Suggested Discussion Outline

Post Reply
Posts: 2069
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2007 8:43 pm

Suggested Discussion Outline

Post by johnkarls »


It seemed that the best form for a Discussion Outline this month would be a series of discussion questions.

HOWEVER, if you are a Thomas Sowell fan and find your blood boiling over these discussion questions, PLEASE READ THE “CLOSING ESSAY” FOLLOWING THE LAST QUESTION.

1. Before focusing on “Discrimination and Disparities,” what are your answers to the situations posed in Q&A-5 of the Short Quiz --

Question A-5

In that posting [“The “The Meaning of ‘Systematic’ in ‘Systematic Racism’” for our 9/9/2020 meeting for which our focus book was “The Revolutionary Lives of Malcom X and Martin Luther King” by Prof. Peniel Joseph at viewtopic.php?f=601&t=1958&sid=de4bafc9 ... b8cf56e7c8], did Yours Truly admit what I do the more-than-10-times per year after midnight in Manhattan’s theater district (after drinks with friends following a show) when I am walking alone to my car and see on a deserted street coming toward me –

a) A group of young African-Americans?
b) A group of older African-Americans?
c) A group of young African-Americans who are well-dressed with coat and tie which had been de rigueur for attending the theater until the last decade or so?
d) A group of young African-American FEMALES?
e) A group of poorly-dressed Caucasian males?
f) The originally-posited group of young African-Americans if I had been an armed police officer?
g) A group (a) or group (e) or, possibly, group (f), for whom I would have crossed the street if I had spotted them at a distance of more than one block -- in the event that I hadn’t spotted them that far away?

Answer A-5


BTW, it is respectfully suggested that you consider what your reactions would be.

2. Was Thomas Sowell extremely repetitive in “Discrimination and Disparities”?

3. Was this forgivable to some extent because he had seven themes and many of his points supported multiple themes?

4. Was Thomas Sowell occasionally guilty of violating his own polemics???

5. For example, when discussing charter schools (which are constantly criticized by others for failing to produce better results despite accepting only students of functional parents and then expelling any student who doesn’t perform well), does he casually say (p. 119) “entering one’s children in LOTTERIES for charter schools”???

6. Did this statement occur in Chapter 5 entitled “The World of Words” in which he intended to criticize the use of misleading words???

7. And does his use of the word “LOTTERIES” suggest that charter-school student bodies are a representative sample of children in the area served by each charter school, when in fact it is a classic “censored sample” comprising children of FUNCTIONAL PARENTS -- at least functional enough to register their children for the lotteries???

8. Was he trying to support any public-policy proposals??? Or was he simply saying - “you can’t believe anything and here’s why”??? And saying, like Voltaire’s Candide – “this is the best of all possible worlds”???

9. Would it be fair to say that Thomas Sowell, with the exception of charter schools, has spent a career of hostility to governmental programs aimed at helping America’s Permanent 30% Under-Caste which the U.S. Government has continually reported for more than a half-century is illiterate as defined by the ability to read the warning label on a can of rat poison?

10. Indeed, does Thomas Sowell take a swipe at Jonathan Kozol who, after finishing number one in his 1958 Harvard College class and then studying at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, returned to teach in Boston’s inner-city schools and then began a half-century of writing about America’s inner-city schools in such best-selling works as –

Death at an Early Age (1967)
The Night is Dark and I am Far From Home (1975)
Illiterate America (1986)
Rachel and Her Children: Homeless Families in America (1988)
Savage Inequalities: Children in America’s Schools (1991)
Amazing Grace: The Lives of Children and the Conscience of a Nation (1995)
Ordinary Resurrections: Children in the Years of Hope (2000)
The Shame of the Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America (2005)
Letters to a Young Teacher (2007)
Fire in the Ashes: Twenty-Five Years Among the Poorest Children in America (2012)

BTW, “The Shame of the Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America (2005)” deals with the state of American K-12 education leading up to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2007 decision in Parents vs. Seattle School District No. 1 (551 U.S. 701) which comprised the last “nail in the coffin” for school bussing and, in Jonathan Kozol’s words, “The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America.”

