Saturday, 15 September 2007


I leave you this fine evening with a column by William Powers.

John Stuart Mill’s Autobiography, Paragraph 2

I was born in London, on the 20th of May, 1806, and was the eldest son of James Mill, the author of the History of British India. My father, the son of a petty tradesman and (I believe) small farmer, at Northwater Bridge, in the county of Angus, was, when a boy, recommended by his abilities to the notice of Sir John Stuart, of Fettercairn, one of the Barons of the Exchequer in Scotland, and was, in consequence, sent to the University of Edinburgh at the expense of a fund established by Lady Jane Stuart (the wife of Sir John Stuart) and some other ladies for educating young men for the Scottish Church. He there went through the usual course of study, and was licensed as a Preacher, but never followed the profession; having satisfied himself that he could not believe the doctrines of that or any other Church. For a few years he was a private tutor in various families in Scotland, among others that of the Marquis of Tweeddale; but ended by taking up his residence in London, and devoting himself to authorship. Nor had he any other means of support until 1819, when he obtained an appointment in the India House.

Note from KBJ: I owe the following curiosity to my friend David Cortner. The Lewis and Clark Expedition can be said to have begun on 31 August 1803, when Meriwether Lewis departed Pittsburgh in his newly constructed keelboat. A little over five months later, on 12 February 1804, Immanuel Kant died. John Stuart Mill was born on 20 May 1806. Four months later, on 23 September 1806, Lewis and Clark returned to St Louis. So the Lewis and Clark Expedition connected the lives of the two great philosophers. As if this isn’t curious enough, consider that the American West was known only a priori (before, or independent of, experience) prior to Lewis and Clark. After their expedition, it was known a posteriori (after, or dependent on, experience). Okay, it’s silly, but so is David.

A Year Ago


Apology Accepted

You may find the note appended to this post interesting.

From Today’s New York Times

To the Editor:

The Health Care America Wants” (letters, Sept. 10) highlighted arguments of readers who advocate for the flawed and extremely controversial single-payer system.

After reading their submissions, I’m convinced that these writers are oblivious to the problems that accompany government-run care.

Virtually all countries with a single-payer model have been plagued by perilous problems, including substandard care, long waiting lists, loss of physicians, forced outsourcing and health care rationing.

More important, the supposed administrative savings occur in the first year. After that, we still have a higher than inflation trend in the cost of health care and nothing to address that.

The bottom line is that single-payer ignores the fundamental issue: this is not a “health insurance” crisis, it’s a “cost of health care” crisis.

An approach is needed that addresses the poor lifestyle habits of Americans, which drive the cost of health care. Until then, we will always be facing a health insurance crisis.

Daniel Colacino
East Greenbush, N.Y., Sept. 13, 2007
The writer is president of the New York State Association of Health Care Underwriters.

Note from KBJ: I’m responsible for my health care. You’re responsible for yours. It’s really that simple.

Yankee Watch

It’s over, Yankee fans. If you continue to deny it, it will reflect poorly on your mental health. The Boston Red Sox (90-59, .604) crushed the incompetent New York Yankees (84-64, .567) today, 10-1, which reduces Boston’s magic number to nine. (Wasn’t it just in the 20s?) If Boston goes 7-6 (.538) the rest of the way, New York will have to go 13-1 (.928) to tie. A-Rod is 1-7 (.142) in the series so far, with four strikeouts, three runners left on base, no extra-base hits, and one run batted in. He has no clue at the plate. He is being paid $25,000,000 to lead his team. He’s leading them all right: into an early off-season. The Yankee “pitching” staff has given up 17 runs in two games. Even if the Yankees make the playoffs, which is increasingly doubtful, they will go nowhere, for pitching is essential in the postseason. It’s almost too easy to taunt Yankee fans, so I shall, for the moment at least, desist.

Addendum: David Ortiz of the Red Sox is 5-7 (.714) with no strikeouts and two runs batted in. That’s what the Yankees hired A-Rod to do.

Addendum 2: A-Rod went 1-11 (.090) in the series, with five strikeouts, five runners left on base, no extra-base hits, and one run batted in. He earned $462,962.94 for this gargantuan effort. Gasp. Choke. Gag.

Addendum 3: The Yankees needed to sweep the Red Sox to have any chance of winning the East Division title. They did not. If Boston goes 6-6 the rest of the way, New York will have to go 11-2 to tie.