Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Playing Politics with War

Here is Al Gore in 1992.


Yeehaa! Justin Verlander of my beloved Detroit Tigers pitched a no-hitter this evening against the Milwaukee Brewers. The Tigers won, 4-0. It’s the first no-hitter by a Tigers pitcher since 1984, the most recent year in which the Tigers won the World Series. It’s an omen, I tell you. The Tigers will meet, and beat, the Atlanta Braves in this year’s World Series.

Addendum: Detroit’s victory, combined with a loss by the Cleveland Indians, moves the teams into a tie for first place in the American League’s Central Division at 37-26. At that pace, each team will finish with 95 victories.


Here is a scene from today’s stage of the Dauphiné Libéré, won by Frenchman Christophe Moreau.

Karl R. Popper (1902-1994) on the Philosophers’ Disease

[L]et us look at the case for the prosecution against philosophy. Many philosophers, and among them some of the greatest, have not done too well. Even Plato, the greatest, deepest, and most gifted of all philosophers, had an outlook on human life which I find repulsive and indeed horrifying. Yet he was not only a great philosopher and the founder of the greatest professional school of philosophy, but a great and inspired poet; and he wrote, among other beautiful works, The Apology of Socrates.

What ailed him, and so many professional philosophers after him, was that, in stark contrast to Socrates, he believed in the élite: in the Kingdom of Philosophy. While Socrates demanded that the statesman should be wise, that is, aware of how little he knows, Plato demanded that the wise, the learned philosophers, should be absolute rulers. Ever since Plato, megalomania has been the philosophers’ most widespread occupational disease.

(Karl R. Popper, “How I See Philosophy,” chap. 1 in The Owl of Minerva: Philosophers on Philosophy, ed. Charles J. Bontempo and S. Jack Odell [New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1975], 41-55, at 43)

All Fred, All the Time

Here, courtesy of Will Nehs, is a column about Fred Thompson’s foreign-policy team.

Best of the Web Today

Here. (Still no mention of immigration. What do you think it is? There are three possibilities. First, James Taranto doesn’t think the issue is important, even though almost everyone else does. Second, he agrees with the open-borders philosophy of his bosses but doesn’t want to alienate his conservative readers by openly siding with them. Third, he disagrees with his bosses and doesn’t want to antagonize them by publicly opposing them. The first calls Taranto’s news judgment into question. The second and third call his courage into question.)


I’ve cut back on my periodical subscriptions. In a couple of cases, it was because the annual price had gotten too high. In a couple of other cases, I came to the conclusion that I was no longer interested in the content. I used to subscribe to feminist publications, for example. Feminist literature no longer interests me. Here are the 10 periodicals to which I subscribe, with the date I began subscribing in parentheses:

Philosophy & Public Affairs (winter 1983)
Ethics (October 1988)
Social Theory and Practice (spring 1989)
Public Affairs Quarterly (January 1993)
Environmental Ethics (spring 1993)
Montana (autumn 1993)
We Proceeded On (August 1994)
Animal Law (1995)
Social Philosophy & Policy (winter 2004)
Academic Questions (winter 2005-06)

Feel free to supply your own list of subscriptions as a comment.


I don’t understand this. It’s easy to avoid things in which one takes no interest. I, for example, don’t care about Paris Hilton. She means nothing to me. When Bill O’Reilly starts to talk about her, I turn the channel. When someone sends me a story about her, I delete it. Why is politics any different? If you don’t want to hear about (or listen to) the presidential candidates, turn away. It’s not like they’re everywhere!

From Today’s New York Times

To the Editor:

I agree with conservatives on virtually nothing, but the failure of the immigration bill was not a “failure of leadership” (editorial, June 9). Our government has systematically failed to secure our borders over the years, and that is what has created the 12 million illegal immigrant problem.

The first step in addressing this problem shouldn’t be some “grand bargain” with incomprehensible point systems, a complicated and expensive “path to legal status” (that most won’t do anyway), but should be simply to enforce the law! That will cap the problem at 12 million and certainly make conservatives more open to dealing with the illegal immigrants, whose numbers will decline with the mere passage of time.

John Garand
Santa Barbara, Calif., June 10, 2007


When I fired up the computer this morning, the usual green screen was brown. I turned the monitor off and then back on. The screen returned to normal. Then, when I used Internet Explorer, I noticed that the URLs at the top were fainter than usual. I rebooted the computer and the URLs are still faint. I also notice that the names in my Outlook Express contact list are faint. The monitor seems to be working properly, but something is wrong with the characters. Does anyone know what might be causing this? I haven’t done anything strange on my computer.

A Year Ago