Friday, 11 January 2008


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

All Fred, All the Time

Human Events endorses Fred Thompson.


According to Paul Krugman,* it’s false that prosperity requires small government. We can have prosperity and big government, just like the Europeans! Can you believe this guy?

* “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).


Here is your entertainment for this Friday evening.

Best of the Web Today



Dr John J. Ray has some comments on Timothy Noah’s review of a new book about neoconservatism.

Richard Allen Posner

Federal appellate judge Richard A. Posner is one of the greatest legal minds of our generation. Today is his 69th birthday. This proves that Judge Posner is young at heart.

Addendum: Here is Judge Posner’s latest book. This one appeared in 2007. He publishes books more frequently than I publish articles, and he’s a full-time judge!


Fred Fred Fred Fred Fred
Fred Fred Fred Fred Fred Fred Fred
Fred Fred Fred Fred Fred

Rescuing Sprite

James Drake sent a link to this interview with Mark Levin, who has written a book about his dog Sprite. I have rescued two dogs (Ginger and Shelbie) from the pound. It breaks my heart that so many dogs do not get rescued.


There appears to be a market for badly argued critiques of theism. See here for a review of the latest travesty.

From Today’s New York Times

To the Editor:

I’m dismayed to see women voters choose Hillary Rodham Clinton because of a desire to break through “the highest and hardest glass ceiling.” If you wish to use your vote to counter inequality (and I’m not advocating this), then surely you must recognize that this is an opportunity for Barack Obama to break the same glass ceiling. You must also recognize that slavery was a greater injustice than disparate treatment of women.

Until Senator Clinton played the gender card at several opportunities after Iowa, this race had been so beautifully run above-board, with two viable candidates duking it out on their merits, with little or no subtext of “my class is more oppressed than your class.” I’d like to see the voters demand that we get back to this fight.

Stephanie J. James
Minneapolis, Jan. 10, 2008

Note from KBJ: This is what progressivism has come to, folks. When a victim runs up against a nonvictim, the victim wins. When two victims run up against one another, the biggest victim wins. It’s the victimization calculus. By the way, isn’t it ludicrous to think that either a Yale Law School graduate (Hillary Clinton) or a Harvard Law School graduate (Barack Obama) is a victim? Doesn’t that drain the concept of its meaning? And while we’re at it, remember that (1) Clinton, while a woman, is white, and hence an oppressor of people like Obama; and (2) Obama, while nonwhite, is male, and hence an oppressor of people like Clinton.

A Year Ago


Gregory S. Kavka (1947-1994) on Hobbes’s Economic Liberalism

Though it is rarely noticed, Hobbes is a bit of an economic liberal, that is, he believes in some form of the welfare state and in the redistributive taxation needed to support it. In his discussion of the fifth law of nature requiring mutual accommodation, he exhibits his attitude toward those who would not aid the desperately needy:

[A] man that by asperity of nature, will strive to retain those things which to himself are superfluous, and to others necessary; and for the stubbornness of his passions, cannot be corrected, is to be left, or cast out of society, as cumbersome thereunto. For seeing every man, not only by right, but also by necessity of nature, is supposed to endeavor all he can, to obtain that which is necessary for his conservation; he that shall oppose himself against it, for things superfluous, is guilty of the war that thereupon is to follow.

And he clearly states that it is the duty of the State to insure that those in need are cared for: “Whereas many men, by accident inevitable, become unable to maintain themselves by their labour; they ought not to be left to the charity of private persons; but to be provided for, as far forth as the necessities of nature require, by the laws of the commonwealth.” These passages indicate that the idea of a guaranteed economic minimum is not inimical to Hobbes’s own views.

(Gregory S. Kavka, Hobbesian Moral and Political Theory [Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1986], 210-1 [italics and brackets in original] [footnotes omitted])

Note from KBJ: I don’t think these passages show Hobbes to be an economic liberal. All they show is that Hobbes is not a libertarian. Conservatives, for example, can support taxation for relief of the destitute. Kavka is projecting his own economic liberalism onto Hobbes.

Temperature Check

John Hawkins of Right Wing News polled right-of-center bloggers. Here is his Rightosphere Temperature Check for January 2008. My choices were as follows:

1. Fred Thompson
2. Fred Thompson
3. Mitt Romney
4. Fred Thompson
5. Mitt Romney
6. Rudy Giuliani
7. Mitt Romney
8. I’d sit it out
9. Fred Thompson
10. Hillary Clinton

All Fred, all the time.