Tuesday, 6 February 2007

Crazy Ernie

Dr Ernest Partridge, who used to teach philosophy but may no longer be competent to do so, now believes that it would be right to impeach President Bush. Be forewarned: Reading his “case” for impeachment will require that you enter progressive cloud cuckoo fantasy land. In this looking-glass world, progressives compete not just to see who can call President Bush “incompetent” most often, but who can put the best emphasis on the word:

“He’s inCOMPetent,” says A.

“No, he’s INcompetent,” replies B.

“InCOMPetent,” says A.

“INcompetent,” replies B.

“You’re both wrong,” says C. “He’s incompeTENT.”

This passes for humor in progressive circles. They crack each other up.


This will make you like Joe Lieberman (or like him more).


Here is the latest column by Thomas Sowell.

The Gipper

Ronald Wilson Reagan was born 96 years ago today. With each passing year, he seems bigger and his critics smaller.

Addendum: Here is James Pinkerton’s appreciation.

Homosexual “Marriage”

Three people have e-mailed a link to this story, asking me for comment. The measure misconceives the point of marriage. We do not allow people to marry so that they can have children. We allow them to marry so that, if they have children, the children will be provided for.

Best of the Web Today


Maureen L. Condic on Cloning

Extensive evidence indicates that even the cloned animals that make it to birth are not untarnished success stories. Following Ian Wilmut’s production of Dolly the sheep, the world’s first cloned mammal, it was almost immediately evident that Dolly was not normal; she experienced a number of medical problems that resulted in her being euthanized, due to poor health, at the age of six years, about half the lifespan of a healthy sheep. Dolly was the only clone to survive to live birth out of the 277 cloned embryos Wilmut’s group generated, yet this success did not prove that cloning can produce a normal sheep. Dolly was merely normal enough to survive to birth.

In the past five years, a number of studies have carefully examined patterns of gene expression in mice and other cloned animals that survived to birth. Not one of these animals is genetically normal, and multiple genes are aberrantly expressed in multiple tissues. Both the severity and the extent of these genetic abnormalities came as a surprise to the cloning field, and yet, in retrospect, they are not surprising at all. The fact that most cloned embryos die at early stages of development is entirely consistent with the conclusion that somatic-cell nuclear transfer does not generate normal embryos, even in the rare cases where clones survive to birth.

(Maureen L. Condic, “What We Know About Embryonic Stem Cells,” First Things [January 2007]: 25-9, at 26-7)

From Today’s New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “Science Panel Says Global Warming Is ‘Unequivocal’” (front page, Feb. 3):

The evidence is in, and it is incontrovertible. If we don’t stop burning fossil fuels, we will destroy our habitat. Even if we manage to suppress all coal and gas emissions tomorrow, that will only slow the damage, not halt it.

If the earth is to survive, human beings must summon the collective will to stop doing what they have been doing and start doing something else. For starters, all municipal regions with mass transit in place need to phase out and ban the use of gasoline-powered automobiles.

Global warming deserves top priority from now on. The ball is now in everyone’s court, as suggested by Richard B. Alley, one of the lead authors of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report.

Carol Haskill
San Francisco, Feb. 3, 2007

Note from KBJ: Phase out and ban the use of gasoline-powered automobiles?!

A Year Ago



If I’m not mistaken, today is the first day in which I missed a class in my nearly 18 years as a professor at UTA. (I’m not counting days in which I was out of town at a conference.) I came down with influenza Friday morning. I felt fine during my classes Thursday, so it was a shock to wake up discombobulated. I had the flu two years ago, and it lasted a little over a week, so I expected the worst. Saturday was better than Friday and Sunday better than Saturday. I thought I’d have no trouble getting back into the classroom by Tuesday. When I got up this morning, however, I was still coughing. I had a sore throat, a weak voice, and fever blisters. I decided to stay home. I’d hate to infect 100 students, and I certainly don’t want a relapse. One minute I feel cold, the next I feel hot. The only thing I’ve taken is NyQuil, which seems to help. I’ll probably spend the rest of the day at the computer, feeling sorry for myself. The worst part is that I haven’t been able to run in eight days. I also had to skip Sunday’s West End Ride, which I’ve done almost every year since 1990. I hate it when traditions can’t be kept.

Addendum: I just remembered another day in which I missed a class. Sort of. I came down with laryngitis a few years ago. Other than not being able to talk, I felt fine, so I drove to campus, went to my first class, and explained the problem on the blackboard. The students got a kick out of it and left. I sat reading until the next class came in and did the same. I was there, but not there.