Sunday, 6 January 2008


Here is the latest on Roger Clemens, who, according to Brian McNamee’s lawyer, is being “walked into jail” by his attorney. Clemens admits to having taken Vioxx pills “like Skittles.” He admits to being injected with pain medication and vitamin B-12. Do you inject vitamin B-12? What’s the point, when it’s available in pills at the nearest grocery store? Clemens, whose competitiveness is legendary, was so driven to win baseball games (thereby increasing his salary) that he (1) took pain pills like candy and (2) injected himself with various substances. Does anyone doubt that he would try testosterone?

A Year Ago


Still Crazy After All These Years

What is it with defeated Democrat presidential candidates? Instead of graciously accepting defeat, they make bitter accusations against Republican presidents. Go back to George McGovern in 1972, Jimmy Carter in 1980, Al Gore in 2000, and John Kerry in 2004. Only Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis had the decency to shut up and get on with their lives.


Michelle Malkin live-blogged tonight’s Republican debate, which I missed. I might live-blog a baseball game this summer. The problem is that my television is in the living room. I would have to run to my study every inning to write about what happened. To make it interesting, I’ll wait until the reviled New York Yankees play my beloved Detroit Tigers in a nationally televised game.

From Today’s New York Times

To the Editor:

It was gratifying to read your endorsement of the Polish government’s skepticism about the Bush administration’s proposal to station in Poland part of its European-based missile-defense system (“The Poles Get Cold Feet,” editorial, Dec. 30).

In the Czech Republic, the proposal is in trouble: polls show a clear majority against the Czech component of the system. Washington claims the system responds to an Iranian nuclear threat, but there’s no credible evidence of such a threat today.

And far from protecting against such a threat in the future, the United States militaristic stance, with its proclaimed right to wage preventive war and more than 700 military bases worldwide, only enhances its likelihood.

Nuclear powers can reduce the danger of nuclear warfare by taking major steps toward disarmament, globally and in the Middle East—not by expanding the nuclear threat.

Such steps would stop reinforcing the notion that nuclear weapons are legitimate currency in relations among nations; they would create a political climate discouraging new countries from developing nuclear weapons.

Joanne Landy
New York, Dec. 31, 2007
The writer is co-director of the Campaign for Peace and Democracy.

John Stuart Mill’s Autobiography, Paragraph 32

My father’s moral convictions, wholly dissevered from religion, were very much of the character of those of the Greek philosophers; and were delivered with the force and decision which characterized all that came from him. Even at the very early age at which I read with him the Memorabilia of Xenophon, I imbibed from that work and from his comments a deep respect for the character of Socrates; who stood in my mind as a model of ideal excellence: and I well remember how my father at that time impressed upon me the lesson of the “Choice of Hercules.” At a somewhat later period the lofty moral standard exhibited in the writings of Plato operated upon me with great force. My father’s moral inculcations were at all times mainly those of the “Socratici viri;” [sic] justice, temperance (to which he gave a very extended application), veracity, perseverance, readiness to encounter pain and especially labour; regard for the public good; estimation of persons according to their merits, and of things according to their intrinsic usefulness; a life of exertion in contradiction to one of self-indulgent sloth. These and other moralities he conveyed in brief sentences, uttered as occasion arose, of grave exhortation, or stern reprobation and contempt.

Note from KBJ: “Estimation of persons according to their merits” is an exercise of the virtue of justice. There are two corresponding vices (injustices): first, estimating persons too highly; and second, estimating persons too lowly. If I give all the children in my class a gold star, however they perform, or if I refuse to reward those who do well, for fear of harming the self-esteem of those who do poorly, or if I tell every child that he or she is “special,” I commit this vice. It is, I sometimes think, the distinctive vice of our age.

Safire on Language