Sunday, 2 December 2007

Global Warmism

I leave you this fine evening with a column by Phil Valentine.


The BCS Championship game will feature Ohio State and LSU. What a joke. Going into yesterday’s games, the top seven teams in the BCS rankings were as follows:

1. Missouri
2. West Virginia
3. Ohio State
4. Georgia
5. Kansas
6. Virginia Tech
7. LSU

Missouri and West Virginia lost, so they’re out. Ohio State, Georgia, and Kansas didn’t play. Virginia Tech defeated 11th-ranked Boston College in the ACC title game, 30-16. LSU defeated 14th-ranked Tennessee in the SEC title game, 21-14. So how does LSU leap over Virginia Tech? What a joke.

Beauty, Eh?

Nicole Kidman is the most beautiful woman in Hollywood. Here is a clip from her latest movie.

Paul Edwards (1923-2004) on Atheism

One could fill many volumes with the abuse and calumny contained in the writings of Christian apologists, learned no less than popular. The tenor of these writings is not simply that atheism is mistaken but also that only a depraved person could adopt so hideous a position and that the spread of atheism would be a horrifying catastrophe for the human race.

(Paul Edwards, “Atheism,” in Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2d ed., ed. Donald M. Borchert [Farmington Hills, MI: Macmillan Reference USA, 2006], 1:356-77, at 357)

Note from KBJ: Isn’t it interesting how things have turned around? Today, it’s atheists such as Daniel Dennett, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens who fill volumes with abuse and calumny. They claim that theism is mistaken; that only a depraved person could be a theist; and that theism has been a horrifying catastrophe for the human race.

From Today’s New York Times

To the Editor:

Stephanie Coontz’s argument for privatizing marriage leaves the impression that the state has little interest in the institution except to hand out benefits to some and deny them to others. Nonsense. The state’s interest is to support the optimum arrangement for rearing the next generation.

We have an out-of-wedlock birth rate of nearly 40 percent and a divorce rate of 40 percent to 50 percent.

That’s not evidence that marriage no longer matters; on the contrary, it’s the source of serious social problems. Single-parent homes are intricately connected to high rates of crime, dropout rates, teenage pregnancy, poverty and inequality.

So does Ms. Coontz believe that the state has no interest in any of those issues?

Kay Hymowitz
New York, Nov. 26, 2007
The writer, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, is the author of “Marriage and Caste in America.”

Note from KBJ: Only a libertarian (or some other progressive fool) could advocate the privatization of marriage.

A Year Ago


Curro Ergo Sum

Yesterday, in Arlington, Texas, I ran two footraces: a two-miler and a 10K. The races started and finished on the campus of the University of Texas at Arlington, where I teach. Weather conditions were not good. It was warm (65º Fahrenheit), humid (73%), and windy (an average speed of 17.4 miles per hour, according to today’s newspaper), with rain threatening. It felt more like October than December. I wasn’t sure what to do on the two-miler. Should I give it my all, or should I save something for the 10K? I ended up compromising. I ran hard, but not as hard as I could. There were kids in front of me for the first half mile, which may have been good, since it slowed my pace. I picked it up in the second mile. As it turns out, I finished second (of eight) in my age group (50-54) and won a penguin trophy. My elapsed time was 13:54.46, which is a mile pace of 6:57.22. The winner of my age group finished in 13:01. I’ve done much better on this course, but, like I say, I didn’t give it my all.

The 10K was brutal. First, the race organizer started it about 45 minutes late. Picture a couple of hundred restless people in the street, under foreboding skies, with occasional drizzle. By the time the race started, I was cooled down from the two-mile race and getting stiff. Sure enough, as soon as we started, I felt aches and pains. I’m 50, and therefore no spring chicken, but this is ridiculous! I ran through the aches, hoping for a mile pace of 7:15. Ha! After two miles, my pace was 7:23.5. I never did find a rhythm. Maybe I was dehydrated from the previous day’s 5K training run and the two-mile race. I kept a steady but slow pace and finished in 47:32.90, which is a mile pace of 7:39.10. That’s my second-slowest 10K ever, of 34. I finished more than three minutes behind the third-place finisher in my age group, a man I beat in the Squirrel Run 10K three weeks earlier. Oh well, you can’t win ’em all. I’ve now won 42 awards in 121 races, from two miles to the marathon.

The best thing about the races is that I got to see (from the inside) UTA’s new Maverick Activities Center. I park next to the MAC when I go to campus and watched it being constructed for several months. My university has grown quite a bit since I arrived in August 1989. Apparently, there’s now a faculty lounge, but I haven’t been to it. I don’t even know where it is.

Addendum: I’ve run seven races this fall, winning two trophies and two medals. All four awards were for second place! I’m starting to feel like Jan Ullrich, the German cyclist who finished second in the Tour de France five times.

Safire on Language