Monday, 2 April 2007

The Rudy and Judy Show

My friend Peg Kaplan likes Rudy Giuliani, and I can see myself voting for him if he’s the Republican nominee, but there are things about him I don’t like. My original choice for president, Mitt Romney, isn’t doing well in the polls, perhaps because of the “Mormon thing.” I’m starting to wonder whether anyone but a Christian can be elected president in this country. An avowed atheist or agnostic is out of the question, but I thought a devout Mormon would be acceptable to most Americans. Maybe I’m wrong. Just once, I’d like to be able to vote for someone without qualm. Here is John Fund’s column about Giuliani.

Addendum: Are Mormons Christian? Some say yes; some say no. See here.

Best of the Web Today



Will Nehs sent a link to this column by Robert Novak, which is about the presidential candidacy of Fred Thompson. I know almost nothing about Thompson, but I’m eager to learn. Apparently, he’s on some television program. Has anyone seen it?

Addendum: Thompson would be 66 years old at the time of his inauguration in 2009. He would be 70 at the end of his first term and 74 at the end of his second. I’m inclined to say that’s too old, but hey, I’ll be 50 in five days. The older I get, the younger 60 and 70 seem.

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

[M]oral weakness is the tendency not to do ourselves something which in general we commend, or to do something which in general we condemn. This is perhaps the central difficulty of the moral life; and it is no accident that this moral difficulty is reflected in a similarly central difficulty in theoretical ethics.

(R. M. Hare, Freedom and Reason [Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1963], 72 [italics in original])

From Today’s New York Times

To the Editor:

Re your March 28 news article about David Hicks, the Australian imprisoned at Guantánamo Bay who pleaded guilty to providing material support to a terrorist organization:

You say “the rules in the military commissions are singular,” but “the pressures and calculations were much like those that weigh on people in civilian courts.” Perhaps, but there are some differences.

In civilian courts, defendants have not been held for five years, nor does the state assert the right to hold them indefinitely without trial or without bringing charges.

In most civilian courts, the judge does not disqualify two out of the three defense lawyers as a trial is about to start. Nor does the judge threaten the remaining defense lawyer with prosecution for criticizing the secretary of defense and the president.

Jay Livingston
New York, March 28, 2007

Note from KBJ: The letter writer is just now noticing that military tribunals are not civilian courts. Duh!


Two boys are playing football in Golden Gate Park when one is attacked by a Rottweiler. Thinking quickly, the other boy rips a board off the nearby fence, wedges it down the dog’s collar and twists, breaking the dog’s neck. A reporter who is strolling by sees the incident, and rushes over to interview the boy. “Forty-niners fan saves friend from vicious animal,” he starts writing in his notebook. “But I’m not a Nin­ers fan,” the boy replies. “Oakland Raiders fan rescues friend from horrific attack,” the reporter starts again. “I’m not a Raiders fan either,” the boy says. “Then what are you?” the reporter asks. “I’m a Cowboys fan.” The reporter writes, “Redneck bastard kills family pet.”

A Year Ago