Friday, 28 December 2007

All Fred, All the Time

I leave you this fine evening with a story about Fred Thompson.

Germain Grisez and Russell Shaw on Ethical Absolutes

If there are no ethical absolutes, human persons, rather than being the norm and source from which other things receive their value, become simply items or commodities with a relative value—inviolable only up to the point at which it is expedient to violate them in order to achieve an objective. It would then make no sense at all to speak of the immeasurable value of the human person. Far from being immeasurable—that is, beyond calculation—the value of a person would be quite specific and quantifiable, something to be weighed in the balance against other values.

(Germain Grisez and Russell Shaw, “Persons, Means, and Ends,” chap. 2 in Absolutism and Its Consequentialist Critics, ed. Joram Graf Haber [Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 1994], 21-8, at 25-6 [essay first published in 1980])


My new Dell computer is still in the box, unopened, half a year after I received it. As you may recall, I bought it because the graphics on my current Dell computer began to fade. While I was at it, I bought a Dell notebook computer and a new monitor. The graphics are still faded, but I’ve gotten used to it, and it’s not getting any worse. I like having a new computer waiting in the wings, in case the current machine conks out. Both of my new computers have Windows Vista. My current computer (on which I’m writing this post) has Windows XP. James Fallows says that service packs are in the works for both versions, and that—get this—XP is outperforming Vista.


Here is Peggy Noonan’s latest column. Here is Peg Kaplan’s latest post.

Best of the Web Today


Liberal Fascism

Here is a review of Jonah Goldberg’s new book. The reviewer obviously doesn’t understand the thesis of the book. It is not that only liberals are fascists. It is that many liberals are fascists. That some or even many conservatives are fascists counts against the first thesis, but not the second.

From Today’s New York Times

To the Editor:

During the coming days many will be blamed and many may claim the blame for the killing of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. But one government, more than anyone else, deserves blame: the United States government.

By befriending Ms. Bhutto, and appearing to send her back to Pakistan to do its bidding, Washington made her a target. She became a symbol of American neo-imperialism.

The Pakistan public has not supported the American invasion of Afghanistan or Iraq. Nor do Pakistanis support the government of President Pervez Musharraf, which has been propped up by Washington. And they certainly did not support the apparent American interference that Ms. Bhutto’s return indicated.

The ultimate responsibility for this new blood—like that of more than a million Iraqis and Afghans—is the United States government led by President Bush.

Curtis F. J. Doebbler
Venice, Dec. 27, 2007
The writer is an international human rights lawyer.

Note from KBJ: Blame America first.

The Sidney Awards, Part 2

Here. If you want to read Part 1, see here.

A Year Ago



Dr John J. Ray asks whether Ron Paul is a racist.


A number of readers have asked me to elaborate on my claim that free trade has been a disaster for Americans. I’ll let Pat Buchanan speak for me.

Addendum: Paul Krugman supports free trade.

Addendum 2: For those who are interested in this topic, see here.