Saturday, 5 January 2008

The Gipper

I leave you this fine evening with a column by Pat Buchanan. A quarter of a century ago, and as late as five years ago, I viewed Pat as the antichrist. I now agree with him about almost everything. Has he changed? Nope; he’s been right from the beginning. I’ve changed.


This open letter to Barack Obama takes you inside the progressive mind. It’s like going into one of those Halloween horror houses.

Twenty Years Ago

1-5-88 Tuesday. There was tragedy in the basketball world today. “Pistol Pete” Maravich, former star at Louisiana State University and in the National Basketball Association, died of a heart attack at the age of forty. I remember Pete as both a college and an NBA star. He wore loose-fitting white socks that drooped onto his shoes, and his hair was long and shaggy. What a shooter and passer he was! He brought a flair to the game that hasn’t been seen since, with the possible exception of Magic Johnson. In recent years, he “found” God and played basketball in church leagues. That’s how he died: during a pickup game. As I say, it’s a tragedy. Pete was too young and too lively to succumb. (In other basketball news, the Arizona Wildcats fell to number three in one poll and number four in the other. That’s not bad. At least now they won’t be the target of every team in the country. I still can’t get over Saturday’s loss to New Mexico.)

All Fred, All the Time

I watched only the Democrat debate this evening. According to this blogger, Fred Thompson did well. If you watched the Republican debate, please comment.


A couple of people asked me to elaborate on my quip that one Harvard M.B.A. in the White House is enough. It’s pretty simple, really. This country is not a business and should not be run like a business. Governance is not profit-maximization. Calvin Coolidge was wrong: The business of America is not business. When the interests of business conflict with the interests of the country, the country comes first. Do I blame businesses for wanting cheap labor? No. The business of business is to make a profit—within the bounds of the law. I blame our elected representatives for not making it illegal to hire illegal aliens. I want a president who is an American first and an entrepreneur second. I want a president who puts tradition, law and order, culture, community, public health, and public safety ahead of profit. I want a president who knows that commerce is only one part of society.


All four Democrats
Despise the damn status quo
They are change agents

Here is a New York Times story about I have never had a bad shopping experience with this company. How about you?


Read this. Roger Clemens should worry about staying out of prison rather than getting into the Hall of Fame.

From Today’s New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “Obama Takes Iowa in a Big Turnout; Huckabee Victor” (front page, Jan. 4):

I feel as if it’s the day after the November election and my candidate won. I know that is not the case . . . yet. I was up most of the night during the Iowa caucuses because I could not sleep. Maybe, just maybe, it is morning in America again and hope is beginning to reign.

Barack Obama has an electricity that is contagious. He has convinced the doubter in me, through his message and his charisma, to vote for him. The fuse, I believe, has been lighted. I realize that it is most emphatically not over yet, but the die has been cast and history has already been made.

The fact that it is a distinct possibility that a person of color could achieve the presidency is a major historic sea change. We are becoming a better nation and, perhaps, a more inclusive one. Finally I can feel my alienation beginning to wane. Change is the genius of America, and that is why so many from all over the world risk their lives to get here.

A new day is dawning. I want it. I can feel it. I fervently hope we get it.

Natalie Rosen
Framingham, Mass., Jan. 4, 2008

Note from KBJ: The letter writer will be solidly behind Hillary Clinton a month from now.

Thomas Nagel on Sexual Control

My final topic is sexual control. American political culture is in a condition of generalized adolescent panic with regard to sex, brought on by a sudden overthrow of puritanism without a concomitant development of worldliness. This is manifest in the constant intrusions of sexual prurience into electoral politics. When the Miami Herald staked out Gary Hart, and the rest of the press and television promptly joined in hooting him off the political stage, I could hardly believe it. If every American citizen who had ever committed adultery had sent him a dollar, he would have been the best financed politician in the country. Since then things have only got worse, and we are subjected to a chronic fever of journalistic hypocrisy that shows no sign of slowing down.

(Thomas Nagel, “Personal Rights and Public Space,” Philosophy & Public Affairs 24 [spring 1995]: 83-107, at 99)

A Year Ago