Thursday, 15 November 2007


I regret to say that I spent two hours this evening watching the Democrat debate from Las Vegas. I can’t imagine anything less edifying, with the possible exception of the same debate with Ron Paul added. Why did I watch it? Because I hadn’t seen any of the other debates, and I heard that things are getting interesting between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. I got the sense tonight that the other candidates are backing off in their criticism of Hillary. The audience seemed to dislike internecine criticism. They didn’t mind criticism of President Bush one bit. In fact, they liked it. Were there any unaffiliated voters in the audience? It’s sad that one of these people may become president. I wouldn’t trust any of them in any position of responsibility, including crossing guard. Obama wouldn’t be taken seriously if he weren’t black. John Edwards is so overcome by white guilt that he talks nonsense. Joe Biden is a blowhard. Dennis Kucinich is a moron. Chris Dodd and Bill Richardson are running for vice president, which means they have no business being on stage. My favorite answer of the evening was Dodd’s, in response to the question whether he would require Supreme Court nominees to favor abortion rights. “Of course not,” he seemed to say. He would look for things like experience, intelligence, and fairmindedness. Before he finished talking, though, he said that he could never appoint someone who doesn’t support Roe v. Wade. His answer, therefore, was “No and yes.” It would be funny if it weren’t so sad.

Addendum: Michelle Malkin live-blogged the event.


Tonight in Vegas
The boys will pick on the girl
She will cry and cry

John Stuart Mill’s Autobiography, Paragraph 21

At this point concluded what can properly be called my lessons: when I was about fourteen I left England for more than a year; and after my return, though my studies went on under my father’s general direction, he was no longer my schoolmaster. I shall therefore pause here, and turn back to matters of a more general nature connected with the part of my life and education included in the preceding reminiscences.

Note from KBJ: What we had here, folks, is home schooling on steroids.

Virtual “Friendship”

Mark Spahn sent a link to this interesting essay by Christine Rosen.


Jake Peavy of the San Diego Padres is the winner of this year’s National League Cy Young Award. In other baseball news, Barry Bonds has just been indicted for perjury and obstruction of justice.

A Year Ago


The Sixties

Daniel Henninger says our country divided in 1968. He doesn’t put it in these terms, but the split was between progressives, who wanted to change America for (what they took to be) the better, and conservatives, who wanted to conserve the country’s values, institutions, traditions, and way of life. Progressives thought the country was rotten to the core, while conservatives thought it was good, albeit imperfect. For what it’s worth, I was 11 years old in 1968. I was unaware of anything happening in the larger world. It wasn’t until 1973 or so, when I was in high school, that I began paying attention to public affairs, such as politics and war. I’m glad I was shielded from public affairs during my childhood. It gave me a chance to be innocent. Today’s children lose their innocence far too early.

From Today’s New York Times

To the Editor:

In 2004, John McCain stood next to George W. Bush and said to the world that invading Iraq was the right thing to do, and he wholeheartedly endorsed the president’s re-election. I don’t think that even David Brooks thinks that Senator McCain believed that he was speaking the “truth.”

Although I, too, respect his experience as a P.O.W., his failure to speak honestly about President Bush’s disastrous policies for the last seven years convinces me only that he is a self-serving politician like any other.

Rachel A. May
Tacoma, Wash., Nov. 13, 2007

Note from KBJ: This letter provides insight into the progressive mind. The expression “speak honestly about President Bush’s disastrous policies” should be replaced by “agree with me that President Bush’s policies have been disastrous.” The letter writer can’t comprehend how someone could have a different view than she does of the morality of the war. The war is wrong; hence anyone who says it’s right is dishonest!

Free Speech

What are they teaching people in journalism school these days? Read this New York Times editorial opinion about the bridge players who are being held accountable by the United States Bridge Federation for their disgraceful behavior. The editorial board says the players were merely “exercising [their right to] free speech.” Later, the Bridge Federation is said to be engaged in “censorship.” There is no governmental involvement (in legalese, “state action”) in this case, so (1) there is no right to free speech and (2) nobody is being censored. The board is playing upon the emotive meanings of these terms, hoping nobody notices that they don’t apply in this situation. I have a question for the board: Suppose Paul Krugman submitted an op-ed column that began “Arthur Sulzberger sucks.” Would the Times be violating his right to free speech by removing it (or firing him)? Would it be censorship?

From the Mailbag

Re-noting my lisp query, I swear TV and radio are full of lisping announcers. I don’t know how much TV (crap) you watch, but I swear they’re beginning to outnumber non-lispers. Once noted, it seems to be increasing. Again, my question is “what the?” Why this trend? Of the hundreds of career paths open to them, why do lispers relish a microphone? Would the Yankees (Tigers) give an amputee a tryout in center field? I sleep nights with this knowledge, but DO wonder what the hell is going on. No prejudice involved. I just know better than to show up for an audition at the Metropolitan Opera. But then that’s just me—there are TV programs (getting good ratings) showing people like me trying to sing. . . . As was once said, “Never over-estimate American intelligence.” Witness 2008.

Will Nehs

Note from KBJ: What’th wrong with lithping, Will?

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