Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Choosing a Running Mate

I leave you this fine evening with a column by George Will.


If this isn’t the best album ever made, then baseball isn’t the sport of the gods.


He walks like John Wayne
And talks like Ronald Reagan
President Thompson

All Fred, All the Time

Fred Thompson has come out in favor of the flat tax. Check it out. Here is the official statement.

Best of the Web Today



Here are the 10 best books of 2007, according to the New York Times. I did well. I’ve heard of one of them.

Lincoln at Gettysburg

Here is Verlyn Klinkenborg’s column about Lincoln’s Gettysburg address. I’m not sure which image Klinkenborg is discussing, but here is a photograph of Lincoln at Gettysburg. Many years ago, I went to a nearby Unitarian church to listen to a musical group. Before the music started, a man associated with the church read Lincoln’s Gettysburg address. I was shocked to hear his emphasis. He emphasized the word “people” three times in the expression “of the people, by the people, for the people.” The emphasis, obviously, is on the words “of,” “by,” and “for.” I wanted to slap the idiot.

Addendum: Through the wonders of the Internet, I found the image Klinkenborg is discussing.

Hall of Fame?

Joe DiMaggio. (For an explanation of this feature, see here.)


Will Nehs, our curmudgeonly friend from the Badger State (I’m from the vastly superior Wolverine State), informs me that there will be a Republican presidential debate this evening on CNN at 8:00 Eastern Time. Thanks, Will! I’ll be watching. I want to see Fred Thompson eviscerate his rivals. Did I mention that Fred Thompson is a prime number?


You’ve probably heard the saying that liberals are conservatives who haven’t been mugged. Steven Yates came up with another good one: Libertarians are Republicans who want to smoke dope legally.

From Today’s New York Times

To the Editor:

With regard to “The High Cost of Health Care,” the amount we spend on health care, while troubling, should not be the main issue in the great health care debate. The focus should be on two things: one, the 47 million uninsured who cannot regularly participate in the health care system (not all of which is due to the high cost); and two, the poor state of our nation’s health in comparison to other countries that spend far less in this area.

Many of our citizens do not have good health, despite the expensive technology, drugs and specialists indicative of our health care system. Our infant mortality rate remains high in comparison to other nations, and older adults live many years with chronic illness and disability.

We can expect many of our health status indicators to get worse, not better, in the coming decades as our uninsured population grows, our minority and immigrant populations grow, and as baby boomers age.

These demographic influences are the rationale for the Healthy People 2010 goals of reducing racial and ethnic health disparities and extending years of healthy life. We are the richest nation. First, let’s allocate our economic, medical and research resources to provide good health to every American; then we can figure out how to do it cost-effectively.

Jan Warren-Findlow
Charlotte, N.C., Nov. 25, 2007
The writer is an assistant professor of public health sciences, University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Note from KBJ: We are indeed the richest nation. We didn’t get that way by coercing people. We got that way by promoting liberty, self-sufficiency, and responsibility.

Race and Merit

Texas State Senator Royce West is upset that Texas A&M University hired a white football coach, or rather, that, so far as he knows, no black men were interviewed. Let’s think about this for a minute. There is tremendous pressure at places such as Texas A&M to win football games. That is why coaches earn so much money. (Outgoing coach Dennis Franchione earned $2,000,000 per year.) Can it seriously be said that officials at Texas A&M would let race play a role in their deliberations? They would happily hire a polka-dotted transvestite if he or she could beat Texas every year, or get the Aggies to a BCS bowl, or go 11-1. What part of “merit” do grievance-mongers such as West not understand? Is Texas A&M supposed to settle for less than the best simply to have someone with black skin on the sideline? Is that what affirmative action is all about?

Animal Ethics

My Animal Ethics blog is celebrating its fourth anniversary. See here.

Gregory S. Kavka (1947-1994) on Political Obligation

Just as the relationship between morality and prudence lies at the center of Western ethics, so the relationship between the individual and the State forms the core of Western political philosophy. In particular, questions about the existence, nature, ground, and limits of the individual’s obligation to obey civil authorities have dominated political theory since Socrates’ Apology. Hobbes’s views on such issues concerning political obligation are generally and correctly thought to be too conservative to withstand rational scrutiny, but his general method for dealing with political obligation—the construction of a social contract theory of a certain type—holds greater promise.

(Gregory S. Kavka, Hobbesian Moral and Political Theory [Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1986], 21 [footnote omitted])

From the Mailbag

Believers suggest we thank God for what we have.

If God hands out goodies He obviously is partial to some and not to others. Why? Does God WANT there to be the very rich and the very poor? Should believers seek to bridge the gap (that God obviously wants) with Nanny State income redistribution? Do we go against the will of God by doing so?

Should those with nothing RESENT that God has given them nothing? After all, if we should thank God for what we have does not this allow us to curse Him for what we DON’T have? (Oops. Curse God??? Await the lightning bolts.)

And even if the competent thrive it goes back to God CREATING the competents, no? Why DID God create some who are competent and some who are not? Or was His AIM to make the competent feel guilty and the incompetent resentful? Is the income gap God’s doing? Is He testing us to see if the rich will take care of the poor? How does that make the poor feel as they sit and wait for the rich to care? None of it sounds fair to me—I don’t think fairness is God’s thing. Why should it be ours?

I know. It Passeth All Understanding. Likely He’s just testing us: “Hey Sammy! You just bought a new Lexus!! And people are STARVING in Africa!!” Hell has gotta be a big place.

Will Nehs

Note from KBJ: Will is just asking to be burnt in hell.