In his comment on yesterday’s post, Matt hinted at an interesting point we’ve been thinking about for some time. Namely, that because Thomas Sowell is African American and conservative, it puts him in a unique commentary position.
Nevermind that the left, in their patronizing way, believe that he is betraying his race (or, for that matter, Michael Steele Republican candidate for Senator in Maryland, or Clarence Thomas, Condi Rice, etc.).
However, what’s most important about Messer’s Steele and Sowell isn’t so much their race, but that they are shaking the largely left-imposed politics that they (the left and mainstream media) believe are inextricably tied to their race. Consider Gagdad Bob’s observations on this, and other, simliar issues:
Speaking of Nancy Pelosi, here is another thing that disgusts us about the liberal media, the idea that we care that she is a “woman.” Only a liberal could think that one’s reproductive equipment is more important than one’s ideas. Likewise, it disgusts [us] — it literally makes us want to vomit — to repeatedly hear about Obama’s skin color, for we are so far beyond race that it doesn’t even occur to us that he’s half white. Rather, we only notice that he is halfwit. That is the only thing that matters to us.
Since liberals, with their perfect myopia, have no ideas but instead obsess over things like race, class, and gender, there is much talk that this is the year of potential “firsts.” First black president, first female president, etc. But to a [us], they might as well be saying “first chick president,” “first n***** president,” “first dago president” (Giuliani), “first baby killer president” (McCain), “first cult president” (Romney), for it is no less disgusting to our ears.
Besides, I thought negroes already had a president, Al Sharpton. Isn’t he the “black leader?” That’s what I heard from the liberal media. “Al Sharpton, Black Leader.”
Imagine the bottomless contempt you must have for blacks to presume to appoint them a leader, much less a lowlife like Al Sharpton. Consider for a moment the racial condescension in imagining that, unlike any other Americans, blacks require a “leader” selected by the white liberals who know what’s best for them. Sick, sick, sick.
By the way, ladies, who’s your chick leader, anyway, Hillary or Pelosi? And where do you get your chick news, from Katie Couric or from the View? And if Tom Sowell is my leader, does that make me black?
We read Mr. Sowell because he’s smart and an excellent writer. We appreciate his application of pragmatic economic principles to the issues that we face. This next article, part two in this series, is yet another example of that.
Global Hot Air: Part II
By Thomas Sowell
Propaganda campaigns often acquire a life of their own. Politicians who have hitched their wagons to the star of “global warming” cannot admit any doubts on their part, or permit any doubts by others from becoming part of a public debate.
Neither can environmental crusaders, whose whole sense of themselves as saviors of the planet is at stake, as they try to stamp out any views to the contrary.
A recent and revealing example of the ruthless attempts to silence anyone who dares question the global warming crusade began with a “news” story in the British newspaper “The Guardian.” It quickly found an echo among American Senators on the left — Bernard Sanders, an avowed socialist, and John Kerry, Pat Leahy and Dianne Feinstein, who are unavowed.
The headline of the “news” story said it all: “Scientists Offered Cash to Dispute Climate Study.” According to “The Guardian,” scientists and economists “have been offered $10,000 each by a lobby group funded by one of the world’s largest oil companies to undermine a major climate change report.”
It is a classic notion on the left in general, and of environmentalist zealots in particular, that no one can disagree with them unless they are either uninformed or dishonest. Here they dispose of scientists who are skeptical of the global warming hysteria by depicting them as being bribed by lobbyists for the oil companies.
While such charges may be enough for crusading zealots to wrap themselves ever more tightly in the mantle of virtue, some of us are still old-fashioned enough to want to know the actual facts.
In this case, the fact is that the American Enterprise Institute — a think tank, not a lobbyist — did what all kinds of think tanks do, all across the political spectrum, all across the country, and all around the world.
AEI has planned a roundtable discussion of global warming, attended by people with differing views on the subject. That was their fundamental sin, in the eyes of the global warming crowd. They treated this as an issue, rather than a dogma.
Like liberal, conservative, and other think tanks, the American Enterprise Institute pays people who do the work of preparing scholarly papers for presentation at its roundtables. Ten thousand dollars is not an unusual amount and many have received more from other think tanks for similar work.
Enter Senators Sanders, Kerry, Leahy, and Feinstein. In a joint letter to the head of the American Enterprise Institute, they express shock, shock, like the corrupt police official in “Casablanca.”
These Senators express “our very serious concerns” about reports that AEI “offered to pay scientists up to $10,000 for questioning the findings” of other scientists. The four Senators express how “saddened” they would be if the reports are true, “by the depths to which some would sink to undermine the scientific consensus” on global warming.
If the reports are true, the Senators continue, “it would highlight the extent to which moneyed interests distort honest scientific and public policy discussions” by “bribing scientists to support a pre-determined agenda.”
The Senators ask: “Does your donors’ self-interest trump an honest discussion over the well-being of the planet?” They demand that “AEI will publicly apologize for this conduct.”
As the late Art Buchwald once said about comedy and farce in Washington, “You can’t make that up!”
If it is a bribe to pay people for doing work, then we are all bribed every day, except for those who inherited enough money not to have to work at all. Among those invited to attend the AEI roundtable are some of the same scientists who produced the recent report that politicians, environmentalists, and the media tout as the last word on global warming.
The trump card of the left is that one of the big oil companies contributed money to the American Enterprise Institute — not as much as one percent of its budget, but enough for a smear.
All think tanks have contributors or they could not exist. But facts carry little weight in smears, even by politicians who question other people’s honesty.
Thomas Sowell, distinguished economist, is a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institute.
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