Thomas Sowell to Team of Rivals

Let’s clear away all the non-arguments that clutter [this] debate — Anne Curzan

Now — let’s analyze what’s been working for us

It wasn’t until a few years ago that I had ever the song ’39 by Brian May. How could I have missed such magnificence all these years? I heard Bohemian Rhapsody on the bus back in the day, but as great as it is — it didn’t resonate with me the way ’39 does.

And hearing that song would have opened my mind to seeing Queen on a whole other level.

In the year of ’39
Assembled here the volunteers
In the days when lands were few
Here the ship sailed out into the blue and sunny morn
Sweetest sight ever seen

But Roger Taylor insisted on getting his way with putting I’m in Love with My Car on the B-side of Bohemian Rhapsody. The story goes that he locked himself in a cupboard and wouldn’t come out until Mercury agreed.

And with that, Roger got an equal share of the royalties (which is a mighty chunk of change given the success of Bohemian).

Was it worth it?

May said he would have liked to have had ’39 get out in the “public consciousness” — and it was perfect for that time. All the more fitting is that he’s an astrophysicist.

He mentioned the unfairness of the royalties too (in the most gentlemanly manner that May represents). You can see some shades of resentment there, but I think it’s much more about the loss of “public consciousness” attached to his masterpiece.

And not because it’s his — but rather because it’s a masterpiece. I’m in Love with My Car — is not (and that’s putting it as politely as possible). Queen could have broadened its audience early on with a song like ’39, but Roger saw only the shortsighted gains.

That story is a microcosm of America — where people lock themselves in a box and don’t come out until they get their way.

And no one seems to be looking around and wondering, “Was it worth it?”

I’m mostly met with mockery and all sorts of dismissiveness, but occasionally someone comes along with a courteous reply in the interest of truth and understanding.

I like the fact that this guy below doesn’t just take my word for it. And it doesn’t bother me one bit that he’s too pressed for time to read my site.

But he left the door open

I could have just pointed him to Without Passion or Prejudice — which provides the outline he asked for. And Parts 12-A and B (the 2-part conclusion of Two Sides of the Same Counterfeit Coin) — capture the essence of the series and detail the solution.

But I decided to honor his request by writing a more condensed page for my plan. I need to set up the problem in order to frame the solution though.

It all boils down to the opening “quote” below:

To claim that Iraq WMD wasn’t a lie should be like saying we didn’t go to the moon. In denying that reality, you helped create a culture where denying reality is now the norm.

There is no skimming over the surface of a subject with [Hamilton]. He must sink to the bottom to see what foundation it rests on.

— Major William Pierce

In America, a celebrity who skimmed the surface on WMD, carries more weight than the word of a nobody who wrote and produced the most exhaustive documentary ever done on the subject.

Nobody got to the bottom of Iraq WMD more than I did. Don’t you wish we lived in a world where people said, “Prove it!” — and would actually care if you did?

But we created a culture that endlessly defends myth over merit.

And the incalculable costs are all around us

We are living through an epidemic of cowardice. The antidote is courage. . . .

Courage means, first off, the unqualified rejection of lies. Do not speak untruths, either about yourself or anyone else, no matter the comfort offered by the mob. And do not genially accept the lies told to you. If possible, be vocal in rejecting claims you know to be false. Courage can be contagious, and your example may serve as a means of transmission.

Why have things come so undone? And what can we do to rebuild them?

I have an answer to those questions — and it all goes back to what I highlighted below:

Thomas Sowell may be a “maverick” within his wheelhouse, but on this matter of world-altering consequence — he miserably failed to live up to his “follow the facts” mantra.

If you hail him as a hero, shouldn’t you abide by the principles upon which you put him on a pedestal — even it if knocks him off of it?

Wouldn’t the genuine article want you to hold them accountable to their claims?

What McWhorter said below is demonstrably false — and there’s no two ways about it. When facing information that flies in the face of your convictions — just how solid can those beliefs be if they can’t withstand scrutiny?

In these images alone — any objective observer would see that something’s out of sync.

We have no chance of turning this nightmare around until somebody takes the lead on taking responsibility.

Just controlling the narrative about responsibility doesn’t get it done — ya gotta deliver by holding your own accountable. Anybody can follow the facts when they’re going in the direction you desire.

The religious-like devotion around Thomas Sowell makes him uniquely positioned to make a difference in a way that no other could.

But he’d never do it without pressure from people of prominence in his circle. Glenn Loury was perfect for this.

how my journey with Loury began:

And how it ended:

Glenn’s instant reply:

Never mind my efforts before that day

Out of all the good stuff in Glenn’s interview — this caught my attention the most:

We’re a university. We should be above whatever the fad or the fashion is of any given day. We should be looking at the deep questions. We should be analytical. We should be emphasizing reason. Instead, it was like a kind of emotional rush — in which . . . the president and provost and the top leadership of my university — wanted to jump on a bandwagon. They wanted to wave a banner.

