I wrote a 5-part series on Sowell that consolidates the various pieces I wrote about him — and added a great deal more. Here’s Part 1 in case you’d like to start there.
So you’re saying that your plan will elevate Thomas Sowell to worldwide recognition — by holding him accountable? That if he comes clean — he could be the catalyst to turn the tide?
That’s exactly what I’m saying
Even I have gotten lost in the woods of faith from time to time — placing my trust in people because I wanted to believe. But in the face of evidence that counters my convictions:
I’m fearless in finding out what I don’t know.
What the American public doesn’t know . . . is what makes them the American public
Rush Limbaugh once admitted to being “an entertainer.” I didn’t believe him at the time, but now I think it’s the most honest thing he ever said.
So when I came across this question below, it really hit home. As you’ll see, I asked a similar question before I found this one.
His was better. Not only was it more direct, but it also shed light on something I hadn’t thought of . . .
And I love that
This is the Glenn Loury that blew me away — the one from 37 years ago. For a while, I saw him only in that light. From Part 1:
High up in the speech throwing down the gauntlet came my signature declaration, the Civil Rights Movement is over, I asserted.
I claimed that the problems of the lower classes of African American society plagued by poverty and joblessness were, at the end of the day, not remediable by the means which had been so effective in the 1960s of protest and petitioning for fair treatment.
What we now faced, I suggested, was a new American dilemma. The formulation I ultimately settled on contrasted an enemy without, that would be white racism, with an enemy within — black society.
“The Civil Rights Movement is over” — in 1984!
That — takes guts!
It’s a mighty-fine feeling to get high praise from a man of his caliber. But my interest is in solving problems, not racking up attention for the sake of attention.
So if Glenn Loury becomes part of the problem — I don’t give a damn who he is, I’m addressing it.
For some reason he’s still following my site. I don’t know why, since he clearly didn’t read my blog series before I called him out.
I suspect it’s just laziness in unfollowing me.
If had a million followers, a YouTube channel, and padding a Patreon account to boot — it wouldn’t matter much to me unless I was making a real difference.
The likes of Loury, McWhorter, and Hughes think they’re making an impact.
So do these people
And they measure progress exactly the same way:
Increase in following, media attention, racking up requests for interviews, other well-known scholars get on board, endless praise in commentary, etc.
And somewhere along the way, they lost sight of what it was all about in the first place.
You think your way is working?
Take down the date and return in 10 or 20 years, and . .
All we had to do was shoot down the helicopters . . .
Amassing a following of people who are already inclined to agree doesn’t amount to much.
Not only that — it’s making matters worse . . .
I know another way
But it takes time and effort to think it through — to read and digest something that doesn’t dovetail with the norm. And Jesus, haven’t ya had enough of the norm?
Look around — it’s not working.
My idea doesn’t miraculously solve America’s problems — it’s a framework for honest debate in order to solve them. We could do it with hardly any money and a handful of people . . .
And this guy’s one of ’em.
Glenn & the Gang are invested in efforts that are entirely tactical. My idea adds a strategic umbrella over those efforts — eliminating the counterproductive nature of them.
And Thomas Sowell is key to it all.
In order to understand that, you need to look at his reprehensible record on a matter of world-altering consequence.
But the religion around this guy makes that nearly impossible.
If his disciples adhered to his principles they swear by, it would be easy (and maybe even enjoyable along with enlightening).
I’d offer up my arguments and evidence, and you’d consider them in a calm, cool, and collected manner.
And with each counter in the exchange, we’d aim high:
You do nothing of the kind
Hey, if ya wanna be a jerk and consider them — I’ll take that too.
But that behavior is a breach in the core of why you put this guy on a pedestal — and as such big fans, you should know that.
Just being a jerk isn’t enough for your kind though — as you don’t wanna consider the case either.
I like to emulate my heroes and elevate my standards & abilities in light of what I learn.
I’m old-fashioned that way.
I can’t be as cool or tough as John Wayne — but I can live a life keeping my word (and try to make amends when I fall short in any way).
“I Told Ya, Didn’t I!”
I didn’t want that on a bumper sticker — I wanted to live that life.
