Sunday, 27 May 2007


I leave you this fine evening with a column by George Will.


The New York Yankees (21-27) are in big trouble. They’re 12½ games behind the Boston Red Sox (34-15), who just swept a three-game series with my adopted Texas Rangers in Arlington. Yes, it’s still May, but that’s too much ground to make up. It’s possible that the Yankees will turn things around, but there’s almost no chance that the high-flying Red Sox will fall apart. Their pitching is too good. If the Yankees are to make the playoffs, it will have to be as the wild-card team. But even that is unlikely, given the way the Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Indians are playing. Will the Yankees start to unload their high-priced players? Is this Alex Rodriguez’s final year with the Bronx Bombers? And how must Roger Clemens feel? He signed with the Yankees a couple of weeks ago, thinking he would be on a contending team. Ha! The way they’re playing, the Yankees will be lucky to finish the year with 81 victories. Clemens must be wishing he had signed with Boston.

Addendum: Here is the blog of two Yankees fans. Their frustration is palpable.


Here is a scene from today’s stage of the Giro d’Italia, won by Italian Riccardo Riccò. The Giro ends a week from today, in Milan. My pick to win the Giro, Damiano Cunego, is in fifth place, 3:23 behind the leader, Danilo Di Luca.

Notre Dame

Here, courtesy of Paul Barnes, is this year’s valedictory address at the University of Notre Dame.

Richard Swinburne on Creeds

The Mormon or Jehovah’s Witness who knocks so unwelcome at our door is entitled to a small initial amount of serious attention. But I suggest that for most of us there is not nearly so much point in investigating the credal claims of religions which have not spread throughout the globe and into which we do not bump, as in investigating the other religions. The failure of the former to spread among those who do come into contact with them is some evidence that they are not worth more serious attention.

(Richard Swinburne, Faith and Reason [Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1981], 196)

A Year Ago



Will Nehs sent this picture of his three guard dogs.

From Today’s New York Times

To the Editor:

Your overture in “My Dear Fellow Species” (Week in Review, May 20) to the 150th anniversary celebration of Charles Darwin’s “Origin of Species” through his letters is a fine attempt to briefly summarize his personality.

But in a Darwin letter of April 3, 1880, which I have, where he thanks Georg Heinrich Schneider for sending him a copy of his recently published treatise “Der thierische Wille”—a valuable contribution to animal psychology—Darwin seems to sum up his life’s work in one sentence: “Everything about the minds of animals interests me greatly.”

Fittingly, few words, much content!

Alfred S. Posamentier
River Vale, N.J., May 20, 2007


Forgive me, but I can’t imagine anything more stupid than smoking. I have never smoked and never understood why anyone would. Here is a story about household policies regarding smoking. Do you allow people to smoke in your house? Nobody has smoked in my house since I bought it, in December 1992. When my brother Mark visited, he smoked outside. I don’t recall telling him to; I guess he just knew, given my reputation as a health Nazi, that he should.

Addendum: James Drake brought this column by William F. Buckley to my attention. I thought I’d put it up front, where more people will see it. If you want to know the truth, I don’t care whether people smoke, as long as (1) their smoke doesn’t affect me and (2) I’m not responsible for their health care. I do care whether my family members and friends smoke, but they’re adults. They have a right to be stupid. That’s what makes this country great. We let people harm themselves.

Safire on Language