I’m not smart enough to be a nuclear scientist — but I’m smart enough to interview one. When I drove up to the University of Virginia to meet with Dr. Houston Wood — on my iPad I was packin’ pictures and structured inquiry like nothing you’ve ever seen.
I’d never done any journalism, but I was striving for the best of what it’s supposed to be.
My Prime Directive
- No leading questions
- If this man wants to talk — scrap the script and keep my mouth shut
Because of that — I obtained information that nobody else did.
My grades wouldn’t cut it for the intelligence community — but I could ask key questions to Colin Powell’s chief of intelligence at the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR).
With a little help, I managed to make it through physics in college — but I couldn’t be a physicist. I could correspond with the one who wrote extensively on the subject matter though.
I could believe what liars claimed on intelligence investigations — or I could read the reports and make up my own mind.
I could do all that & much more
And then be belittled by people who didn’t do anything but gleefully get in the way — torturing the truth without mercy.
Then tell me how he was wrong about one thing that he has no expertise in.
So lemme get this straight
A layperson with limited resources and no connections:
- Can do countless hours of research & writing
- Interview a world-renowned nuclear scientist
- Correspond with Colin Powell’s chief of intelligence — along with a key physicist
- Spend $15,000 of his own money to write & produce the most detailed documentary ever done on WMD (taking both parties to task for it)
Qualifying me to exhaustively explain how half the country could not be more wrong on this issue of world-altering consequence.
And in response: I’m practically spit on for abiding by the very priciples you peddle: By people who couldn’t craft a sound argument on the subject to save their lives.
But it’s all good that Sowell cranked out this crap that any Iraq War cheerleading jackass could issue in chain-letter lies — topped off with smug sloganeering.
After all — he doesn’t have any expertise on it.
As a distinguished scholar once said: “The first thing a man will do for his ideals is lie.”
— Thomas Sowell: Desperate and Ugly in Florida
Some circles call that evidence — I call it cowardice
Since Glenn Loury once called my writing “brilliant” and was “blown away” by my site and signed up, I’d like to think that would earn me some credibility.
Not with these people. Nothing registers:
No matter what you say and how much evidence you’ve got to back it up: If you don’t march to the company line.
You are the enemy!
In their collective state, the Borg are utterly without mercy; driven by one will alone: the will to conquer. They are beyond redemption, beyond reason.
— Jean-Luc Picard
“The Civil Rights Movement is over” — in 1984!
That — took guts!
And that — is the Loury I was looking for, not this guy . . .
You asked them to take stock — just don’t ask you.
Sowell has a habit of headlines oozing in partisan pettiness. On two of the biggest events in history — Sowell seems pretty tribal to me.
Desperate and Ugly in Florida
And I find it interesting that with Sowell — one reason some people today would find it hard to go with him is that he doesn’t write with that tribalist sense.
Weapons of Crass Obstruction
He’s trying to be purely objective and there’s nothing in him of — here’s what we down here think. Here’s what we’ve been through.
Weapons of Political Destruction
It’s not seasoned with any of that — he’s just trying to have a white lab coat on and look at the facts.
If his Crap is King claims on WMD isn’t “seasoned” to you, Mr. McWhorter — what is?
Hard to Imagine
And Damn Disappointing to Boot . . .
It’s bad enough I gotta deal with unyielding yahoos who yearn to praise Sowell as if he’s some kind of saint-like Sherlock Holmes. But to see people I respected fall into the same trap — enabling their “National Treasure” and the echo chamber around him:
The crude, dirty “brutes” of the land of the Houyhnhnms in Gulliver’s Travels, by Jonathan Swift. The Yahoos are irrational people and represent the worst side of humanity. By contrast, the wise and gentle Houyhnhnms, their masters, are rational horses and represent humanity at its best.
The likes of Loury & McWhorter see themselves as Houyhnhnms — as if they’re immune to irrational behavior in defense of their interests.
Sowell is a great man because of his books. I stand by that. you want to refute his books — go ahead. I’m listening.
— Glenn Loury
Oh, I see — you wanna confine his record to a box of beliefs that suit you, and ignore anything that doesn’t. So the rules of argument you espouse on a daily basis don’t apply to you . . .
