Friday, 18 May 2007


As many of you know, my beloved Detroit Tigers were defeated in the 2006 World Series by the St Louis Cardinals, four games to one. It devastated me. Tonight, the teams meet for the first time since the World Series—in interleague play. Through five innings, the Tigers lead, 14-0. Revenge is sweet.


Here is Peggy Noonan’s latest column. Here is Peg Kaplan’s latest post.

Best of the Web Today


H. A. Prichard (1871-1947) on Action and Motivation

[T]he rightness or wrongness of an act has nothing to do with any question of motives at all. For, as any instance will show, the rightness of an action concerns an action not in the fuller sense of the term in which we include the motive in the action, but in the narrower and commoner sense in which we distinguish an action from its motive and mean by an action merely the conscious origination of something, an origination which on different occasions or in different people may be prompted by different motives. The question “Ought I to pay my bills?” really means simply “Ought I to bring about my tradesmen’s possession of what by my previous acts I explicitly or implicitly promised them?” There is, and can be, no question of whether I ought to pay my debts from a particular motive. No doubt we know that if we pay our bills we shall pay them with a motive, but in considering whether we ought to pay them we inevitably think of the act in abstraction from the motive. Even if we knew what our motive would be if we did the act, we should not be any nearer an answer to the question.

Moreover, if we eventually pay our bills from fear of the county court, we shall still have done what we ought, even though we shall not have done it as we ought. The attempt to bring in the motive involves a mistake similar to that involved in supposing that we can will to will. To feel that I ought to pay my bills is to be moved towards paying them. But what I can be moved towards must always be an action and not an action in which I am moved in a particular way, i.e. an action from a particular motive; otherwise I should be moved towards being moved, which is impossible.

(H. A. Prichard, “Does Moral Philosophy Rest on a Mistake?” Mind, n.s., 21 [January 1912]: 21-37, at 26-7 [italics in original])

Global Warmism

Dr James Drake sent a link to this interesting blog post. How much of global warmism (I stole the term from James Taranto) is rooted in a desire to redistribute wealth from rich nations to poor nations, or from wealthy individuals to impoverished individuals? What else could explain knee-jerk reactions to proposals to solve the so-called problem of global warming technologically rather than by hamstringing the economy? Is global warmism just the latest attempt by progressives to redistribute wealth in accordance with their egalitarian vision? In other words, is it a pretext?


This is getting ugly.

Addendum: Here is a scene from today’s stage of the Giro d’Italia, won by Colombian Luis Felipe Laverde.


I’m outraged. College professors (such as me) earn only 75% of what practicing attorneys earn. This is discriminatory! Oh wait. College professors have their summers off. Never mind.

Moral: Before you throw silly numbers around, think. Look at the choices being made. Why should I earn as much as a practicing attorney when my working conditions differ significantly from those of a practicing attorney? The only meaningful comparison to be made is between those who do exactly the same work. That women as a class earn less than men as a class says nothing, except that women and men make different choices in the marketplace. Justice requires that likes be treated alike. It does not require that unlikes be treated alike. Indeed, it prohibits it.


John McCain is toast.

Addendum: Mitt Romney gets it.

Addendum 2: Kathryn Jean Lopez of National Review Online has a roundup of conservative commentary.

From Today’s New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “A Human Capital Agenda,” by David Brooks (column, May 15):

It’s not that the Republicans only need to come up with a break from the past; they need to regain our trust if they are to succeed.

I, for one, have a great mistrust of the conservative movement, Republican Revolution, or whatever you want to call it. Not because I lean more independent/liberal, but because conservatives have been anything but truthful. President Bush claimed to be a compassionate conservative and a uniter; he turned out to be divisive, incompetent and uncaring.

The far right has promoted an aggressive policy of forcing democracy on other nations and using force instead of diplomacy, much to the detriment of the world. The depth of hypocrisy and corruption in the Republican Party is in stark contrast to the Republican claim of bringing honesty and integrity to government after the Clinton era.

The Republicans have acted exactly the opposite of their claims of honesty and integrity. Time has shown that those claims were just words with no substance. It’s going to take more than a policy shift for me to believe that the Republican Party is acting in our country’s best interests.

Kenneth Aaron
Portland, Ore., May 15, 2007

Note from KBJ: Please distinguish between conservatism, which is a political morality, and the Republican Party, which is a political party. That the party is corrupt or incompetent does not mean that conservatism is defective.

A Year Ago


Right Wing News

Here is John Hawkins’s Rightosphere Temperature Check for May. My choices were as follows:

1. D-F
2. B
3. No
4. A
5. A
6. No
7. C
8. Rudy Giuliani

Feel free to state your own choices as a comment to this post.