Friday, 10 August 2007


Can a utilitarian condemn necrophilia? See here. For background, you might want to read Peter Singer’s essay on bestiality. (Singer is a utilitarian.)

Animal Ethics

Here is my latest post.


The president of the United States is the nation’s chief law-enforcement officer. It is nothing less than scandalous that the immigration laws have not been enforced during President Bush’s six and a half years in office. That appears to be changing. It’s pretty bad when a Republican president—someone who professes to believe in law and order—enables, and thereby encourages, lawlessness. I’m tempted to thank the president, but you don’t thank people for doing their duty. There are two simple principles that should guide law enforcement. First, secure the border. Nobody should be coming into this country except in accordance with our immigration laws. Second, track down and deport anyone who is here illegally. No ifs, ands, or buts. Once we get the aliens out, we can talk about how many (if any) and which people to let in.

Addendum: Michelle Malkin recommends that we keep our expectations low. Mine can hardly be lower. I simply don’t trust President Bush to do the right thing on immigration. He is beholden to the business community. Putting the interests of entrepreneurs ahead of the national interest is, in my opinion, a ground for impeachment.


Here is Peggy Noonan’s latest column. Here is Peg Kaplan’s latest post.


By the looks of it, the so-called netroots (a.k.a. moonbats) would rather be pure than powerful. Progressives should take a gander at the Libertarian Party, which has yet to win more than 1.1% of the popular vote in a presidential election. Perhaps that’s why libertarians are so insufferable. They know they’re never going to win, so they spend their time policing the ranks and expelling anyone who deviates from the party line.

Best of the Web Today



Drugs are going to be the death of professional cycling, and maybe it’s a deserved death. It’s been known for some time that the Discovery Channel team will have a new sponsor next season, but today the team announced that it’s disbanding. Apparently, no sponsor could be found. The cyclists who rode for Discovery Channel will have to find other teams. If they cannot, they’ll have to go into other lines of work, such as making cheese. Perhaps this is the proverbial shot across the bow to cyclists. If they don’t agitate for and abide by the rules, they’ll have to make their livings like the rest of us. My hope is that the various cycling organizations implement effective drug-testing techniques. Once it’s clear that cheaters will be expelled from the sport, fans will know that the winners are clean. This will bring sponsors back.


I’m fairly sure that readers of this blog have submitted comments today, but no comments have come to me for approval. This happens every now and then. It’s the fault of either BlueHost (my hosting company) or WordPress (which supplies my blog software). I’d apologize for the inconvenience, but it’s not my fault! Perhaps the comments are being saved somewhere and will come to me all at once for approval. Be patient.

Sidney Hook (1902-1989) on Theory and Practice

There are some matters on which practical experience may be a better guide than pure theory. The very virtues of the thinker and man of vision—prolonged reflection, skepticism of one’s own first principles, the long view, the attempt to see the situation from the standpoint of the other—may prove to be drawbacks in critical situations, when the fate of a people or a nation or a culture hangs in the balance. They may be sources of weakness when time is of the essence and action must be taken without the benefit of confirmed evidence. That is why as a rule philosophers as philosophers are not likely to make good public officials—the careers of John Stuart Mill and de Tocqueville as legislators were quite undistinguished—although in their capacity as citizens or even as party members they may be as good as their neighbors. Philosophers are better as critics than as intellectual laureates of the status quo. And this for several reasons. They have a keen sense of alternatives. They are likely to be more aware than others of the disparities between the ideal and the actual. And above all they cannot without stultification give their primary intellectual loyalty to any nation, cause, party, or organization, but only to the truth as they see it. That very commitment to truth should prevent them from using lies and certain selected truths that function as lies to further what they are convinced is a higher good or a holy cause.

(Sidney Hook, “Philosophy and Public Policy,” chap. 3 in The Owl of Minerva: Philosophers on Philosophy, ed. Charles J. Bontempo and S. Jack Odell [New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1975], 73-87, at 86-7 [italics in original] [essay first published in 1970])

From Today’s New York Times

To the Editor:

For Young Earners in Big City, Gap Shifts in Women’s Favor” (front page, Aug. 3) promises a deeper understanding of the pay gap. When I did the research for “Why Men Earn More” in 2005, I discovered that nationwide, never-married women who had never had children earned 117 percent of the wages of never-married men who had never had children.

New York City women in their 20s are less likely to have married or had children than women in their 20s who live in suburban and rural areas. The overall pay gap (with men earning more) is mostly about the division of labor once children arrive. It is also about trade-offs. That is, the road to high pay is a toll road.

On average, men more frequently pay 25 tolls: they work more hazardous jobs (accounting for 94 percent of workplace deaths), work outdoors (garbage collectors), on commission, relocate overseas, travel overnight and on weekends (90 percent of the most-frequent fliers are men), work graveyard shifts and weekends, specialize in engineering and technology where demand outpaces supply, and so on.

The good news is that a woman making these trade-offs can outearn a man.

Warren Farrell
Mill Valley, Calif., Aug. 3, 2007

Note from KBJ: Dr Farrell has done more than anyone to expose the Big Lie of feminists.

A Year Ago


Baseball Notes

1. It seems to me (from the outside) that there’s a psychological difference between Yankee fans and Red Sox fans. The latter are grim, intense, and humorless. The former are boisterous, arrogant, and goofy. Red Sox fans are cats; Yankee fans are dogs. Red Sox fans expect to lose and are shocked when they don’t; Yankee fans expect to win and are shocked when they don’t. Red Sox fans know that baseball is tragic; Yankee fans are too stupid to think thoughts that deep.

2. The Red Sox are playing around with the Yankees, letting them creep to within five or six games in the standings every now and then. They want to raise Yankee fans’ expectations so as to increase the amount of frustration and misery they experience when the Bronx Bombs fall short. I’ve done the same in footraces and bike rallies. I’ll let someone work like crazy to catch up to me; then I’ll put the hammer down and drop the poor slob. It’s great fun to see others suffer. I must have German blood in me.

3. My beloved Detroit Tigers are flailing. A year ago, the team had superb pitching and just enough hitting to win games. This year, the team has superb hitting and terrible pitching. I assume the Tigers have a plan to get the pitching staff in order before the stretch run; but things aren’t looking good. My heart can’t take another final-day loss to the Minnesota Twins (or, for that matter, to the Cleveland Indians).

4. I continue to be surprised by the Seattle Mariners, the Chicago Cubs, and the Arizona Diamondbacks. I didn’t expect anything from any of these teams at the start of the season. That’s why baseball is such a great game. Does anyone besides me think the Diamondback uniforms are cool? Speaking of the Diamondbacks, this is as good a place as any to apologize to Eric Byrnes. When he came up with the Oakland Athletics, I thought he was all flash. There’s nothing more off-putting than an arrogant rookie. It’s one thing to be full of yourself after you’ve accomplished something; it’s another to come off as high and mighty when you’ve done nothing. Byrnes has turned out to be a solid Major League player. I enjoy watching him play.

From the Mailbag

You probably know all about this paradox. It’s famous among mathematicians (and math teachers) as an example of mathematical induction misapplied.

Mark Spahn (West Seneca, NY)