11. Was Thomas Sowell’s swipe at Jonathan Kozol difficult for most readers to discern because he simply refers to, without naming the author (p. 130) – “Books with such titles as ‘Savage Inequalities’…”?

12. Would cynics be entitled to suspect that Thomas Sowell never read Jonathan Kozol’s “Savage Inequalities” but instead only read John McWhorter’s abominable criticism of Jonathan Kozol in the 3/10/2010 issue of New Republic Magazine for which the Harvard Law School Class of 1967 concluded in its weekly Zoom chat of 5/11/2021 for which the announced focus would be an abominable OpEd in the NY Times by McWhorter on 4/30/2021 –

“HOWEVER, McWhorter’s rant [in New Republic] contains the confession that he had only read one of Jonathan Kozol’s books – “Savage Inequalities: Children in America’s Schools” (1991).

“FIRST, McWhorter should have read more of Jonathan Kozol’s books (a sampling of 10 of which are listed above) before launching his criticism of Jonathan Kozol!!!

“SECOND, based on McWhorter’s assessment of the only book he did read, he should undergo tests for reading comprehension and retention!!!”

Available for download are McWhorter’s 2021 NY Times OpEd Article, his 2010 New Republic Article and a summary of the 5/11/2021 Harvard Law School Zoom meeting (in the form of a 5/11/2021 Letter-to-the-Editor of the NY Times that they did not print) – at viewtopic.php?f=643&t=2067&p=2825&hilit ... 9867#p2825.

13. Would readers be entitled to believe Thomas Sowell has violated his own rules by relying on a faux academic (McWhorter) rather than investigating for himself???

14. With respect to the existence of a Permanent 30% Under-Caste, is Thomas Sowell at least honest enough to accept at face value (p. 142) the claim in “The Moynihan Report” issued in 1965 by the-then Assistant Secretary of Labor Daniel Patrick Moynihan (who became New York’s U.S. Senator 1977-2001) -- THAT 1/3 OF BLACK CHILDREN WERE LIVING IN BROKEN HOMES?

15. While adding (Thomas Sowell, that is, on p 143) that this statistic had become 80% by 1997 (citing Thernstrom and Thernstrom’s “American in Black and White: One Nation, Indivisible”)?

16. Did we post ten months ago on 11/20/2020 in “Promised Final Report on Thomas Sowell’s Claims” the Thernstroms' more-detailed statistics from “America in Black and White” at viewtopic.php?f=614&t=1993&p=2710&hilit ... 9bb1#p2710?

17. Did that more-detailed information entitled “Percent of Children Under 18 Living in Various Family Types, 1960-1995” set forth the statistics for two black parents, two white parents, black mother only, white mother only, black father only, white father only, neither black parent, neither white parent, etc. – for 1960, 1970, 1980 and 1995 in each category?

18. Doesn’t this information, approved by Thomas Sowell, imply that something should be done for our Permanent 30% Under-Caste???

19. At least, for example, vis-à-vis healthcare for which the U.N.’s World Health Organization has always rated America’s healthcare system as WORSE than ALL OF THE OTHER 35 MEMBERS OF THE OECD and even worse than some third-world countries???

20. After all, Medicaid does NOT mean access to healthcare – how many young doctors do you know have gone to America’s inner-city ghettos???

21. And even if federal law requires Hospital Emergency Rooms to treat indigents before tossing them back on the street after providing emergency treatment (vs. any long-term treatment that is required), how many areas in America’s inner-city ghettos do not even have hospitals because they went bankrupt providing Emergency-Room treatment to indigents???

22. Is anyone aware of any public-policy ever proposed by Thomas Sowell to address the plight of America’s Permanent 30% Under-Caste (our terminology, not Thomas Sowell’s) other than charter schools?

23. And isn’t this odd after “Discrimination and Disparities” has drowned us with lectures on why DISPARITIES are to be expected when “Identical-Twin Studies” WHICH THOMAS SOWELL DOES NOT EVEN MENTION but which were discussed at length in Part B (LABELLED “DISPARITIES”) of our Short Quiz – CONTINUALLY DEMONSTRATE THAT THERE ARE NO “DISPARITIES” BETWEEN POTENTIAL “MEASURED I.Q.” OF INNER-CITY CHILDREN AND SUBURBAN CHILDREN???!!!

