Monday, 13 August 2007

“Where You At?”

Something’s been driving me crazy, and I finally figured it out. This past Saturday, as I was walking to the registration area at the Hot Rocks bike rally in Rockwall, I overheard a man speaking on his cellphone. “Where you at?” he asked his interlocutor. I’ve heard this ungrammatical expression many times. The people who use it aren’t dummies, so why do they use it? Why not use the grammatical “Where are you?” It has no more syllables. Then it hit me. The ungrammatical expression puts the emphasis on the word “at,” which is the key word, for it signifies location. The word “you” at the end of the grammatical expression doesn’t signify location. If all I hear is the final word, I might think I’m being asked “How are you?” or “Who are you?” instead of “Where are you?” By putting the word “at” at the end of the sentence, people ensure (or at least increase the likelihood) that it’s heard. What do you think? By the way, I’m not justifying this barbaric usage; I’m explaining it.

Yankee Watch

Both the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees won today. Boston’s magic number to eliminate New York is down to 41.

“The Epitome of Evil”

By now, you know that Karl Rove has resigned his position in the White House. The juveniles at Democratic Underground are overjoyed. They think it signifies defeat. In fact, it’s normal for a lame-duck president’s aides and advisers to depart before the term of office ends. Maybe these hyperventilating kids aren’t old enough to realize that. Rove’s work is done. He was amazingly successful, which is why the moonbats hate him so much. One of the posters called him “the epitome of evil.” Think about that for a few seconds. It makes you wonder about the poster, doesn’t it?

Addendum: I love the following paragraph of the New York Times story:

Mr. Rove had vowed to build a lasting Republican majority, and some associates believed he would try to help his party keep the White House. But Mr. Rove said in his interview with The Wall Street Journal, whose editorial page is a favored outlet for Mr. Bush and his aides, that he had no intention of getting involved in the 2008 presidential race. (Emphasis added.)

It comes across as bitter, doesn’t it? The Bush White House doesn’t give the Times the time of day. And why should it? The Times has savaged the Bush administration from day one, not just in its op-ed columns and letters to the editor, but in its news stories. That’s not journalism. It’s a vendetta.

Addendum 2: Hugh Hewitt says that Rove will be back. I hope he’s right. Naturally, I’d like to see Rove join Fred Thompson’s campaign, because I’m with Fred; but I’ll be happy if he signs on to any Republican campaign, even Rudy Giuliani’s. By the way, I think the 2008 presidential election will be one of the nastiest in American history. Progressives are livid about the 2000 and 2004 elections, and they are apoplectic about the war in Iraq. They will lie, cheat, steal, and do whatever else it takes to get a Democrat elected. The end (in their view) justifies the means. Republicans will have to retaliate, because otherwise these tactics will succeed. The winner of the election will immediately be discredited by the losing side, which might resort to violence. It’s going to get ugly, my friends. Mark my words.

Baseball Notes

1. Tim Wakefield of the Boston Red Sox has a no-hitter through six innings against Tampa Bay. If I had a son, I’d teach him to throw the knuckleball. It may not be glamorous, but it’s easy on the arm. Wakefield is 41 years old and in his 15th Major League season. There is no reason he can’t pitch another five years. Does anyone remember Wilbur Wood? I remember when he pitched both games of a doubleheader. Look at the number of innings he pitched. One year he went 24-20! In a four-year stretch, he completed 85 games. These days, a complete game is a rarity.

2. Is anyone besides me glad that the Bonds Watch is over?

3. Carl Crawford broke up the no-hitter in the seventh.

4. Who has been to the most Major League ballparks? I’ve been to Tiger Stadium in Detroit (many times), Metropolitan Stadium in Minneapolis (in about 1970, while my family was on vacation), the Kingdome (while in Seattle on a job interview), Arlington Stadium, and the Ballpark in Arlington.

5. It’s normal for people’s bodies to change as they age and as they alter their exercise and diet regimens. Take a look at how Barry Bonds’s body has changed. (Thanks to Carlos Serda for the link.)

Sidney Hook (1902-1989) on Philosophical Greatness

As great and as important as the philosopher’s insights may be for the illumination of public affairs of his own time, let us not deny that the outstanding philosophers of the past speak to us for other reasons. Their meaning for us today is found in some moral insight or vision that transcends the events of their own times. Public affairs and public policy do not exhaust the field of normative values. We read Hobbes and Hume, Spinoza and Kant, not because of their commentary upon and analysis of the public affairs of their day, but because of their visions of human excellence, their grasp of recurrent if not perennial problems of social life, and their insights into the condition of man. The great philosophers are not men of one note, or of one season, or of one mood. When they are in their time, they are not merely of their time. That is why Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle do not date in their central concerns, and still possess a freshness for sensitive and inquiring minds that have discounted their parochial setting.

(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 87 [essay first published in 1970])


According to this New York Post story (sent to me by Mark Spahn), the New York Times is about to release its columnists into the wild, where they will have to fend for themselves. For the past several years, Paul Krugman* and his ilk have been kept in petting zoos, where they have no fear of predators. Do you suppose Krugman is one of the columnists who complained to the Times that he lost much of his readership? I haven’t read a Krugman column since the Times began charging for them. I’ll read them again if they become free. It was fun to dismantle Bush-hatin’ Paul twice a week. As I have said many times, he is the most intellectually dishonest person I have ever known.

* “Op-Ed columnist Paul Krugman has the disturbing habit of shaping, slicing and selectively citing numbers in a fashion that pleases his acolytes but leaves him open to substantive assaults” (Daniel Okrent, “13 Things I Meant to Write About but Never Did,” The New York Times, 22 May 2005).

Global Warmism

Science is amoral. The most a scientist can tell us is how things are. What we choose to do about it, if anything, is up to us. Unfortunately, many scientists are politicized, so we can’t trust them even to tell us how things are. You have to wonder about the intelligence of people who would trade the good name of science for a cause, thereby undermining their own authority. See here for an essay.

Best of the Web Today



John Edwards is quickly becoming the laughingstock of American politics, just as his supporter, Brian Leiter, is the laughingstock of philosophy. See here for Michelle Malkin’s post about pretty-boy John.

From Today’s New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “Poisonous Choices, Women at Risk” (column, Aug. 7):

Judith Warner raises several important points, but provides only a mere mention of the most frightening part of this story: the ambivalence of many pro-choicers out there.

The current administration has succeeded in blurring science and ideology through made-up terms like “partial-birth abortion.” These terms can easily confuse even the most avid pro-choicer if he or she does not make an effort to understand the science and the politics behind them.

As a young woman born after the momentous Roe v. Wade decision, I have never lived in an America without the right to choose. My peers and I must wake up, battle our complacency and continue the fight that our mothers and grandmothers started or face the possibility of an America without choice.

Sadie Weiner
Austin, Tex., Aug. 7, 2007

Note from KBJ: This letter would be funny if it weren’t so tragic. See Addendum 3 of this post for United States Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s description of partial-birth abortion, or, if you prefer, “partial-birth abortion.” Young women today must fight for the right to suck the brains out of their babies.

A Year Ago


Morality and Politics

I’m curious as to how my readers view the relation between morality and politics, or, if you will, between moral philosophy and political philosophy. Have at it.