Saturday, 26 May 2007


Here is a scene from today’s stage of the Giro d’Italia, won by Italian Stefano Garzelli.

The Duke

Marion Robert Morrison (a.k.a. John Wayne) was born on this date 100 years ago. I’ve enjoyed many of the Duke’s movies over the years. Just the other day, I watched part of El Dorado (1966) in high definition. My favorite John Wayne film may be The Cowboys (1972). What’s your favorite? When I practiced law in Tucson, many years ago, one of my colleagues, Tony Murphy, cracked me up repeatedly with his John Wayne imitations. He would come out of his office, hands on his belt, shoulders swaying, and drawl, “Listen up, pilgrims.” It was hilarious. He had the Duke’s voice and mannerisms down. I miss Tony. I hope he is well.

Ryan T. Anderson on Religion

Religion isn’t going away any time soon—it’s a natural feature of our humanity—and modern intellectuals would do well to develop and support well-reasoned religion, rather than scorn it as mere superstition unworthy of public consideration.

(Ryan T. Anderson, review of The God That Did Not Fail: How Religion Built and Sustains the West, by Robert Royal, First Things [March 2007]: 53-4, at 54)


It’s easy to win a debate if you portray your opponent as a sentimentalist. Read this New York Times story about the immigration bill. The following paragraph leapt out at me:

“Look, he [President Bush] understands, having been involved in this debate for many years, that it is an extremely emotional and emotionally charged issue, so he is not surprised that it engenders strong reaction,” said Joel Kaplan, the White House deputy chief of staff. “I think everybody is pleased here that we are making progress.”

“Extremely emotional.” “Emotionally charged.” “Engenders strong reaction.” The White House is framing the immigration debate as a conflict between reason and emotion. Reason is represented by President Bush and those who favor the bill; emotion is represented by those who oppose the bill. Emotion clouds judgment. When emotion conflicts with reason, therefore, you go with reason. Don’t fall for this insulting rhetorical trickery. Either both sides are emotional about the issue—and to the same degree—or neither is.

The Clintons

One of the things that jumps out at you about Bill and Hillary Clinton is their promiscuity. There is nobody they won’t crawl into bed with in order to secure and retain power. See here for the latest incident.


Mark Spahn sent a link to this story, which details the legal battle between two identical-twin brothers, neither of whom wants to take responsibility for a baby born to a woman with whom each had sex. I had hoped that the legal battle was over which man would get to take responsibility, but that wouldn’t be in keeping with the tenor of our age, would it?

A Year Ago



Here are some images posted by Matthias Steup, who teaches philosophy at St Cloud State University in Minnesota.

From Today’s New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “Couple Learn the High Price of Easy Credit” (front page, May 19):

Whatever happened to restraint and personal responsibility when managing expenses in a household?

America is addicted to buying and having. With a $66,000 combined income, the couple in your article can’t afford to spend $50,000 on a wedding, honeymoon, and new bathroom without going into serious debt. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure that out.

A little self-control would go a long way to avoid being owned by interest rates and finance charges.

Rocio Rodriguez
Atlanta, May 19, 2007

Note from KBJ: Self-control? What’s that? This is the Age of Instant Gratification.


I was supposed to do the Honey Tour bike rally this morning in Burleson, Texas. I got up at six o’clock, did the necessary preparations, and drove to Burleson (22.8 miles from my Fort Worth house). The rain poured down the entire way. I figured that if the rain were still coming down at the start, I’d do a shorter course: either 25 or 50 miles instead of 62. When I arrived, it was still pouring. The sky was dark in every direction and there was no sign of a let-up. I found two of my friends, Phil and Randy, in their vehicles. We walked to registration to stand under the awning and talk. Phil and Randy decided not to ride, even though Phil, like me, had paid in advance. I told them that I was going to ride at least 25 miles, if only to justify dragging myself out of bed this morning. By the time they drove off, I was having second thoughts. As I sat shivering in my car, with rain beating down, I said hell with it and drove home. I knew I’d feel guilty about it, and sure enough, I did. So, having taken Shelbie for a brisk walk and done some reading, I went out for a long run. I ran 6.6 miles in a drizzling rain (at a 7:44.31 mile pace). It felt good. That’s what happens when you get addicted to aerobic activity. You must get your fix, one way or another.