Thursday, 8 November 2007

Twenty Years Ago

11-8-87 . . . The Reagan administration is winding down. A year from now a new president will have been elected, and fourteen months from now he or she will take office. It’s hard to believe that [Ronald] Reagan has been president since my second year of law school. It seems so long ago. As far as history is concerned, Reagan will probably go down as a successful and popular president, like Dwight Eisenhower. He kept us out of war (though there were military incidents, such as Grenada) and the economy has been on an even keel for many years. The stock market is now in a state of flux and the trade and budget deficits are large, but inflation is low and unemployment is at an acceptable level. It’s too early to say how Reagan will be treated by historians, not only because his administration isn’t over, but because the causal upshots of many of his policies are unknown. I’m looking forward to having a new president.


There are truths that white people can’t speak, for fear of being called “racist.” Thank goodness some blacks are willing to speak them. See here.

Curro Ergo Sum

Here is a heartbreaking story about Ryan Shay, who died during Saturday’s Olympic Marathon Trial. Everyone must die, at one time or another. This young man died doing what he loved most: running.

A Year Ago



I have no idea who Stephen Colbert is, but here is a blog post about him.

John Stuart Mill’s Autobiography, Paragraph 18

This new employment of his time caused no relaxation in his attention to my education. It was in this same year, 1819, that he took me through a complete course of political economy. His loved and intimate friend, Ricardo, had shortly before published the book which formed so great an epoch in political economy; a book which never would have been published or written, but for the entreaty and strong encouragement of my father; for Ricardo, the most modest of men, though firmly convinced of the truth of his doctrines, deemed himself so little capable of doing them justice in exposition and expression, that he shrank from the idea of publicity. The same friendly encouragement induced Ricardo, a year or two later, to become a member of the House of Commons; where, during the few remaining years of his life, unhappily cut short in the full vigour of his intellect, he rendered so much service to his and my father’s opinions both on political economy and on other subjects.

Note from KBJ: Some people publish when they have nothing to say. Ricardo was reluctant to publish, even though he had much to say.


If this isn’t the best album ever made, then bears don’t shit in the woods.

Health Care

Did you see that Oregonians rejected socialized medicine? See here. Maybe there’s hope for us.

Best of the Web Today



I’m hard on the New York Yankees and their fans, so let me take a moment to praise them. Yankee fans love the game and their team. You might say that they’re fully engaged, all the time. To those of us who don’t like the Yankees, it sometimes comes across as obnoxious. But really, it’s just a passion for the game, which is both respectable and admirable. Here in Dallas/Fort Worth, there is hardly any talk of baseball once the season ends.

Addendum: Oops. I almost forgot: The Yankees suck.

From Today’s New York Times

To the Editor:

The Medical Society of the State of New York shares the concerns about our health care system that were expressed in your editorial. We do need to improve access to quality medical care for all Americans, and we particularly need to increase access to primary care doctors, our medical gatekeepers, who oversee our overall health care. This requires a number of changes.

Because astronomical education debt forces many medical students to specialize, the medical payment structures need to be changed so that bright medical students can afford to select primary care as their field. This will improve access, reduce scheduling delays, improve quality of care and allow for more efficient medical practices.

We also need to make medical schools more accessible and affordable to more diverse population groups. Additional ways to improve quality and efficiency include developing and funding a national standard for digitalized and transportable patient records; mandatory but legally protected reporting of all medical errors to foster continuous learning and quality improvement; and requiring all professionals, including lawyers, to do a better job of weeding out incompetent colleagues.

To reduce the need for medical care in the first place, health care dollars now wasted on excessive insurance company profits and legal fees should be redirected to patient education on preventive care and lifestyle changes. To avoid fragmentation, these changes must be made simultaneously.

Robert B. Goldberg
President, Medical Society of the State of New York
New York, Nov. 6, 2007

Note from KBJ: This man has a plan. Hide your wallet!

From the Mailbag


On the question of whether Yankee fans want Rodriguez back, I can only speak for myself. The answer is yes, albeit with some reservations.

Without him, the team loses more than 25 per cent of its home run production and around a 6th or seventh of its total RBI production. Plus he is a good fielder, good base runner, good base stealer.

It’s true the Yankees need serious starting pitching to be a potential winner. But they also need runs, and where can they get a right handed hitter to even acceptably fill the gap Rodriguez would leave.

Given recent years, what is most likely is that with or without Rodriguez, the Yankees will not be a champion team, likely not even a World Series participant. So then the question is: will they be a more exciting, interesting team with him or without him. This seems to answer itself . . . a guy capable of hitting 50+ home runs and driving in way over 100 is exciting, and adding fielding, good average, stolen bases are pluses.

If I ran the Yankees, I would pay what is required, get rid of old pitchers . . . Mussina, Clemens, Petit, go with young, rookie pitchers, try to buy one excellent veteran starter and hope for some gold in the young pitcher crop. They will need that because even with Rodriguez, he will not match what was something of a career year, Giambi, if still on the team, is in bad decline, Posada is older, also had a career year, and catchers tend to go, Jeter is not getting younger, Matsui looked overmatched at times, Cabrera probably played as good as he can, etc. The back up catcher and back up first baseman cannot hit, and Abreu is solid but stolid. Without Rodriguez, they would be relatively punchless, with him they will probably be worse than last year but still good run wise. The one guy who they can really expect to be even better is Cano, who has the makings of a batting champion with power. He has to learn to play the first halves of seasons though.