Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Yankee Watch

The Boston Red Sox (76-50, .603) won today, while the New York Yankees (70-56, .555) lost. (Actually, the Yankees are trailing the Los Angeles Angels, 18-5, in the sixth inning, so I assume they will lose.) Boston’s magic number to eliminate New York is down to 31.

Let’s do some reckoning. If Boston wins 50% of its remaining 36 games, New York will have to go 24-12 (.666) to tie. If Boston wins 55% of its remaining games, New York will have to go 26-10 (.722) to tie. If Boston wins 60% of its remaining games, New York will have to go 28-8 (.777) to tie. What part of “It’s over” do you not understand, Yankee fans?

Addendum: Before I retire for the evening, I want to reply to an objection. I can already hear some smart-aleck Yankee fan saying, “The Yankees can go 24-12 the rest of the way; they’ve been playing well of late.” Of course they can. But that’s not enough to win the division. They have to go 24-12 and Boston has to win only 50% of its games. Two unlikely events, not just one, must occur. And that’s to tie for the division, not to win it. Keep in mind, too, that Boston has seven games remaining with the lowly Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

“The Worst Kind of Journalistic Abuse”

I leave you this fine evening with a column by Andrew McCarthy.


It’s easy to make fun of economics, calling it “the dismal science,” saying that economists know the cost of everything and the value of nothing, and pointing out that if you laid all the economists in the world end to end, they still wouldn’t reach a conclusion. This joking must now stop, because economists have finally applied themselves to something important.


I’ve written many blog posts about academic tenure. Here is another man’s take.


If you think academia is about the disinterested pursuit of truth, think again.


1. Which states call themselves “Commonwealth”? Adduce a theory to explain why. In other words, what do those states have in common (besides the name) that distinguishes them from all other states?

2. Why does Canada have “provinces” rather than “states”? Is it for the same reason it has hockey, viz., to differentiate itself from its cultural superior to the south?

3. What is hockey except an excuse to get outside during the winter months?

4. Why would anyone invent a game in which the existence and location of the projectile must be inferred from the movements of the players? Soccer is just as pointless as hockey, but at least spectators can see its projectile!

5. Try as I might, I cannot hate Canada, for it has given me Saga, Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Rush, and k. d. lang.

“Perpetual Adolescence”

This column by John Leo is interesting. One question: Why should I live in accordance with someone else’s ideal of adulthood? If I did, I wouldn’t be riding a bike or running footraces. You live once; do it zestfully. This doesn’t mean you should be irresponsible. Be productive and self-sufficient; pay your taxes; take care of your children and animal companions (if any). Beyond that, enjoy yourself. I’ve seen people my age (or younger!) who look like they have one foot in the grave, and I don’t mean just physically. They look beaten down by time. If I ever look beaten down by time, someone hit me over the head with a two-by-four.

The Grand Old Party

Fred Barnes has advice for Republicans. I found the following paragraph interesting:

The recipe for Republicans is to stop acting like, well, Republicans—that is, Republicans of recent vintage. In Congress, they’ve been soft on earmarks, the source of so much corruption. They practically invited Democrats to trump them on ethics and lobbying reform. And they’ve allowed their obsession with illegal immigrants to get out of hand. This drives away Hispanic voters and leaves the impression that Republicans are small-minded, ungenerous and nasty. The worst offenders are the presidential candidates, who would be wise to tone down their rhetoric on immigration.

Well, yes, many of us are obsessed with illegality, especially when it contributes to the destruction of our culture. Barnes and his entrepreneurial friends are obsessed with making money; I and many others are obsessed with preserving our language, our traditions, our communities, our natural environment, and our commitment to the rule of law. As for why stopping illegality would drive away Hispanic voters, I have no idea. Perhaps Barnes thinks Hispanics are lawless by nature, or too stupid to grasp the difference between legal immigration and illegal immigration. And what is small-minded, ungenerous, or nasty about enforcing the law? I have news for you, Fred: The presidential candidates aren’t leading the American people on this issue; they’re following. The American people have had enough selling out to the business community.

From Today’s New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “Credit Time Bomb Ticked, but Few Heard” (front page, Aug. 19):

We in the United States, at the middle-class level, are conditioned to live beyond our means.

“We have a great economy”—the slogan of any administration of any stripe—is based on our entrenched credit living.

Just wait a few years, and we’ll see how the debt we’ve incurred for the war in Iraq—which has filled the pockets of the few—will blow up in the face of our self-proclaimed prosperous economy and devastate the backbone of this nation.

Brahama D. Sharma
Pismo Beach, Calif., Aug. 19, 2007

Note from KBJ: What do you do when you hate President Bush and don’t want him to get credit for the current prosperity? Why, predict that devastation is just around the corner! President Bush can’t win. If they economy were in the tank, he’d be blamed for it.

Best of the Web Today



If this isn’t the best album ever made, then I’m a Gaboon viper‘s grandfather.

A Year Ago


Yankee Watch

The Boston Red Sox won yesterday, while the New York Yankees lost. Boston’s magic number to eliminate New York is down to 33. It’s great to see an empire crumble.