And I have
10 years ago I was catching up with a friend from high school and he invited me up for a visit. In our next conversation he relayed what he told his wife about me:
Rick’s the most honest guy you’ll ever meet
In the book: DUKE, We’re Glad We Knew You: John Wayne’s Friends and Colleagues Remember His Remarkable Life — in the forward is a 1979 article that includes the following:
To him a handshake was a binding contract. When he was in the hospital for the last time and sold his yacht, The Wild Goose, for an amount far below its market value, he learned the engines needed minor repairs.
He ordered those engines overhauled at a cost to him of $40,000 because he had told the new owner the boat was in good shape.
Rick’s the type of guy who would lose his job on principle
— CH (circa 2007)
I’ve practically burned my career on principles — and you can find those stories throughout this site.
Do the replies that follow — look like people even remotely living up to Sowell’s principles they find so precious?
What’s especially absurd is that this guy assumes I’m out to discredit all of Sowell’s work — when I don’t even object to it . . .
Outside of his party-line hackery on Iraq WMD and brazenly ignoring the debauchery in his own camp.
On this matter that f#$%!d up the future of the entire world, I have explained in great detail how their beloved “maverick” was wildly off the mark from his follow the facts mantra.
He never budged one bit in the direction in those facts — and nobody refuses to do that without ulterior motives.
And those motives could not be more obvious.
If it was just an honest mistake (and there’s no way in hell you could make a sound argument that it was):
Where’s his admission of error?
Ya know, since he preaches responsibility, accountability and all.
Apologists don’t roll that way — as everything they defend fits into a formula. Anything outside of that, doesn’t compute.
It’s not his area of expertise, so unsurprisingly, I’ve never heard him comment about ; war, Iraq, WMDs, or anything of that sort until I read your post.
I imagine it’s just not a line of questioning an interviewer with limited time would typically think to ask Sowell.
The notion that simply because no interviewer asked him about WMD — that this magically absolves him of owning up to his massive mistakes . . .
And he conveniently ignores that someone writing a biography — would have plenty of time to ask him about it.
Riley had motive not to:
As the brilliant and prescient maverick who preaches responsibility and such — the Godfather of Follow the Facts and all-things virtuous . . .
Was nothing but a partisan hack on the biggest deception and debacle of our time.
Doesn’t quite fit the premise of the book, does it!
While his quote below is talking about people who make the decisions, it also applies to people of influence — especially since they can shape those decisions.
He paid no price for being wrong — and his army of sycophants couldn’t care less.
They just wanna float the quotes and move along.
Never mind that some great good could come out of all this — if they had the courtesy and courage to listen.
And even if nothing comes of my idea, I’m in pretty good company with the benefits of practicing what you preach . . .
This is not that
Sowell is an excellent voice of reason for the black culture
If we were talking about that, that would be fine. But since we’re not, you have a choice:
- Don’t respond at all
- Respond with at least a modicum of courtesy to address the issue in question
In opting for #2, you’d be somewhere in the spirt of the very person you’re praising. Is your purpose to go around praising him or apply the principles he espouses?
I’ve seen a shit load of the former and rarely an atom of effort in the latter.
The idea of discussion is to engage in the information being addressed — not to keep spouting off about whatever comes to mind to blindly defend your beliefs.
For the record
One guy actually apologized for his behavior. I’ve never seen anyone turn on a dime like he did below. I greatly appreciated his apology and expressed that thoroughly.
As I wrote in part of my reply:
“Please allow us to begin anew”: Sounds like a great title for a blog entry. . . . Apology accepted and welcomed!
It takes a lot of guts to turn around like that (especially so quickly). Most people won’t do that in a lifetime.
And now we exchange thoughts from time to time. Turns out he his great-great-great grandfather was a major in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War.
That — is cool!
See how easy that is? It’s nothin’ to put that stuff behind us.
Knowing human nature so well — I don’t take things personally in the way most people do.
I’ll swim through a river of insults for a meeting of the minds on the other side. I’ve faced far worse than anything he said — and I’ve had decades of practice.