24. As we have studied many times, are “Identical-Twin Studies” the “Gold Standard” for determining what is environmental and what is genetic because they focus solely on identical twins orphaned before their first birthday where each is adopted by a family providing a different environment?

25. Have the “Identical-Twin Studies” which we have studied, focused on INNER-CITY identical twins orphaned before their first birthday where ONE identical-twin is adopted by another INNER-CITY family and the OTHER identical-twin is adopted by a suburban family?

26. And do those “Identical-Twin Studies” show that by adulthood the identical twins adopted by suburban families develop average “measured IQ’s” equal to average “measured IQ’s” of suburban children, whereas their identical twins adopted by inner-city families develop average “measured IQ’s” equal to average “measured IQ’s” of inner-city children?

27. Does Thomas Sowell’s failure to address the plight of America’s Permanent 30% Under-Caste (other than Charter Schools) VIOLATE Christ’s SECOND of only TWO Commandments “for inheriting eternal life” (to love God and to love your neighbor as yourself, immediately following which is the Story of The Good Samaritan to drive home Christ’s point that EVERY human being is your neighbor)???

28. Though would Charter Schools (if they actually solve the problem) at least comprise loving as yourself THE INNOCENT CHILDREN of your neighbors IF NOT YOUR NEIGHBORS THEMSLVES???

29. Also BTW, isn’t “loving your neighbor as yourself” one of the 613 Judaic Laws EVEN THOUGH IT IS NOT ONE OF JUDIASM’S FAMOUS “TEN COMMANDMENTS” (NB: it is eminently possible NOT to covet your neighbor’s “ass” or “maidservant” etc. WITHOUT loving your neighbor!!!)?

30. Also BTW, isn’t “loving your neighbor as yourself” which is often called “The Golden Rule,” central to all of the world’s “major religions” – Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism?

[NB: “Major religions” traditionally lists the four religions that until recently had more than one billion followers (China has succeeded in suppressing Buddhism so that it now only has about 535 million followers worldwide) – and then adds Judaism (only 14.7 million followers) because both Christianity and Islam are based on Judaism (“Allah” is the Arabic word for the God of Abraham and Moses).]

31. So back to Question 8 -- Was Thomas Sowell in “Discrimination and Disparities” trying to support any public-policy proposals??? Or was he simply saying - “you can’t believe anything and here’s why”??? And saying, like Voltaire’s Candide – “this is the best of all possible worlds”???

32. And even if “Discrimination and Disparities” inkles that Thomas Sowell likes Charter Schools, are we going to have to wait for his “Charter Schools and Their Enemies” (Basic Books 6/30/2020 – 132 pages sans appendices-notes-index – Hardcover $21.80 + shipping or $18.99 Kindle from to focus on his charter-school public-policy position?

[NB: “Charter Schools and Their Enemies” was proposed as a “Possible Topic for Future Meetings – please see viewtopic.php?f=150&t=2092&sid=8daa3a94 ... 56da769bb1.]


Despite my critical reaction to Thomas Sowell and his “Discrimination and Disparities” – not only in the preceding 32 questions but also in the 11/20/2020 bulletin-board posting referenced in Question-16, I greatly admired his intellectual willingness to examine facts.

Even though IMHO he fell woefully short in assembling all of the relevant facts.

While as an African-American, he effectively is giving white people permission to “hate their neighbors” in violation of The Golden Rule.

The reason why IMHO he fell so woefully short???

He ignores all of the facts and insights resulting from the “I Have A Dream”® Programs of the 1990’s and, instead, wallows in an alternate universe that does NOT comport with reality – despite all of his fine footnotes which, so often, cite authors who also don’t know what they’re talking about (their claims supporting Sowell are typically few and anecdotal).