A lot of that goin’ around
“I stand by that” does not make baseless beliefs magically have merit. But even the most intelligent minds will sling such absurdity to blindly defend their interests:
Doing cosmic disservice to the very thing they’re defending.
Then merrily move along — as they gotta get back to griping about others who behave as they do . . .
Sowell sold out to sell those books you stand by — and I wrote “Water is Not Wet — And I Stand by That” with the likes of Loury in mind:
I have no idea what you’re talking about . . .
What part of “WMD,” “biggest and most costly lie in modern history,” and “most world-altering topic of our time” — do you not understand?
Perhaps an inquiry or two for clarification was in order?
What happened to “looking at the deep questions”? . . .
Or are those reserved for what’s popular and easy to perceive? Whatever’s in your wheelhouse? Is that as deep as your questions go?
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
— Glenn Loury
Remove the references around George Floyd — and that behavior rings a bell.
Now I Remember . . .
As the patriots “Never Forget“
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 . . .
And now, even now . . .
The cat . . . TOTALLY out of the BAG!
What else? . . .
If you don’t wanna watch my documentary that’s chock-full of facts on this fiasco for the ages, that’s your prerogative.
But don’t bitch about what you don’t see when you refuse to look.
This guy took a look in light of that line — and believe it or not, he’s the same one who sent the Tweet above:
And by the way: Sowell’s articles on the subject are assertions, not argument.
It’s high time we appreciate the difference — perfectly defined on a blog I stumbled across years ago called Duane’s Mind: A Christian’s Perspective:
An assertion is just a point of view, an opinion. An argument goes further. An argument is a point of view supported by reasons that demonstrate the view is a good one.
In both the documentary and throughout this site, I do address Sowell’s piece littered with talking points . . .
And do so with argument
If they were doing the same, they’d take one look at this imagery and think:
So, you did a documentary on the most definitive intelligence by far — that was the difference between going to war and not going. That sounds pretty important.
Perhaps you should listen to people who addressed the evidence instead of being so quick to defend those who pretend to.
That you even think that a story so complex and convoluted could be explained away so easily — is a monumental problem all by itself.
What hard evidence do you have?
— Thomas Sowell
Hard enough to drop the hammer on you a hundred times over.
Consider yourself lucky that concrete evidence of mathematical certainty doesn’t qualify with your flock when it comes to protecting you and their interests.
Nor does any notion of responsibility and accountability: Those things only apply to people you don’t like.
But The Right is not always wrong
And the smart move is to agree with them when they’re making sense.
It’s also the right thing to do.
Pursuing aims in ways that predictably damage your cause is bad enough. But once the outcome becomes clear, it’s beyond belief that you refuse to reflect on your methods.
Even if you’re right and have the best of intentions, if you’re not smart in making your moves, you can exponentially worsen the problem you’re addressing — along with seemingly unrelated ones.
And already have — again and again . . .
Like many alternatives, however, it was psychologically impossible. Character is fate, as the Greeks believed. Germans were schooled in winning objectives by force, unschooled in adjustment. They could not bring themselves to forgo aggrandizement even at the risk of defeat.
— Barbara Tuchman
Unschooled in Adjustment
The right thing tends to be the demanding thing — the difficult that can’t be captured in slogans, kneeling, and knocking down monuments.
The Left institutionalizes weakness — and the Democratic Party is notorious for lacking backbone. You weaken the very people you’re trying to strengthen — branding weakness to boot. And right on cue, the Right is ready to pounce.
I don’t blame ’em — except for the part about them being weak while branding strength.
Conservatives have put on a masterclass of complaining for 30 years — but because the intelligentsia on the Left perennially pumps candy into the piñata: They beat the hell out of you — while unconscionably ignoring the debauchery of their own behavior.
Sailing away on Scot-Free . . .
Sail on silver [Sowell]
Sail on by . . .
Not only did Sowell flagrantly fail to follow the facts on all-things Iraq — he brazenly ignored the debauchery in his own party to politely pounce on the other.
Showing Sowell’s piece below has nothing to do with defending the Left. This is about his record being wildly out of sync with reality on the Right.