“Please allow us to begin anew”
That Echo Chamber of Affirmation above — is mild compared to what I’m used to. She took time to shovel this crap that has nothing to do with the issue at hand.
But calling her own comment racist was the icing on the cake.
I knew what she meant by “voice of reason for the black culture” — you don’t need to qualify it with “and the white, yellow and purple.”
Fussing over this nonsense is killing this country — among many other things.
And of all the things she could concern herself with — like her lack of courtesy to consider anything I wrote (as she mindlessly issues her utterly irrelevant defense) . . .
The extent of her reflection was in how she “caught” her imaginary racism — insightfully apologizing for failing to see the “invisible.”
Sorry. Apologize. So embedded in white culture we don’t even see it.
You should be helluva lot more concerned about the bullshit embedded in your brain.
And that goes for you too
Of all the great principles that foster fruitful communication, this one is paramount:
You Improvise, You Overcome, You Adapt
I adapt to you and you adapt to me . . .
There’s no finer example of that than these classic scenes from the all-time “Everyman” master.
The coach is coming from a different place — and his attitude from the start was:
I don’t have ballplayers, I’ve got girls!
But little by little, he came around — and once he saw them as ballplayers, he treated them as such.
And that’s what this first scene is all about.
But in the second scene, as much as he’d like to treat them the same as any player, he adapts to find some way of communicating his concerns without being too harsh.
You’re still missing the cutoff man. Now that’s . . . . that’s something I’d like you to work on . . . before next season.
And whad’ya know, she responds in kind!
She recognizes that he’s trying really hard to get something important through to her, and that he’s adjusting his approach from last time — and she appreciates that.
You have no such notion
You don’t listen, you don’t learn, you don’t think things through, you have no willingness to change your mind, and you damn sure don’t adapt.
Because it’s all about entertainment, getting what you want, and Anything Goes to get it.
The ever-rising ocean of partisan pettiness is gluttony under the guise of concern.
We get rewarded by hearts, likes, thumbs-up — and we conflate that with value, and we conflate it with truth.
Jolly Ol’ Phil is one of my favorite echo chamber examples. Instead of having a conversation about the issue, next thing ya know — the discussion was derailed by a debate over whether “everything’s just an opinion.”
Hardly a new notion — but nobody really believes that bullshit.
People pull that stunt when they have no idea what the hell they’re talking about — and proudly refuse to learn.
Just like torturing the true spirit of agree to disagree — this “all opinions are equal” crap is a cop-out . . .
Employed by people who wanna skate away scot-free with their baseless beliefs intact.
Nowadays you can “agree to disagree” about subject matter that you know absolutely nothing about. Somebody brilliantly captured the folly of this corrupted catchphrase:
I’ve been writing about this hijacked-for-hackery adage for nearly 20 years. There’s nothing sacred in our society — anything that can be butchered, will be.
And whad’ya know — Tom Nichols was tracking the same tactic:
No matter what the subject, the argument always goes down the drain of an enraged ego and ends with minds unchanged, sometimes with professional relationships or even friendships damaged. Instead of arguing, experts today are supposed to accept such disagreements as, at worst, an honest difference of opinion.
We are supposed to “agree to disagree,” a phrase now used indiscriminately as little more than a conversational fire extinguisher. And if we insist that not everything is a matter of opinion, that some things are right and others are wrong . . . well, then we’re just being jerks, apparently.
Oh yeah, I know the routine — all too well
In 11 seconds this clip encapsulates what America has become.
The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops we’ve created are destroying how society works . . .
Another former Facebook executive has spoken out about the harm the social network is doing to civil society around the world. Chamath Palihapitiya, who joined Facebook in 2007 and became its vice president for user growth, said he feels “tremendous guilt” about the company he helped make.
“I think we have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works,” he told an audience at Stanford Graduate School of Business, before recommending people take a “hard break” from social media.
Palihapitiya’s criticisms were aimed not only at Facebook, but the wider online ecosystem. “The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops we’ve created are destroying how society works,” he said, referring to online interactions driven by “hearts, likes, thumbs-up.” “No civil discourse, no cooperation; misinformation, mistruth
You deal on the moment — I deal on the dots . . .