[BTW, the “I Have A Dream”® Foundation continued in existence after 2000, but (A) its local programs no longer served inner-city ghetto schools and housing projects, but focused instead on neighborhoods/suburbs that were beginning to change from “white flight,” and (B) IHAD lost all of its institutional knowledge about the 51 American inner-cities in which its 178 local projects of the 1990’s operated.]

So to review the 1990 IHAD programs --

I was one of 178 individuals (most of whom were CEO’s of major corporations) to step forward to replicate in 51 American cities what Eugene Lang had done following his 1981 promise to the children of Harlem PS 121 their college tuition if they would stay in school and then provided tutors and mentors until HS graduation.

[My own program served 200 children in public housing projects.]

I served as the volunteer national treasurer in the 1990’s for Gene Lang’s organization that oversaw the 178 programs which BTW transformed the typically-SINGLE DIGIT high-school graduation rates for the classes just ahead and just behind each “Dreamer” class to more than 90%.

The typical conditions faced by those 178 projects in 51 American inner-cities as I personally witnessed from visiting the overwhelming majority of those 178 projects and 51 inner-cities as national treasurer (in addition to reports from the remainder) –

• 95% of those Dreamers living in single-adult households headed by druggies!!!

• 75%-80% of whom turned over any receipts to the pusher so the kids had to steal just in order to eat!!!

• The kids knowing by Kindergarten that they were NOT eligible for their dreams and that their only realistic career objectives were pusher or pimp, or girl friend of a pusher or pimp graduating to whore – none of which requires much education!!!

So enough, Thomas Sowell, with your ALTERNATE-UNIVERSE NONSENSE (pp. 166-169) that such inner-city milieu contain only a few bad apples that need weeding out!!!

As mentioned above, those 178 IHAD programs in 51 American inner-cities transformed the typically-SINGLE DIGIT high-school graduation rates for the classes just ahead and just behind each “Dreamer” class to more than 90%.




The secret???

Each child had a tutor and mentor who became de facto surrogate parents!!!

And the reason why we were able to increase Gene Lang’s 65% HS graduation rate (vs. SINGLE DIGITS FOR THE CLASSES JUST AHEAD AND BEHIND HIS “DREAMER” CLASS) – to typically more than 90%???

In visiting the early programs among the 178 as volunteer national treasurer, Yours Truly noticed that 50% of the female “Dreamers” had become pregnant and, as a result, dropped out.

And Yours Truly asked the sponsors of those early projects to ask their females who had become pregnant why – for which the typical response was that the female had NEVER had anyone who cared about her and by God, she was going to CREATE someone who did!!!

Whereupon Yours Truly asked those sponsors of the early projects to ask their females who had NOT become pregnant, why NOT.

For which the typical response was that one of our tutors or mentors had become a de facto surrogate parent who had expressed EARLY AND OFTEN that the Dreamer could make something of herself with the IHAD program AND IT WOULD BREAK THE HEART OF THE TUTOR/MENTOR IF THE DREAMER FAILED TO DO SO!!!

Accordingly, I asked the sponsors of the later projects to have their tutors and mentors do the same EARLY AND OFTEN.

And taking those SINGLE-DIGIT graduation rates for the class just before and after the Dreamer classes to 90% became typical!!!

I will grant Thomas Sowell (if he happens to think of it) that the IHAD programs had the effect of putting each Dreamer class in a separate “bubble” in which attitudes, particularly vis-à-vis education and its value, were transformed.

But I will RESENT HORRIBLY TO MY GRAVE dedicating 14 years of my life during which EVER SINGLE PENNY I EARNED had been pledged in legally-binding fashion to provide additional IHAD- or IHAD-style programs for inner-city children AND THAT 21 POLITICIANS STARTING WITH PRESIDENT OBAMA AND 43 MEDIA SUPER-STARS EACH SHUNNED THREE (COUNT THEM, THREE) REQUESTS TO LIFT A SINGLE FINGER TO SHINE A LIGHT ON WHAT WAS GOING DOWN IN MY 2009-2011 LITIGATION AGAINST 15 OF THE WORLD’S LARGEST FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS FOR THE $84 BILLION THEY OWED ME for which the “Question Presented” in our final U.S. Supreme Court Petition for Certiorari (request for the Court to hear our case) was –

“Can state court judges order their decisions which they know are diametrically-opposed to well-settled law, not to be published or cited (a strategy labeled ‘the segregated toilet’ in correspondence with 51 inner-city clergy who represent the 10 million inner-city children who have been disclosed from the outset as the ‘real parties at interest’ in this law suit) in order to flush away the rights of the 10 million inner-city children without disturbing the rights of first-class American citizens -- without violating the ‘Equal Protection of the Law’ requirement of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution?”

