Sunday, 3 June 2007


John Cornyn is one of my two United States senators. For seven years, he was a member of the Supreme Court of Texas. He then served as our attorney general. Thus, he has served in all three branches of government: judicial, executive, and legislative. Here is his column on immigration.

Addendum: The editorial board of The New York Times disagrees with John Cornyn, which reinforces my view that Cornyn is correct.

R. M. Hare (1919-2002) on the Function of Moral Philosophy

That there will always be fanatics must be admitted; but it can also be admitted that the true fanatics are relatively few, and would have no power at all to do harm, were it not for their ability to mislead, and thus win the support of, large numbers of people who are not themselves fanatics. This they do by concealing facts and spreading falsehoods; by arousing passions which will cloud the sympathetic imagination—in short by all the familiar methods of propaganda. These methods would have less power over people if one essential condition for their success were removed: confused thinking. If a person understands clearly what he is doing when he is asking a moral question and answering it, and understands just how facts enter into moral arguments; if he is able to distinguish genuine facts from those ‘facts’ which are really concealed evaluations; if, in short, he is clear-headed enough to stick to the moral question that he is asking and to set about answering it in the way that its nature demands; then the propagandist will have little power over him. To arm people in this way against propaganda is the function of moral philosophy.

(R. M. Hare, Freedom and Reason [Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1963], 185)


Here is a scene from today’s ultimate stage of the Giro d’Italia, won by Italian Alessandro Petacchi. The overall winner, by a comfortable margin of 1:55, was Italian Danilo Di Luca. My pick to win the Giro, Italian Damiano Cunego, finished fifth. The Tour de France begins on 7 July. I can’t wait.

A Year Ago


From Today’s New York Times

To the Editor:

Where is the fairness to those immigrants who play by the rules to come here, often waiting as long as 10 years for a visa to become available?

Can anyone seriously believe that the proposed bill will alleviate the problem, rather than aggravate it?

In 1986, this country passed immigration reform legislation because deporting two million illegal immigrants was deemed “impractical.” Now we’re facing 12 million illegal immigrants who probably came here encouraged by our abject failure to enforce our laws.

What will it be in 2027? Fifty million? Then what?

The message must be clearly and unequivocally conveyed: The United States will not reward those who have broken the law. Period.

Vaughn A. Carney
Stowe, Vt., May 29, 2007

Note from KBJ: Playing by the rules. What a concept!

Safire on Language