideas do not have to work in order to survive.”
“The next time some academics tell you how important diversity is, ask how many Republicans there are in their sociology department.”
“The more people who are dependent on government handouts, the more votes the left can depend on for an ever-expanding welfare state.”
“I have never understood why it is ‘greed’ to want to keep the money you have earned but not greed to want to take somebody else’s money.”
“When you want to help people, you tell them the truth. When you want to help yourself, you tell them what they want to hear.”
“It’s amazing how much panic one honest man can spread among a multitude of hypocrites. ”
“People who pride themselves on their ‘complexity’ and deride others for being ‘simplistic’ should realize that the truth is often not very complicated. What gets complex is evading the truth.”
“Much of the social history of the Western world over the past three decades has involved replacing what worked with what sounded good.”
“The first lesson of economics is scarcity: There is never enough of anything to satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics.”
“Some of the biggest cases of mistaken identity are among intellectuals who have trouble remembering that they are not God.”
“Racism does not have a good track record. It’s been tried out for a long time and you’d think by now we’d want to put an end to it instead of putting it under new management.”
“Despite a voluminous and often fervent literature on ‘income distribution’, the cold fact is that most income is not distributed: It is earned.”
“The fact that the market is not doing what we wish it would do is no reason to automatically assume that the government would do better.”
“The problem isn’t that Johnny can’t read. The problem isn’t even that Johnny can’t think. The problem is that Johnny doesn’t know what thinking is; he confuses it with feeling.”
“Socialism is a wonderful idea. It is only as a reality that it has been disastrous. Among people of every race, color, and creed, all around the world, socialism has led to hunger in countries that used to have surplus food to export. … Nevertheless, for many of those who deal primarily in ideas, socialism remains an attractive idea — in fact, seductive. Its every failure is explained away as due to the inadequacies of particular leaders. ”
“Intellect is not wisdom.”
“The old are not really smarter than the young, in terms of sheer brainpower. It is just that we have already made the kinds of mistakes that the young are about to make, and we have already suffered the consequences that the young are going to suffer if they disregard the record of the past.”
“Bailing out people who made ill-advised mortgages makes no more sense than bailing out people who lost their life savings in Las Vegas casinos.”
“Freedom has cost too much blood and agony to be relinquished at the cheap price of rhetoric.”
“There are only two ways of telling the complete truth – anonymously and posthumously.”
“Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it.”
“Can you cite one speck of hard evidence of the benefits of ‘diversity’ that we have heard gushed about for years? Evidence of its harm can be seen — written in blood — from Iraq to India, from Serbia to Sudan, from Fiji to the Philippines. It is scary how easily so many people can be brainwashed by sheer repetition of a word.”
“Since this is an era when many people are concerned about ‘fairness’ and ‘social justice,’ what is your ‘fair share’ of what someone else has worked for?”
“Unfortunately, the real minimum wage is always zero, regardless of the laws, and that is the wage that many workers receive in the wake of the creation or escalation of a government-mandated minimum wage, because they lose their jobs or fail to find jobs when they enter the labor force. Making it illegal to pay less than a given amount does not make a worker’s productivity worth that amount—and, if it is not, that worker is unlikely to be employed.”
“Competition does a much more effective job than government at protecting consumers.”
“The most basic question is not what is best, but who shall decide what is best.”
“What sense would it make to classify a man as handicapped because he is in a wheelchair today, if he is expected to be walking again in a month, and competing in track meets before the year is out? Yet Americans are generally given ‘class’ labels on the basis of their transient location in the income stream. If most Americans do not stay in the same broad income bracket for even a decade, their repeatedly changing ‘class’ makes class itself a nebulous concept. Yet the intelligentsia are habituated, if not addicted, to seeing the world in class terms.”
“Rhetoric is no substitute for reality.”
“Virtually no idea is too ridiculous to be accepted, even by very intelligent and highly educated people, if it provides a way for them to feel special and important. Some confuse that feeling with idealism.”
“What is history but the story of how politicians have squandered the blood and treasure of the human race?”
“If politicians stopped meddling with things they don’t understand, there would be a more drastic reduction in the size of government than anyone in either party advocates.”
“One of the consequences of such notions as ‘entitlements’ is that people who have contributed nothing to society feel that society owes them something, apparently just for being nice enough to grace us with their presence.”
“Economics is a study of cause-and-effect relationships in an economy. It’s purpose is to discern the consequences of various ways of allocating resources which have alternative uses. It has nothing to say about philosophy or values, anymore than it has to say about music or literature.”
“Whenever someone refers to me as someone ‘who happens to be black’, I wonder if they realize that both my parents are black. If I had turned out to be Scandinavian or Chinese, people would have wondered what was going on.”
“Don’t you get tired of seeing so many ‘non-conformists’ with the same non-conformist look?”
“If you have been voting for politicians who promise to give you goodies at someone else’s expense, then you have no right to complain when they take your money and give it to someone else, including themselves.”
“Life does not ask what we want. It presents us with options.”
‘It doesn’t matter how smart you are unless you stop and think.”
“Everyone may be called ‘comrade’, but some comrades have the power of life and death over other comrades.”
“If you are not prepared to use force to defend civilization, then be prepared to accept barbarism.”
“People who have time on their hands will inevitably waste the time of people who have work to do.”
“In an age of artificial intelligence, too many of our schools and colleges are producing artificial stupidity.”
