Friday, 4 May 2007


I leave you this fine evening with a New York Times story about conservatism and Darwinism. Frankly, I don’t know how conservatism and Darwinism can conflict. The former is a political morality. The latter is a scientific theory. The former is about values. The latter is about facts. The former is about how things ought to be. The latter is about how things are.


How bad is the New York Yankees’ pitching? The Yankees jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first inning of tonight’s game against Seattle (in Yankee Stadium). The Mariners, who are not regarded as heavy hitters, have scored 14 runs in four innings (including eight in the fifth) to lead the Yankees, 14-8. Ouch!

Addendum: Seattle won, 15-11. The Mariners pounded out 20 hits. It’s a great time to be a Yankee hater.

Richard Swinburne on Dead Babies

[T]here seems nothing wrong in God sending unbaptised babies to Limbo rather than Heaven. Babies do not have a character capable of enjoying Heaven, any more than do goldfish. And there seems no more obligation on God to give them such a character than always to create men rather than goldfish. There is nothing wrong in God creating lesser beings capable of lesser joys, or keeping such in being, rather than making only persons fitted for the highest joys. Whereas there would be something horribly wrong in the unbaptised babies going to Hell.

(Richard Swinburne, Faith and Reason [Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1981], 170 [parenthetical references omitted])

Television Alert

Fred Thompson’s speech at the Lincoln Club will be televised by C-SPAN this evening at 11:30 P.M. Eastern Time. See here for details.


If this isn’t the best album ever made, then I’m a rat‘s father.

Fred Thompson

Here, courtesy of one of my readers (Steve), are some facts about Fred Thompson.

Addendum: I was going to put the word “facts” in quotation marks, since I haven’t verified the statements being made about Fred Thompson. But then, I haven’t verified that the statements are false, either, and since Fred Thompson might kill me if I don’t give him the benefit of the doubt, I thought better of it. You are free to mentally insert quotation marks; just don’t tell Fred Thompson that I gave you permission to do so. (Fred Thompson, if you’re reading this, I’m kidding. I’m kidding!)


Here is Peggy Noonan’s latest column. Here is Peg Kaplan’s latest post. (Are you all right, Peg?)


These young women are old enough to be fighting for their country. Aren’t they old enough to decide whether to pose nude? Whatever happened to letting people make choices and then holding them responsible for their choices? Isn’t that part of becoming an autonomous being?

Equine Breakdown

Here is my latest post at Animal Ethics, which just had its best month ever, as far as number of visitors is concerned.


If you like the horse-race aspect of American presidential politics, you’ll enjoy this.

Best of the Web Today


A Flash from the Past

I just posted part of my journal entry from 20 years ago yesterday. Those of you who were around back then might find it interesting.

Dissecting Leftism

Dr John J. Ray, who is my main blogospheric benefactor, continues his fine blogging at Dissecting Leftism and other sites. Here is his latest batch of posts.


In Tennessee, a guy sees a sign in front of a house: “Talking Dog for Sale.” He rings the bell and the owner tells him the dog is in the backyard. The guy goes into the backyard and sees a black mutt just sitting there. “You talk?” he asks. “Yep,” the mutt replies. “So, what’s your story?” The mutt looks up and says, “Well, I discovered this gift pretty young and I wanted to help the government, so I told the CIA about my gift, and in no time they had me jetting from country to country, sitting in rooms with spies and world leaders, because no one figured a dog would be eavesdropping. I was one of their most valuable spies eight years running. The jetting around really tired me out, and I knew I wasn’t getting any younger and I wanted to settle down. So I signed up for a job at the airport to do some undercover security work, mostly wandering near suspicious characters and listening in. I uncovered some incredible dealings there and was awarded a batch of medals. Had a wife, a mess of puppies, and now I’m just retired.” The guy is amazed. He goes back in and asks the owner what he wants for the dog. The owner says, “Ten dollars.” The guy says, “This dog is amazing. Why on earth are you selling him so cheap?” The owner replies, “He’s such a liar. He didn’t do any of that stuff.”

From Today’s New York Times

To the Editor:

Reading Maureen Dowd’s critique of George J. Tenet (“Better Never Than Late,” column, May 2), you would think that back in February 2003 everything on the Iraqi threat was clear as could be. The fact is Mr. Tenet was only as good as the intelligence his agency was providing him.

Yes, the C.I.A. got Iraq’s weapons capability wrong, but so did most of the rest of the world’s intelligence agencies.

As for Ms. Dowd’s assertion that Mr. Tenet misread Saddam Hussein’s bluff on weapons, I would say Saddam Hussein was the loser on that score, as he bluffed himself into oblivion. Indeed, if the Iraqi dictator had played it straight, he could still be wreaking horrific devastation on thousands of his countrymen.

Phillip Ruland
Laguna Beach, Calif., May 2, 2007