Wednesday, 26 September 2007


I leave you this fine evening with a column by Dick Morris.

Twenty Years Ago

9-26-87 . . . During lunch, I went to Deli Heaven for the usual fare: two fried eggs, hash brown potatoes, toast, and coffee. It’s cheap, and there’s a color television set inside the restaurant. But like last week, the set was tuned to a football game when I arrived. I looked around to see who was watching it, finding only one person. During an intermission, I asked if [sic; should be “whether”] I could “catch the score of the baseball game.” The man, an asshole, said nothing, so I turned the channel anyway. I learned that the Tigers were ahead, 9-4. Great! They need to win today and tomorrow, and with a lead like that I had nothing to fear. I spent the remainder of my lunch hour dying inside. Here I was, within feet of my beloved Tigers, and other people wanted to watch football. I was too shy and principled to ask them to let me watch the baseball game. Later, I called Mom to confirm that the Tigers had won. To my utter astonishment, she told me that the Blue Jays had rallied to beat the Tigers, again in the ninth inning. That’s three straight one-run losses. I was speechless for several seconds. As I told Mom and Jerry, if the Tigers fail to win the divisional title, we can recall this day. It’s a day of infamy.

Yankee Watch

Both the Boston Red Sox (94-64) and the New York Yankees (91-67) won today, so Boston’s magic number to eliminate New York is down to two. (Wasn’t it just in the 40s?) If the Red Sox go 2-2 the rest of the way, it’s over. I want every Yankee fan out there to admit defeat.


They don’t make music like this anymore. Or this, which may be my favorite Foghat song. Or this, which has the best opening guitar lick in the history of rock ’n’ roll. It makes my heart drop into my stomach. Or this, which is one of the greatest rock ’n’ roll songs ever made. Get up out of your chair and dance! Or this, by the gods of rock ’n’ roll. Or this, which has one of the greatest endings of any rock ’n’ roll song. Or this, by my heroes.


This makes me feel old.

A Night at the Ballpark

I mentioned that Hawk and I went to the Ballpark in Arlington yesterday evening. I still find it amazing that I live only 10 miles from a Major League Baseball stadium. Given my profession (philosophy teacher), I could easily have ended up hundreds of miles from a Major League stadium. There’s not exactly a huge demand for philosophers. It’s just one of many reasons I love living in Fort Worth. I have an interesting story about the game. Hawk and I always sit directly behind home plate, as high up as we can get. Unless the New York Yankees or Boston Red Sox are in town, the section is close to empty. The view from up there is spectacular. We can see the entire field, except for the corners of the outfield. We’re covered by a metal awning, which keeps the sun and rain off us. The breeze, which is invariably from the south, hits us directly in the face. On a hot, humid day such as yesterday, it feels wonderful. From our seats, the scoreboard is straight across. In short, the seats are perfect. I don’t know why anyone would sit anywhere else. If I could sit anywhere in the ballpark, I’d sit where we sit. That they’re the cheapest seats in the house is simply a fringe benefit.

Soon after the game began, a gray-haired man carrying a food platter clambered to the top and sat two seats to my right. I couldn’t believe it. I looked at Hawk, who was two seats to my left, as if to say, “What the hell is this guy doing?” I was tempted to pick up and move. But I stayed. Not long after, the man said something. He had a high-pitched, childlike voice. We got to talking. It turns out that he’s 54 years old, even though he looked 64, and that, like Hawk and me, he bleeds baseball. We had a delightful evening talking about the Brooklyn Dodgers, the 1968 Detroit Tigers, Nolan Ryan’s no-hitters, Barry Bonds, and much else. It didn’t hurt that Don wore a pin in his hat that read “Hill no! You won’t be president!” It showed a picture of Hillary Clinton. I told Don that I was a delegate to the 1980 Republican State Convention in Pontiac, Michigan. He, too, has been active in Republican politics. I made sure he knew that from about 1983 to about 2003 I was a progressive. We got a chuckle out of it.

When Don left in the sixth inning (to catch a bus), I was sad. We shook hands and expressed hope that we would meet again. Don told us that he came to the top of the stadium because that’s where his seat was located. Ha! Hawk and I were supposed to be in some other section of the park, but we went to our usual spot. It turns out that we were intruding on Don’s space rather than the other way around. I told Don that I go to about half a dozen games a year, and that I always sit in that spot. So does he. May we meet again! It’s not every day that you meet someone who adores the game of baseball.


Is there anything more insufferable than a feminist television reviewer?


My friend Carlos sent this. I have no idea what it is.


Is Rudy Giuliani too strange to be president? See here. That he likes the New York Yankees creeps me out. I have never known a mentally balanced Yankee fan.

Best of the Web Today



Men are happier than women. Why? Here’s my explanation. Women have been misled by feminists into believing they can have it all. When they realize they can’t have it all (nobody can have it all), they become frustrated, angry, bitter, resentful (toward men), and unhappy. Men have never believed they can have it all, so they’re not frustrated when they don’t get it all. Women should blame feminism or themselves (for being gullible); they should not blame men.


Columbia University president Lee Bollinger is catching hell. Does he deserve it?


Suppose it were possible to know the day of your death. Would you want to know? If so, why? If not, why not?

Addendum: Before you answer, read the following. (1) I’m not saying that it is (in fact) possible to know the day of your death. I’m asking you to suppose it were. (2) Assume that nobody but you will know. That is, nobody but you has access to the information about your death (although others have access to the information about their deaths). If you choose not to find out, nobody will know. If you choose to find out, you may do as you please with the information, including convey it to others. (3) The most you can learn is the day of your death (e.g., 17 July 2032). You know nothing about the circumstances, including whether the death is painful. (4) Assume that the information is free. For example, there is no $1,000 fee to find out.

Addendum 2: Let me pursue a different line of thought. Suppose (1) it were possible to know the day of one’s death (as described above) and (2) it were possible for the government to prohibit and punish the dissemination of death information. Should it? Make a case one way or another.

Addendum 3: New line of thought. Would there be a moral obligation to learn the day of one’s death? Make a case one way or another.

Addendum 4: Please don’t ramble. I’m not asking for a discourse on death. I’m asking specific questions. The first question (post plus Addendum) concerns what you would want, and why. The second question (Addendum 2) concerns the use of state coercion. The third question (Addendum 3) concerns morality. Please indicate which question you are answering, without blending your answers together. If you wish, you may submit multiple comments.

Addendum 5: I thought of this post while running. The heat and humidity must have made me delirious.

Curro Ergo Sum

I hate running, especially when weather conditions are brutal. I love having run, especially when weather conditions are brutal. My resting heart rate this morning was 45 beats per minute. The lowest I’ve recorded, in more than 20 years, is 42. Excuse me while I get my reward: a slice of sinful, decadent chocolate fudge cake.

From the Mailbag


If Iran or other such Islamic country were to adopt a western style multiparty democracy and used a conservative or liberal mind set to conduct political business, how would seemingly harsh traditions such as death sentences for being homosexual, mandatory wearing of the abaya, disallowance of unmarried couples living together, etc. be “reformed”? or should they?

Under a conservative mind set . . . how would such traditions need to be changed and how quickly would they need to be instituted.

Under a liberal mind set . . . to what extent would traditions such as these be changed? i.e. when does one know where to stop? Should all traditions be eradicated?

It seems to me that an effective government must have both conservative and liberal inputs to stand a chance of being palatable to mankind.