Thursday, 2 August 2007


Is there a right to do wrong? See here, then here, then here.


This column by Daniel Henninger rambles, but near the end he makes a serious claim: that integrity, self-respect, and character are linked to, i.e., more easily acquired in the context of, religion. Do you agree? Please don’t say that it’s possible for an atheist to have these things, for Henninger isn’t denying that. Nor is he asserting that all theists have these things. He seems to be making a weaker claim: that there are causal (rather than logical) connections between good character and religiosity. If he’s right, then parents might want to think twice about raising their children as atheists.

Yankee Watch

The Boston Red Sox won today, while the New York Yankees lost. Boston’s magic number to eliminate New York is down to 47. By the way, I hope no Yankee fan thinks I’m taunting, merely by providing information. Surely you’re not opposed to receiving information! In this case, the information is this: Any combination of Red Sox victories and Yankee losses totalling 47 results in the Yankees being eliminated from contention for the American League East Division title.

Best of the Web Today


“Before I Die”

My friend Don Tennant was a smart aleck, which is why so many people loved being around him. One day, while riding alongside him (we rode our bikes thousands of miles together, both in Texas and Out West), I said that I wanted to do such-and-such before I die. He turned to me with a bemused look and said, “As opposed to after you die?” I was speechless. I knew that what I had said was meaningful, but he made it seem as though it were nonsense.

Today, at long last, I figured out where Don went wrong. Don was putting the emphasis on the wrong word. Here is what he heard:

I want to do such-and-such before I die.

Here is what I meant:

I want to do such-and-such before I die.

See the difference? It’s nonsensical to want to do something before you die, because there’s no possibility of doing it after you die. It’s not at all nonsensical to want to do something eventually. What I meant is that I wanted to do such-and-such, but not necessarily soon or all at once. I was saying that I didn’t care when I did it, as long as I did it.

I got you, old man! I wish you were here so I could explain it to you.

Homosexual “Marriage”

Here is a column by Alec Rawls, who is the son of the philosopher John Rawls (1921-2002). By mentioning that Alec is the son of John, I’m not implying that his assertions are more likely to be true, his analyses more likely to be correct, or his arguments more likely to be cogent. His work, like anyone else’s, stands or falls on its merits. I link to his column only because (1) it’s interesting and (2) it’s on a topic that I’ve discussed many times in this blog.

From Today’s New York Times

To the Editor:

I appreciate the fresh reporting of Michael E. O’Hanlon and Kenneth M. Pollack from Iraq. It matches what my family and friends in the Iraqi theater tell me.

I was struck by the comment that “the administration’s critics” seem “unaware of the significant changes taking place.”

The critics refuse to acknowledge any change. Democrats have invested everything in the failure of the surge and in America losing the war. They are in such panic at the signs of success that they are trying desperately to kill the effort now, before the truth gets out.

Isn’t it past time for the big news media to start asking Democrats the questions they have been allowing them to avoid?

Mary McLemore
Pike Road, Ala., July 30, 2007

A Year Ago


From the Mailbag


Have a look at this. If biassed siting like this has crept into the US network, I project they’re even worse around the world.

I like the idea of volunteers going out to photograph more egregious examples.

James Drake

Baseball Notes

1. I’m open to suggestions as to what I should have to do if the New York Yankees win the American League East Division title. I’ve been having a ball at Yankee fans’ expense. (Those of you who know me personally know that I’m a teaser at heart. The rest of you will have to take my word for it.) Shouldn’t there be a price to be paid for this taunting, in the event that New York prevails? Be creative. I’m not saying I’ll do what’s suggested, but I’ll consider it. If you’re one of the Yankee fans who has been taunting me, what should you have to do if (I mean when) Boston wins? (See? I can’t stop taunting even when I try not to!)

2. Phil Garner is not long for the managerial world. Take a look at his record. He’s a loser. He ran the Milwaukee Brewers into the ground; he ran my beloved Detroit Tigers into the ground; and now he’s running the Houston Astros into the ground. Mark my words: He’s gone—probably before the season ends, but certainly before the next season begins.

3. Why is it that players who switch teams play better almost immediately? The Houston Astros traded Morgan Ensberg to the San Diego Padres the other day. He had all but stopped hitting. What does he do in his first game? He hits two two-run home runs! See here. Mark Teixeira hit a home run and drove in four runs in his first game with the Atlanta Braves. There are many other examples. I’ve noticed it for years. It must be psychological. If I were a Major League general manager, I’d be trading players right and left so as to get better performances. Of course, I wouldn’t trade players to teams in my division!

4. I love the headline of this story. Notre Dame has the Fighting Irish. Illinois has the Fighting Illini. Milwaukee’s baseball team should be called the Fighting Brewers.