In John Wayne: The Life and Legend, the author relays a story about The Duke growing up as Marion Robert Morrison — and how every day he rode eight miles to elementary school on a horse named Jenny.
No matter how much he fed his horse, Jenny was still too thin.
Some ladies in town took notice of what they perceived as malnutrition and reported his family to the Humane Society. After a vet examined the horse it was diagnosed to have a disease and eventually they had to put her down.
On top of losing his beloved horse, Marion was understandably unhappy with how he was treated:
[A] sense of outrage over being falsely accused never left him. “I learned you can’t always judge a person or a situation by the way it appears on the surface,” he remembered. “You have to look deeply into things before you’re in a position to make a proper decision.”
You have to look deeply into things before you’re in a position to make a proper decision.
Who disagrees with that?
So why do you do the opposite on a daily basis?
If you don’t wanna follow my standards — follow his and we’ll get along just fine . . .
Glenn didn’t listen — but what if you did?
He didn’t answer my question below either — or the one that topped mine. What if you pushed him to do better? Sowell is no saint — nor is Loury, McWhorter, Hughes or any of these people you praise.
Stop treating them as such.
The genuine article will welcome your challenge. The real deal would want you to hold them accountable.
The man is brilliant and has predicted much of what has transpired over the past 30 years well in advance of anyone else, with incredible detail and accuracy.
Just how brilliant could you be and blow it on something this big and glaringly obvious?
This isn’t about intelligence, it’s about ulterior motives.
But if he really were brilliant, shouldn’t he have the foresight to recognize the inherent holes in those motives? That however well-intended they might be, catastrophic consequences tend to come with endless lying and ineptitude.
Not to mention the poison of partisanship to absolve it all — running the nation into the ground while you’re at it.
At what point does it dawn on your beloved genius — that blind loyalty to that cause will be colossally counterproductive to his own?
I’m not brilliant — and I figured that out all by myself.
Somebody brilliant — would damn well know that America’s March of Folly into the Middle East comes with consequences.
Hard to Imagine
It’s impossible to overstate how dangerous and damaging it is to place blind faith in purveyors of poppycock.
Never mind the harm to the unseen who suffer and die from your folly . . .
But by refusing to hold your own accountable, you do them a grave disservice — as they do the same to you.
Like O’Reilly writing off Rumsfeld’s responsibility like he just ran a red light — that’s exactly how Sowell’s apologists absolve him . . .
Red Light District
And since you seem utterly oblivious to the reciprocal relationship between the Left and the Right, you can’t seem to comprehend how you help create the very problems you’re fighting against.
Same goes for the Left
What Rush said about the over-the-top adulation of Obama was true. I wrote about that in Rush Was Right — and how Geraldine Ferraro was ripped for telling the same truth.
What I thought of Rush was irrelevant, as the truth doesn’t take sides:
It just is
This is true and that’s false!
You’d be amazed at what we could accomplish with that binary belief system . . .
Instead of this one
And this is one of the greatest acts of service you could do for your country:
Calling crap what it is — no matter the source . . .
In your approach, this is how your beloved politicians and pundits reward loyalty:
The more bullshit we sell, the more bullshit they buy
Flip the switch — and guess what?
You have enormous power but squander it on self-deception, pettiness, and hypocrisy. In so doing, you created the Crap is King culture that America has become.
You don’t really need to find out what’s goin’ on
You don’t really wanna know just how far it’s gone
Just leave well enough alone
Eat your dirty laundry . . .
We can do “The Innuendo,” we can dance and sing
When it’s said and done, we haven’t told you a thing
We all know that crap is king
Lara walked along the tracks following a path worn by pilgrims and then turned into the fields. Here she stopped and, closing her eyes, took a deep breath of the flower-scented air of the broad expanse around her. It was dearer to her than her kin, better than a lover, wiser than a book. For a moment she rediscovered the purpose of her life.
She was here on earth to grasp the meaning of its wild enchantment and to call each thing by its right name, or, if this were not within her power, to give birth out of love for life to successors who would do it in her place.
― Doctor Zhivago (referenced in Into the Wild)