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1 Dark_Falcon  Wed, Dec 26, 2012 5:26:35am

Sowell has lost it. I do not for the life of me see how a comparison between Jim Jones and Barack Obama can be made, except in the context of illustrating an unstable personality (Jones) by contrasting it with a stable personality (Obama). Obama hasn't sought to isolate his followers as Jones did, and he is far more self assured than Jones was. Nor has Obama tried to maintain a cult of personality around him and Jones did, instead accepting being "brought down to earth" by the realities of governing. Th at last is the cardinal point that proves Sowell to be loony: Barack Obama would rather be president and get things done than play as messiah and do nothing.

2 Jimmah  Wed, Dec 26, 2012 6:01:39am

re: #1 Dark_Falcon

Merry christmas DF

You are totally right, but the comparison is so self-lampooningly ridiculous it doesn't even need to be debunked.

I also love how he accuses intellectuals of destroying civilisation, and then goes on to quote Adam Smith. Quality.

We're off now to protest against our own christmas tree!

3 philosophus invidius  Wed, Dec 26, 2012 8:03:25am
The more I study the history of intellectuals, the more they seem like a wrecking crew, dismantling civilization bit by bit — replacing what works with what sounds good.

What actually works: the social safety net + Keynesian economics
What merely sounds good: no new taxes ever + supply side economics

Unfortunately "replacing what works with what sounds good" in this case will lead to "dismantling civilization bit by bit." But although I would call those Republicans a "wrecking crew," I wouldn't call them intellectuals.

I also obviously wouldn't call them "conservatives" in the sense implied by the quoted passage since they are driven by a stupid ideology rather than a commitment to "what works."

4 Ace-o-aces  Wed, Dec 26, 2012 8:34:13am
If I were rich, I would have a plaque made up, and sent to every judge in America, bearing a statement made by Adam Smith more than two and a half centuries ago: “Mercy to the guilty is cruelty to the innocent.”

Maybe somebody should send Sowell a plaque with this quote:

The quality of mercy is not strain'd,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.
'T is mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown;
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
But mercy is above this sceptred sway,
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself;
And earthly power doth then show likest God's,
When mercy seasons justice.

5 Cinnabar  Wed, Dec 26, 2012 9:15:41am

I would also point out that in the 18th century a dangerous movement to contaminate the precious bodily fluids of the British people arose and became active. It was known as liberalism. Two of its most prominent early advocates were John Locke... and Adam Smith.

6 Ogami Itto  Wed, Dec 26, 2012 10:05:10am
If you don’t want to have a gun in your home or in your school, that’s your choice. But don’t be such a damn fool as to advertise to the whole world that you are in “a gun-free environment” where you are a helpless target for any homicidal fiend who is armed. Is it worth a human life to be a politically correct moral exhibitionist?

Also, too, if you're wearing provacative clothing in public then you're justing asking for it. As someone old and wise once said, "if you ain't selling, don't advertise."

If someone wrote a novel about a man who was raised from childhood to resent the successful and despise the basic values of America — and who then went on to become President of the United States — that novel would be considered too unbelievable, even for a work of fiction. Yet that is what has happened in real life.

What does Richard Nixon have to do with anything?

7 Political Atheist  Wed, Dec 26, 2012 10:54:33am

Good catch. I never lurk that place. Happy boxing day, say hi to Ice from D-L & I

8 FemNaziBitch  Wed, Dec 26, 2012 11:31:59am

Dr. Sowell is one of those really, really smart people who used to be a Marxist and as he is older, must continue to justify his change of philosophy. He, of all people, should know that economics is not a zero-sum game.

He, of all people, should know that an economic system and and political system are two different things.

I have a lot of respect for his past accomplishments, yet I feel he is another who is unable to recognize change. I'd like to give him a pass because of his age, but I think I'll just ignore him.

9 majii  Wed, Dec 26, 2012 2:17:31pm

IMO, Sowell is looking at himself in a mirror and seeing President Obama. Everything he says about the president is how he feels about himself, so in order to avoid facing the truth about himself, he uses projection. I think that one of the main reasons Romney was surprised when he lost the election was because he and the others on the Right have never known who Barack Obama is. Too late, he discovered that he wasn't running against the RW Obama caricature but the real one.

10 wrenchwench  Wed, Dec 26, 2012 2:34:14pm

re: #9 majii

IMO, Sowell is looking at himself in a mirror and seeing President Obama. Everything he says about the president is how he feels about himself, so in order to avoid facing the truth about himself, he uses projection. I think that one of the main reasons Romney was surprised when he lost the election was because he and the others on the Right have never known who Barack Obama is. Too late, he discovered that he wasn't running against the RW Obama caricature but the real one.

That's the best explanation I've read about Romney's loss. More evidence here.

11 thecommodore  Wed, Dec 26, 2012 4:44:33pm

Sowell has compared Obama to Hitler, predicted race riots if Obama lost the election, and now he is legitamizing the "war on Christmas."

Strole three, you're out. The distinguished Dr. Sowell is officially a wingnut.


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 Frank says:

In every language, the first word after "Mama!" that every kid learns to say is "Mine!" A system that doesn't allow ownership, that doesn't allow you to say "Mine!" when you grow up, has -- to put it mildly -- a fatal design flaw. From the time Mr. Developing Nation was forced to read "The Little Red Book" in exchange for a blob of rice, till the time he figured out that waiting in line for a loaf of pumpernickel was boring as f*ck, took about three generations. ... Decades of indoctrination, manipulation, censorship and KGB excursions haven't altered this fact: People want a piece of their own little Something-or-Other, and, if they don't get it, have a tendency to initiate counterrevolution.