As was noted last week, Thomas Sowell is entering weekly writing retirement, but not before he places one more hard-truth-filled casserole offering before us to digest:
Not everything in the past was admirable. Poet W. H. Auden called the 1930s “a low dishonest decade.” So were the 1960s, which launched many of the trends we are experiencing so painfully today. Some of the fashionable notions of the 1930s reappeared in the 1960s, often using the very same discredited words and producing the same disastrous consequences.
The old are not really smarter than the young, in terms of sheer brainpower. It is just that we have already made the kinds of mistakes that the young are about to make, and we have already suffered the consequences that the young are going to suffer if they disregard the record of the past.
If you want to understand the fatal dangers facing America today, read The Gathering Storm by Winston Churchill. The book is not about America, the Middle East, or nuclear missiles. But it shows Europe’s attitudes and delusions — aimed at peace in the years before the Second World War — which instead ended up bringing on that most terrible war in all of human history.
Black adults, during the years when I was growing up in Harlem, had far less education than black adults today — but far more common sense. In an age of artificial intelligence, too many of our schools and colleges are producing artificial stupidity, among both blacks and whites.
The first time I traveled across the Atlantic Ocean, as the plane flew into the skies over London I was struck by the thought that, in these skies, a thousand British fighter pilots fought off Hitler’s air force and saved both Britain and Western civilization. But how many students today will have any idea of such things, with history being neglected in favor of politically correct rhetoric?
You cannot live a long life without having been forced to change your mind many times about people and things — including, in some cases, your whole view of the world. Those who glorify the young today do them a great disservice, when this sends inexperienced young people out into the world cocksure about things on which they have barely scratched the surface.
There are words that were once common but that are seldom heard any more. The phrase “none of your business” is one of these. Today, everything seems to be the government’s business or the media’s business. And the word “risqué” would be almost impossible to explain to young people, in a world where gross vulgarity is widespread and widely accepted…
And something from Walter Russell Mead: The Great Unraveling
In post-Obama world, Germany could end up being isolated on Russia. The harshest, most effective attack on the Russia sanctions comes courtesy of Fillon, who said that it is not so much an actual policy intending to change Russian behavior as a symbolic gesture. Put even less diplomatically, it is a sham—a fake policy that allows Westerners to feel better about themselves while doing nothing serious about Russia’s attack on the post-1990 settlement in Eastern Europe.
A different kind of statesmanship, harder-edged and less sentimental, is going to be needed. Pretending to have a Russia policy will no longer be enough; we will have to choose between the unpalatable alternatives of effectively blocking Russian moves or acquiescing in Russian wins. Brutal clarity rather than liberal pink cloud thinking is the rising force in international affairs…
This has been obvious to most people for some time, but what will Merkel do about it? Islamist terror is ‘greatest threat’ to Germany. She’s already let in more than million refugees and migrants since 2015. Even if only 1% of those are jihadis, that’s still 10,000 of them on the loose.
If Germany acts like Sweden, the problems will get worse. Afghan teens convicted of gang rape won’t be deported because it’s ‘too dangerous’ for them.
The irony is that Obama turned out pretty much like you'd expect a stoner raised by Communists with no business experience to turn out.
— Bill Mitchell (@mitchellvii) January 1, 2017