Wednesday, 26 December 2007

Best of the Web Today



I just ate these, right out of the can. 455 calories; 21 grams of protein. Let’s think up sayings with the word “beans” in them. I’ll go first. “You’re full of beans.”

Bush-Hatin’ Paul

For seven years, Paul Krugman* has been obsessed with President Bush. Everything that is bad in this country is President Bush’s fault. Nothing that is good in this country is President Bush’s doing. Guess what? Bush-hatin’ Paul says it’s time to stop focusing on President Bush. Don’t you love it? By the way, remember all that talk about President Bush being “divisive,” and how awful that was? Krugman wants progressives to be divisive. He simply hates all this talk about finding common ground, bringing people together, working together, being bipartisan, blah blah blah.

* “Op-Ed columnist Paul Krugman has the disturbing habit of shaping, slicing and selectively citing numbers in a fashion that pleases his acolytes but leaves him open to substantive assaults” (Daniel Okrent, “13 Things I Meant to Write About but Never Did,” The New York Times, 22 May 2005).

“That Irresponsible Decade”

Here is the latest column by Thomas Sowell.

Philosophy of Law

I just prepared the reading list for my upcoming Philosophy of Law course. We will spend several days on terrorism and torture.


Here is an interesting blog post by theology professor R. R. Reno, who is one of my favorite writers.


The following blurb appeared in the sports section of today’s Fort Worth Star-Telegram:

The NFL is planting thousands of trees in Arizona forests blackened by wildfires to help offset 350 tons of greenhouse gas produced by the league’s 3,000-vehicle ground-transportation fleet for the Super Bowl in February.

Why not just cancel the game? Who watches it, anyway?

Thomas Nagel on Thought Control

Worst, of course, is the suppression of dissenting opinion because of the danger that it may persuade people, thus depriving the reigning orthodoxy of support. Apart from its epistemological stupidity, this is the ultimate insult not only to the dissenters but to the rest of us, their potential audience, who are not trusted to make up our own minds. But while this kind of thought control is an element in the repressive impulses to be found in modern liberal societies, it is not the main one. Most civilized threats to individual autonomy are motivated by the desire to prevent offense, insult, or social discomfort, or to insure a moral environment of one kind or another. The greater the ambitions of those who hold power to supply a certain kind of harmonious social environment, the greater will be the pressures on individuality and against variations in divisive individual expression. Prominent among the targets of such control are expressions of racial, religious, or sexual bigotry—so-called hate speech.

(Thomas Nagel, “Personal Rights and Public Space,” Philosophy & Public Affairs 24 [spring 1995]: 83-107, at 97)

Hall of Fame?

Tony Gwynn. (For an explanation of this feature, see here.)


You opened the gift
And thanked the giver for it
Now you return it

From Today’s New York Times

To the Editor:

Of equal concern as to what went on during the C.I.A.’s interrogations is the content of the information elicited by those interrogations.

If, for instance, what was on the tapes implicated members of the Saudi royal family in 9/11, the American people deserve to know.

Tom Miller
Hanoi, Vietnam, Dec. 20, 2007

Note from KBJ: Don’t you love conspiracy theorists?

A Year Ago