Today, I am offering some random thoughts about the passing scene.
Will the Veterans Affairs scandal wake up those people who have been blithely saying that what we need is a "single payer" system for medical care? Delays in getting to see a doctor have been a common denominator in government-run medical systems in England, Canada and Australia, among other places.
Class warfare rhetoric would have us resenting "the top 10 percent" in income. But that would be a farce, because most of us would be resenting ourselves, since more than half of all Americans -- 54 percent -- are in the top 10 percent at some stage of their lives.
Some people act as if the answer to every problem is to put more money and power in the hands of politicians.
In Thomas Piketty's highly-praised new book, "Capital in the Twenty-First Century" he asserts that the top tax rate under President Herbert Hoover was 25 percent. But Internal Revenue Service records show that it was 63 percent in 1932. If Piketty can't even get his facts straight, why should his grandiose plans for confiscatory global taxation be taken seriously?
Sometimes I think that this is an era when sanity has become controversial.
Republicans in Congress seem to be drawn toward the immigration issue like a moth toward a flame. How turning illegal immigrants into Democratic voters, while demoralizing the Republican base, will help either the country or the Republicans is a mystery. If ever there was a high-risk, low-yield investment, this is it.
President Theodore Roosevelt said that his foreign policy was to "speak softly and carry a big stick." President Barack Obama's foreign policy is to speak loudly and carry a little stick. They say talk is cheap, but loose talk by a president can be very expensive in both blood and treasure.
One of the scariest aspects of our times is how seldom either people or policies are judged by their track record.
Why in the world are the Baltic states in NATO? The Russian army could overrun them before NATO could get a meeting together to decide what to do.
I get nervous every time I see Mitt Romney showing up in the media. He seems to be maintaining his visibility, in hopes of another run for the White House in 2016. He might well get a second chance to fail. Romney is the Republican establishment's idea of the perfect candidate for president -- no matter how many times such candidates lose, even under promising conditions.
Those people who want Hillary Clinton elected president, so that we could have our first woman president, seem to have learned absolutely nothing from the current disaster of choosing a president on the basis of demographics and symbolism.
The old saying that taxes are the price we pay for civilization has long since become obsolete. The amount that the government spends to defend us from foreign attack, or to maintain law and order at home, has been overtaken by the money it spends just to transfer some people's money to other people who are more likely to vote for the re-election of incumbents.
Government policies to "bring down the cost of medical care" almost never bring down those costs, and often increase the costs. These policies simply refuse to pay the full costs of medical care. Any one of us can do that, but we know there will be consequences. There will also be consequences when the government refuses to pay the costs, but these consequences will be concealed and/or denied.
To let the world's leading terrorism-exporting nation get nuclear weapons can prove to be the most irresponsible and catastrophic decision in the history of the human race. It was also an irresponsible and catastrophic decision of the American voters to elect as president someone who would let that happen, basing their votes on rhetoric and racial symbolism.
Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University