Saturday, 3 March 2007

Red Moon Rising

Look at the photograph that accompanies this New York Times story. It’s gorgeous.

Gun Bashing

The editorial board of The New York Times doesn’t grasp the concept of personal responsibility. Read this. A man expressed his view about the propriety of using a certain type of firearm to kill animals. People responded to him. He had no right not to be hated. He had no right to continued employment by Outdoor Life magazine or the cable-television company for which he worked. He had no right to remain a member of the National Rifle Association. He had no right to continued sponsorship by corporations such as Remington. If the man is “professionally dead,” as the Times says, it’s a case of suicide, not homicide. What part of taking responsibility for one’s words does the Times not understand? What happened in this case is exactly what should happen in a free society.

New Republican Party Blog

Here is a new blog for your consideration. I will add it to the blogroll.

Addendum: The new blog has a feature that I wanted as soon as I saw it. Incredibly, I figured out in only a few minutes how to add it to my site. By now, you probably know what I’m talking about. When you put your cursor on a link—in a post or in the blogroll—you get a small preview of it. As one of my colleagues would say, “Kewl!”

The Blessed Human Race

Some of you know George Jochnowitz from his comments on this blog. Dr Jochnowitz is a retired linguist. He taught for a while in China and was there during the confrontation in Tiananmen Square in 1989. His book The Blessed Human Race is about to be published, so I thought I’d bring it to your attention. (I’m pretty sure my Australian friend John Ray will want to read it, for it discusses the theory and practice of Marxism.) Act now and get a 15% discount!

Liberty, Equality, Fraternity

Here, appropos of nothing, is an online edition of James Fitzjames Stephen‘s classic work Liberty, Equality, Fraternity (1873; rev. ed. 1874).


Here is how Lara and Claire came to travel the world.


Here is a scene from today’s Omloop Het Volk in Belgium, won by Italian Filippo Pozzato. The Classics season, consisting of several grueling one-day races in Europe, is under way.

R. M. Hare (1919-2002) on Moral Development

[O]ur moral development, as we grow older, consists in the main in making our moral principles more and more specific, by writing into them exceptions and qualifications to cover kinds of case of which we have had experience. In the case of most people they soon become too complicated to admit of formulation, and yet give tolerably clear guidance in familiar situations. It is, indeed, always possible for a situation to arise which calls for a qualification of the principle; but, unless a person is plunged suddenly into an environment quite different to that in which he has grown up, this is likely to happen less and less as he grows older, because the situations which he encounters will more often resemble ones which he has encountered, and thought morally about, before.

(R. M. Hare, Freedom and Reason [Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1963], 40)

From Today’s New York Times

To the Editor:

Yes, children’s relationships with their families affect how they learn. However, placing blame on single parents and believing the fix is government programs in which seasoned women visit young mothers miss the point.

Many parents, single and otherwise, are forced to work long hours and multiple jobs to make ends meet. To enable parents to find a single job that would allow them more time with their children, the government needs to offer universal health coverage, increase the minimum wage and institute universal or subsidized child care.

Parents already know that spending time with their children helps them emotionally and at school, but for many parents in America, this is not the norm but a luxury.

Andrea Robles
Falls Church, Va., March 1, 2007
The writer is a Ph.D. candidate in sociology doing research on low-income women and work.

Note from KBJ: If you want less of something, tax it. If you want more, subsidize it. Evidently, the letter writer wants to increase the number of irresponsible parents.

A Year Ago