My final report to each of the 51 inner-city clergy who had been supporting the cause --

(A) informed them that the US Supreme Court on 10/4/2011 refused to hear our appeal,

(B) thanked them for their efforts with the solace that each of us would be able to say at The Pearly Gates with St. Paul (II Timothy 4:7): “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith”; and

(C) requested them and their congregants to pray for the 43 news-media superstars, the 21 governmental officials, the California judges and the U.S. Supreme Court Justices, that MAY GOD HAVE MERCY ON THEIR SOULS!!!

BTW, I have often thought too good for President Obama a suggested epitaph that I have often posted on our website for him upon his demise (though long may he live!!!) –

American’s First “Token” Black President
He “Knew His Place” on The Establishment’s "Plantation"
He Condemned 10 MILLION Inner-City Children to “A Fate Worse Than Death”


Thomas Sowell’s “Charter Schools and Their Enemies” –

I ordered a copy from Amazon immediately after “Discrimination and Disparities” was voted our Sep 8 focus book at our Aug 11 meeting (in addition to proposing it as a “Possible Topic For Future Meetings” – please see viewtopic.php?f=150&t=2092&sid=9d9c7f65 ... 10808b97b1).

Though I haven’t found time yet to read it yet.

But am starting now that this Suggested Discussion Outline has been completed.

I am eager to learn what Thomas Sowell has to say about Charter Schools.

And whether the criticisms of a comprehensive study of the nation’s charter schools conducted a decade ago by Stanford University (with which the Stanford U. Hoover Institution’s Thomas Sowell should be familiar) still hold true -- that charter schools typically produce INFERIOR results compared to public schools serving the same areas despite accepting students of only functional parents and expelling those who do not perform.

I see that Thomas Sowell’s “Charter Schools and Their Enemies” is chock full of appendices containing reams of statistics.

And I am hopeful that conditions have improved during the last decade concerning REGULATION of charter schools which distressingly-often 10 years ago were staffed with people who knew nothing about education (many times headed by former public-school janitors) causing us to remark that –

Poor performance by inner-city schools is a SOCIOLOGY problem and NOT an EDUCATION problem -- and replacing public schools with UNREGULATED charter schools makes no more sense than closing an inner-city police precinct in which a crime is committed and hiring amateurs in their place.

I can’t wait to learn from Thomas Sowell’s new book whether charter schools have improved during the last decade, presumably as the result of regulation.

HOPEFULLY HIS NEW BOOK WILL NOT BE CHOCK FULL OF “ALTERNATE UNIVERSE” NONSENSE ABOUT INNER-CITY CONDITIONS (for which he cites isolated claims in academic works that appear to be few and anecdotal),

If you have read this far, you deserve a GOLD STAR !!!

And I apologize for this “Closing Essay” rant!!!

Hopefully you can find it in your heart to forgive me -- after devoting 14 years of my life to an effort that was trashed by 21 politicians and 43 media superstars!!!

After all, it has been more than a decade since their despicable behavior!!!

Though more than a decade’s worth of inner-city children have been condemned to “a fate worse than death” by their actions even if Thomas Sowell can convince America to immediately begin saving future innocent children with Charter Schools!!!

Posts: 2069
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2007 8:43 pm

Addendum – Governmental Programs and “Loving Your Neighbor”

Post by johnkarls »


Postings on our website by members do NOT identify other members unless they have given their consent.

HOWEVER, the issue involved here is important.

AND it involves one of my two younger brothers, James, who I know would not object to being identified in connection with this issue.