And I thought to myself, what have we come to at the university — that the first reaction to grave matters — and the rioting in the street after George Floyd died is a grave matter.

That the reaction is not to think it through, not to question, not to assemble facts, not to make arguments — but instead to wave banners and spout slogans such that you could hardly distinguish what they were doing from a manifesto that would come out of Black Lives Matter

Remove the references around George Floyd — and that behavior rings a bell.

The aftermath of this

That the reaction is not to think it through, not to question, not to assemble facts, not to make arguments — but instead to wave banners and spout slogans such that you could hardly distinguish what they were doing from a manifesto that would come out of . . .


We can talk about race and responsibility till the end of time — but heaven forbid we have a single conversation about war and responsibility.

A young man sittin’ on the witness stand
The man with the book says “Raise your hand”
“Repeat after me, I solemnly swear”
The man looked down at his long hair
And although the young man solemnly swore
Nobody seemed to hear anymore
And it didn’t really matter if the truth was there
It was the cut of his clothes and the length of his hair


While his quote below is talking about people who make the decisions, it also applies to people of influence . . .

Since they can shape those decisions.

The Right wants the Left and the black community to get its act together:

As they should

But however absurd those matters may be today — those emotions are deeply woven into the fabric of America’s long history of brutality and disgrace . . .

Slavery, Jim Crow, lynchings, murder, decades of civil rights violations, questionable shootings, and so on . . .

While the Right won’t even look at the material properties of a tube: The manipulation of which f$@*#% up the future of the entire world.

What’s wrong with that picture — and this one?

Hmm, so the dimensions exactly match the tubes used in Iraq’s history of manufacturing the Nasser-81mm artillery rocket (a reverse-engineered version of the Italian Medusa).


Be quite a coincidence if they weren’t . . .

Ya know, connected


Loury, McWhorter, and Hughes would do far more good by holding Sowell accountable than all their efforts combined.

As accountability would frame those efforts in a broader light — establishing credibility in ways their approach never will.

More so than ever, America battles multi-dimensional problems in a one-dimesional manner. That will never work — especially in the trench warfare of today.

However much you gain by that approach in the short-term, we’re all paying for it in the the long-term.

Look around

We should be looking at the deep questions

— Glenn Loury

Repeatedly rehashing the same old topics in the same old ways — is not asking the deep questions.

This is the Glenn Loury I was looking for:

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!

The guts we need now more than ever . . .

What I have in mind is something of a JSOC — to join forces for a greater good that’s the gold standard of unimpeachable integrity.

Institute for HonestyInstitute for Integrity?

Something along those lines. Let’s just stick with JSOC for now — since it sounds cool and it’s got a nifty badge and all. Whatever the name . . .

JSOC’s scrutiny spares no one

These are just the first voices that came to mind to float the idea.

I’m really aiming for a Team of Rivals, but I’d need some help in finding people who could put their politics aside when representing JSOC.

When I couldn’t think of anyone else, I looked around and came across Transparency International:

To end corruption we must first understand it. That’s why we look at what causes corruption and what works against it. . . . We advocate for power to be held accountable. Everywhere.

Now we’re talkin’

Since the psychological gymnastics of human nature is at the root of our culture’s decline, exploring that would be central to JSOC’s mission.

I’m not familiar with the people in The Psychology of Politics, but they’re asking the right kind of questions.

I don’t see Sowell as a “great man” at all . . .

But he can be

Sowell joins JSOC (he doesn’t even have to do anything — just his seal of approval is enough). Then we go after this guy — boxing him in by his own “facts over feelings” standard.

With Sowell’s backing, how does Shapiro escape his own words about what a “terrific thinker” and “ethical guide” Thomas Sowell is?

Thomas Sowell is of course one of the foremost economists in America. He’s a terrific thinker — and more importantly, Thomas Sowell is I think a real ethical guide for a lot of folks because he thinks about issues rationally.

Whatever I think of Sowell, I can’t imagine him treating me like Larry Elder did.

Who’s arguing with feelings and who’s arguing with facts?

Up against JSOC (with Sowell and hopefully Shapiro on board): Larry’s days are done with dishing but not taking.

And if he stops behaving like a child when challenged — and consistently delivers on “facts over feelings,” JSOC would welcome him right in.

JSOC drops the hammer — and this is the short list:

And Around and Around We Go

This nation has no remorse

Not for relatively recent wrongdoing, anyway.

How can you learn or expect others to — when you consistently and miserably fail to hold up your end of he bargain?

If you wanna make the opposition look bad, try looking good. If you wanna have the moral high ground, try earning it:

The moral high ground, in ethical or political parlance, refers to the status of being respected for remaining moral, and adhering to and upholding a universally recognized standard of justice or goodness.

It’s not a miracle — we just decided to go

If you’ve got a better idea — I’m all ears

But I don’t see anybody with any ideas — just more of the same that got us here in the first place.

You think my idea is a fantasy? I need a handful of key people and hardly any money to make this happen.

Your ways have repeatedly failed — the fantasy is thinking that they’ll magically work next time.

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)

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