I didn’t write Mentality of a Mob from my imagination.
And this — is Conformity 101:
Ice-cold partisan hackery wrapped in the warmth of a “white lab coat” . . .
I didn’t write this poem from my imagination either.
I wrote it 3 years before Sowell’s piece — and for decades, this behavior is all I’ve seen from Republicans on Iraq and a helluva lot more.
So you found one small crack in Sowell’s character where he defended Iraq having WMD, does that hurt his credibility?
This man muddied the waters of debate to serve himself — on a little matter of war in the Middle East in the aftermath of 9/11.
Factoring for his history of hypocrisy and lying on that — along with ripping the Left while shamelessly ignoring the debauchery on the Right:
That “one small crack” is a wide-open window into his character and credibility.
And how do you reconcile that? . . .
Say, we can go where we want to
A place where they will never find
And we can act like we come from out of this world
Leave the real one far behind . . .
We can go when we want to
The night is young and so am I
And we can dress real neat from our hats to our feet
And surprise ’em with the victory cry
Say, we can act if we want to
If we don’t, nobody will
And you can act real rude and totally removed
And I can act like an imbecile . . .
The article he so proudly replied with — doesn’t even imply what he thinks it says. And as someone who’s read 10,000 pages on the topic, it was not news.
He was screwed the second I started explaining uranium hexafluoride.
Take note of how he smugly cites the source as a way to bolster his baseless beliefs: A go-to tactic of people who unconscionably ignore clear-cut connections to merrily make up their own.
You walked into the party
Like you were walking onto a yacht
Your hat strategically dipped below one eye
Your scarf it was apricot
You had one eye in the mirror
As you watched yourself gavotte . . .
So instead of respecting my knowledge and expanding on the discussion — this is where it went . . .
Well I hear you went up to Saratoga
And your horse naturally won
Then you flew your Lear jet up to Nova Scotia
To see the total eclipse of the sun
Well you’re where you should be all the time . . .
The self-importance of people like Sowell just kills me — how they sit there acting like they’re Senators from Krypton.
That’s not knocking appearance just for kicks — as the look and the language is all part of . . .
Sowell’s celebrated as a statesman for smugness under the guise of civility.
He has a habit of painting the Left in the worst possible light — while acting as though “hostility and even hatred” are completely uncharacteristic of conservatives.
It’s all about framing the issue in a way that allows him to conveniently ignore the same behavior in other forms.
How often have you seen conservatives or libertarians take to the streets, shouting angry slogans?
— Thomas Sowell: The Anger Of The Left
I’ve been met with almost nothing but belligerence and belittlement for decades on WMD — but because I wasn’t shouted down in the streets, it doesn’t count?
And this gem
It is hard to think of a time when Karl Rove or Dick Cheney has even raised his voice but they are hated like the devil incarnate
So you can manipulate the nation into war — make up more lies to rationalize those lies, pit half the nation against the other in a post 9/11 world, and on and on:
But as long as liars don’t raise their voice — there’s no call to be angry about it?
That people on the political left have a certain set of opinions, just as people do in other parts of the ideological spectrum, is not surprising. What is surprising, however, is how often the opinions of those on the left are accompanied by hostility and even hatred.
Particular issues can arouse passions here and there for anyone with any political views. But, for many on the left, indignation is not a sometime thing. It is a way of life.
“What is surprising, however” . . .
Is that your crowd treating me with nothing but contempt for the truth for 20 years — slinging baseless beliefs with “hostility and even hatred” . . .
Doesn’t constitute a “way of life” to you, Mr. Sowell.
It’s painfully obvious what this guy’s up to: He’s engineering an illusion — and you bought it.
For the record: My poem’s not anti-war — it’s pro-thinking . . .
There is no amount of gain you could give me to believe something to be true that is false. When warranted, I will defend those I despise and call out those I like.
I call a spade a spade, period
The disciples of Thomas Sowell have no such notion. His kind fabricated this fantasyland where they follow the facts wherever they go. Your record is who you are — not what you believe.
His army of apologists are gutless in the face of facts they don’t like — disguised by their goose-stepping glory in the Facts Over Feelings Parade.