“Many on the political left are so entranced by the beauty of their vision that they cannot see the ugly reality they are creating in the real world.”
These sayings are a small part of a rich gift to the world. There is much more of his wisdom to be found in his books.
Here Thomas Sowell talks about “global warming”:
Dies natalis solis invicti – the birthday of the invincible sun – was celebrated by the Romans on December 25, a few days after the winter solstice. In 336 C.E., five months before the death of Constantine the first Christian emperor of Rome, the “birth of Christ” was declared by the governing elite to have occurred on that date. It was an arbitrary choice, probably made in order to attach a Christian significance to the mid-winter celebrations.
Unlike many killjoy atheists on the Left, we enjoy Christmas, the jolliest annual festival of the West.
What’s not to like about feasting, carousing, being in good company on a day off from the daily round?
Happiness is in the air. More so than ever for us this year because our side won the 2016 elections.
Associations with Christianity and the birth of its Christ are ineluctable, but need be no more of an annoyance to atheists than that Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday are named after pagan gods. This year Christmas Day falls on the day of the week named for the Sun.
And so, on this Christmas Eve, we wish all our readers, commenters, visitors, and critics
A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!
We repeat our Thanksgiving message from last year, with small alterations and a few additions:
On this Thanksgiving Day, we thank all our readers and commenters for their interest, support, critical appreciation and encouragement.
We specially thank one indispensable commenter, liz, on whose insightful, well-informed comments we have come to rely to reinforce and often expand our posts. We also thank our fiercest commenter Azgael for his frequent and stirring calls to arms.
Generally speaking – and disregarding occasional attacks by believers in the Supernatural or Big Government – we must have one of the most intelligent readerships of any blogs in the world.
Quite a large number of our regular readers do not live in the US. Most of those abroad are in Canada (where our valuable commenters, Cogito and Cassandra, dwell), Britain (where we have a like-thinker and contributor in Chauncey Tinker), France, Germany, the Czech Republic, Australia, South Africa and India – and this year we can add Hungary. But there are also a few who live in countries where it is dangerous for them even to let our title appear on their screens. They have our respectful admiration as well as our gratitude.
We wish you all long life, liberty, and success in the pursuit of happiness – made easier by America’s recent rescue from Leftist tyranny by the election of Donald Trump to the presidency.
Clint Eastwood: Preparing To Say Good-Bye
My Twilight Years at 84
If you realize each day is a gift, you may be near my age. As I enjoy my twilight years, I am often struck by the inevitability that the party must end.
There will be a clear, cold morning when there isn’t any “more”. No more hugs, no more special moments to celebrate together, no more phone calls just to chat.
It seems to me that one of the important things to do before that morning comes, is to let every one of your family and friends know that you care for them by finding simple ways to let them know your heartfelt beliefs and the guiding principles of your life so they can always say, “He was my friend, and I know where he stood.”
So, just in case I’m gone tomorrow, please know this: I voted against that incompetent, lying, flip-flopping, insincere, double-talking, radical socialist, terrorist excusing, bleeding heart, narcissistic, scientific and economic moron currently in the White House!
Participating in a gun buy-back program because you think that criminals have too many guns is like having yourself castrated because you think your neighbors have too many kids.
Here is a gladsome story of citizens striking back at dictatorial government.
From the Conservative Tribune:
If you own something — a business, a home, a car, land, really anything — liberals don’t believe that’s really yours. You’re just allowed to have that because the government lets you!
We saw this recently when the state of Oregon asked residents for access to their land to conduct a survey. One of the homeowners’ responses was so epic that it stopped them in their tracks, though — and will hopefully inspire others to do the same.
“(Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife) staff will be conducting surveys for foothill yellow-legged frogs and other amphibians over the next few months,” a letter from the Department of Fish and Wildlife to homeowners Larry and Amanda Anderson that was posted on Facebook read. “As part of this research we would like to survey the creek on your property,” the letter explained. “I am writing this letter to request your permission to access your property.”
And the reason? They might want to declare something on it endangered.
“Recent research indicates that the foothill-yellow legged frogs have declined significantly in recent years … Your cooperation will be greatly appreciated and will help contribute to the conservation of this important species.”
The homeowner in question decided to allow access to his land — on the same terms that government uses when it deals with its citizens.
I have divided our 2.26 acres into 75 equal survey units with a draw tag for each unit. Application fees are only $8.00 per unit after you purchase the ‘Frog Survey License’ ($120.00 resident/$180 non-resident) … You will also need an ‘Invasive Species‘ stamp for the vehicle ($15.00 for the first vehicle and $5.00 each add’l vehicle).
Survey gear can only include a net with 2″ diameter made of 100% organic cotton netting with no longer than an 18″ handle, non weighted and no deeper than 6′ from net frame to bottom of net. Handles can only be made of BPA-free plastics or wooden handles. After 1 p.m. you can use a net with a 3” diameter if you purchase the frog net endorsement ($75.00 resident/$250 non-resident).
Any frogs captured that are released will need to be released with an approved release device back into the environment unharmed.
One can only imagine the crestfallen expressions on the face of eager government functionaries once they opened the letter and realized that not only were Larry and Amanda Anderson not going to allow them to go on their land, but they didn’t even recognize how the government knew what was best for them, goshdarnit!
For the rest of us, however, this letter is a riot from beginning to end. Bravo, Mr. and Mrs. Anderson!