In Search of Villains for Rising Food and Oil Prices

In searching for villains for rising food and oil prices, some commentators have turned to speculators, namely people trading on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and similar exchanges around the world. A sample of the claims: “Biofuels and droughts can’t fully explain the recent food crisis — hedge funds and small investors bear some responsibility for […]

Investigate Bad Congress, Not Big Oil: How The American Government’s Anti-Capitalist Policies Increase Gas Prices

With gasoline prices exceeding $4 a gallon in some states, politicians are responding as usual: Blame Big Oil First. Several prominent senators have once again summoned industry leaders to Capitol Hill, subjecting them to yet another barrage of rhetorical questions, interruptions, accusations, and sermons. The lawmakers’ goal, claims Sen. Patrick Leahy, is to identify “causes […]

Waging the War of Non-Ideas

“It wasn’t real, was it?” – “We seem to have heard it.” – “We couldn’t help it.” – “We don’t have to believe it, do we? Do we?” – “Tell them to go on as if nothing had happened.” [1] Ayn Rand was always there first. She articulated the fundamentals of metaphysics and epistemology that […]

Heroism: A Memorial Day Comment

In his tribute to Ferdinand Magellan, William Manchester, in A World Lit Only by Fire, wrote, in the concluding chapter, “One Man Alone”: “He was not the wisest man of his time. Erasmus was. Neither was he the most gifted. That, surely, was Leonardo. But Magellan became what, as a child, he had yearned to […]

On The Rise of Islamic Rule in Turkey

According to a recent article in the Jerusalem Post (“Is Turkey’s Government Starting a Muslim Reformation?” Daniel Pipes, May 22, 2008), a government ministry in Turkey, the so-called “Presidency of Religious Affairs and the Religious Charitable Foundation,” has undertaken a three year project to study and condense thousands of pages of material associated with Islam. […]

Mascot Politics

Years ago, when Jack Greenberg left the NAACP Legal Defense Fund to become a professor at Columbia University, he announced that he was going to make it a point to hire a black secretary at Columbia. This would of course make whomever he hired be seen as a token black, rather than as someone selected […]

Random Thoughts for May 2008

Random thoughts on the passing scene: Seeing the Pope driven around in a bullet-proof vehicle reminds me of how much times have changed over the years. I can remember when President Franklin D. Roosevelt rode through Harlem in an open car. A reader’s response to my column about the mandated change from incandescent light bulbs […]

Control Criminals Not Guns

Every time there’s a highly publicized shooting, out go the cries for stricter gun control laws, and it was no different with the recent murder of Philadelphia Police Sgt. Stephen Liczbinski. Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, in a letter to the state congressional delegation demanding reenactment of the federal assault weapon […]

Waging the War of Words

To the photo album of the two Bush administrations can be added a recent picture that accompanied an Associated Press article of May 16, “Saudi Arabia rebuffs Bush on oil production,” about the President’s one-day visit to the medieval kingdom. George W. Bush is seated next to King Abdullah. In a dark business suit, his […]

Thomas Sowell’s 2008 Summer Reading Recommendations

Some parents who are concerned about their children receiving a steady diet of liberal-left indoctrination in schools and colleges regard the summer vacation as a time to show these young people a different way of looking at things, with readings presenting viewpoints that are unlikely to be heard in classrooms that have become indoctrination centers. […]

Are The Issues Too “Complex” For Voters? Part III

In one of those typical San Francisco decisions that makes San Francisco a poster child for the liberal left, the city’s Board of Supervisors is moving to block a paint store from renting a vacant building once used by a video rental shop. That paint store is part of a chain, and chain stores are […]

Congressional Problem Creation: There Still is No Free Lunch

Most of the great problems we face are caused by politicians creating solutions to problems they created in the first place. Politicians and a large percentage of the public lose sight of the unavoidable fact that for every created benefit, there’s also a created cost or, as Nobel Laureate Milton Friedman put it, “There’s no […]

Are The Issues Too “Complex” For Voters? Part II

Let’s face it. Supply and demand will never replace “need” and “greed” in political discussions of economic issues. Talking about the “need” for more affordable housing or more affordable medical care is what will get politicians more votes this election year. Voters don’t want to hear about impersonal things like supply and demand. They want […]

Are The Issues Too “Complex” For Voters? Part I

Some people think that the reason the public misunderstands so many issues is that these issues are too “complex” for most voters. But is that really so? With all the commotion in the media and in politics about the high price of gasoline, is there really some terribly complex explanation? Is there anything complex about […]

Environmentalists’ Wild Predictions

Now that another Earth Day has come and gone, let’s look at some environmentalist predictions that they would prefer we forget. At the first Earth Day celebration, in 1969, environmentalist Nigel Calder warned, “The threat of a new ice age must now stand alongside nuclear war as a likely source of wholesale death and misery […]

Random Events

Random Events Sometimes unrelated events nevertheless tell a coherent story. One newspaper story that caught my eye recently was about two high-powered schools in South Korea where Korean girls study 15 hours a day, preparing themselves for tests to get into elite colleges in the United States. Harvard, Yale and Princeton already have 34 students […]

Free Google, Microsoft and Yahoo! From Antitrust Fascism

Yahoo! has just released its first-quarter earnings numbers, and neither the market nor analysts are impressed. What will be the company’s next move? Multiple suitors claim that they can leverage Yahoo!’s online products and talented employees better than Yahoo!’s widely criticized management is doing. The leading bidder is Microsoft, whose $40 billion offer it is […]