He’s the Grand Marshal of this lockstep lovefest — and the Admiral of the Scot-Free fleet.
If you don’t like my illustrations — go read the reports for yourselves: And I’ve got plenty more material to add to your reading list.
But that takes work — and why bother when you can just ridicule those who did it for you.
One picture is worth a thousand words
When you don’t want the pictures — and you don’t want the words:
What would you have me do? And once I did it — we both know your next move.
Why take on Thomas Sowell when there are far more prominent figures who manufacted this fraud? I already did that — and apologists issued nothing but insults & excuses for that too.
That there’s a correlation between the above & below in accuracy, craftsmanship, commitment, detail, and design:
What road have you taken to lose sight of such things deserving of at least a little respect?
Respect is not my concern . . .
But if you showed some — it might be just enough to crack open a conduit to this quaint thing called conversation.
You might mock my tireless dedication to the truth, but maybe you’ve got woodworking experience — or any kind of background in creating things. Perhaps you have an eye for unconventional problem solving.
Or maybe an appreciation of the arts alone would be enough to connect on a human level. Let’s start with that . . .
wouldn’t that be something!
In one glance at this picture below — I’d think, “This guy’s not f#@%*!` around”
I’d know he’s up to something I’ve never seen before — and I’d have to find out what that is.
That observation isn’t just about me — it’s about how you observe anything of depth that takes time and effort to digest.
I was bored to death by the professor in that World History class at Purdue — so I started flipping through the pages.
It was a life-altering moment the second I saw that sculpture.
You don’t have to care about art or be uplifted by it — but isn’t there anything that goes off in your mind to wonder . . .
Hmm, I’ve never seen anything like that before. He’s saying something of significance with it.
Props mounted on lamps. A motorized turntable (serving a practical and symbolic purpose). Surrounded by black & white outfits with silver masks.
There’s depth in the design alone — and not only would I instantly know that, I’d be fascinated by it. I wouldn’t care what I thought I knew. I’d just know that this guy knows something I don’t. And you know things I don’t . . .
Or dulls for disciples
That got ’em – that took the fight out of ’em.
Look at ’em quit! . . .
If only you had the guts to know when you’ve been beaten — as decisively as anyone has ever been.
Then you could get up off the ground
And we could get to work
I already did all the groundwork for you in my documentary, 5-part series Behold the Legacy of Your Beloved Sowell, and other posts before that.
The incurious see something like the imagery below and mock what doesn’t instantly materialize in meaning. I see it and want to take that journey.
The wonderless see “disjointed” media & writing — while I see patterns that clearly have a design. That it demands something of my mind is what interests me all the more.
I love having to work things out and connect the dots.
Unlike most efforts, I don’t need to change policies, institutions, or laws — I just need to get to one man, and a domino effect will take care of the rest.
Coleman Hughes might be the only one willing to open his eyes to the truth about Sowell. Hughes has shown he’s willing to change his mind, and he’s young enough not to have Sowell baked into his entire being.
McWhorter might surprise me though — it’s hard to say after Loury’s knee-jerk reaction . . .
All I need is one
The others will fold in the face of the irrefutable being accepted by someone of influence in their community.
Thomas Sowell is not a National Treasure — but he could be . . .
There is no market for what I do
But there wasn’t one for PCs at one time either.
We could revolutionize the world too — just by using the tools we were given from the get-go:
That’s that lump that’s three feet above your ass!
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 . . .
And somewhere in the middle or on the way to it, maybe we come to a meeting of the minds.
There’s no finer example of that than these classic scenes from the all-time “everyman” master. Tom Hanks’ character 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 that first scene above is all about.
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.
Now that’s something I’d like you to work on . . .
There are powerful forces that make damn sure you don’t.
As my videographer perfectly put it
We finally figured out what we were doing by the end
If we don’t change course as a country — we won’t.
It was a picture-perfect wedding
We had the whole world at our feet
Everyone thought we were
Heading down a lovers easy street
We’d have a house out in the country
A picket fence, the whole nine yards
They said our love would last forever
It was written in the stars
I should have known it all along
When the future looks too bright
Can’t be anything but right
Wrong . . .