INDEED, he has RSVP’d for our Sep 8 meeting and, I am sure, will voice the same views in front of everyone else who participates.

By way of background, James and I have multi-hour Zoom gabfests every 2-3 weeks.

James had requested a gabfest for yesterday afternoon (Wed Sep 1) several days earlier to discuss other matters.

HOWEVER, he happened to mention how much he had liked Thomas Sowell in general and “Discrimination and Disparities” in particular.

AND SEEMED GENUINELY SURPRISED when I mentioned that the Suggested Discussion Outline posted 61 minutes before our gabfest began had included 4 questions (Q-27 thru Q-30) that addressed whether “Discrimination and Disparities” comports with The Golden Rule which is the heart of every one of the world’s major religions, and comports with “loving your neighbor as yourself” which is one of only two of Christ’s commandments “for inheriting eternal life.”

I pointed out that “from each according to his ability and to each according to his need” was arguably preached long before Karl Marx by Jesus Christ. After all, how can you “love your neighbor as yourself” until you have given away so much of your wealth that you are as poor as the poorest Bangladeshi???

James immediately recoiled and said that following Christ’s teachings ARE VOLUNTARY.

[As if “loving your neighbor as yourself” is nice, but optional for “inheriting eternal life.”]

AND THEN JAMES OPINED that no government program aimed at “loving your neighbor as yourself” should ever be enacted WITHOUT UNIVERSAL APPROVAL FROM ALL 330 MILLION AMERICANS.

In other words, it’s OK for individuals to help their neighbors, but strictly NOT via governmental programs.

Needless to say, I was EQUALLY SURPRISED by his position.

By way of deep background, James views himself as a staunch Christian.

And he is the backbone of a so-called “Bible Church” in a Chicago North Shore suburb.

[So-called “Bible Churches” across the country are NOT affiliated with each other, so they do NOT comprise a denomination like Methodists or Presbyterians.]

Nevertheless, I do not want to lose sight of the issue of whether other individuals who consider themselves religious have the same attitude toward governmental programs.

If the issue is discussed at our Sep 8 meeting, I intend to point out that --

James (who like Yours Truly and our other brother, served during the 1960’s as a U.S. Navy unrestricted line officer) has no reservations concerning our Commander-in-Chief waging war on “our neighbors” for 30 days without Congressional approval.

[On 9/18/2001, a mere 7 days after 9/11, Congress decided to ignore going forward the U.S. Constitution’s requirement for a “declaration of war” (the last of which dated back to WW-II meaning that, for example, the Korean War and the Vietnam War were unconstitutional) by providing that the President could do whatever s/he feels is necessary for 30 days, at the end of which s/he must obtain from Congress a so-called “Authorization for Use of Military Force” – and, at the same time (9/18/2001), Congress enacted an AUMF to wage war against “those responsible for the 9/11 attacks” which remains in effect to this day and is used to justify the worldwide “war on terror” -- although Congress, on several occasions during the intervening 20 years, seriously considered revoking or limiting it.]

And I won’t digress here to list other governmental programs (both national and local) that James probably supports despite their adverse impact on “neighbors” whom he is required to “love as himself.”

So why can governmental programs be used to implement “hating your neighbors” with only approval of a Commander-in-Chief??? Or only a bare majority of Congress???

But governmental programs aimed at “loving your neighbors as yourself” require universal approval from all 330 million Americans???

Caveats –

(1) This issue should NOT be conflated with the issue of whether specific governmental programs aimed at “helping your neighbors” are well designed.

(2) Hopefully, James is a religious odd-ball vis-à-vis this issue. Though the reader should be able to appreciate why I am so interested in ascertaining whether his attitude is widespread among other religious people (hopefully, we will have a wide assortment of religious people at our Sep 8 meeting – though non-religious people, of course, are also welcome – and nobody, religious or non-religious, should feel obligated to discuss her/his religious views if s/he doesn’t want to do so).

Respectfully submitted,

John Karls

Post Reply

Return to “Discussion Outline – Discrimination and Disparities by Thomas Sowell – Sept 8”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest