Monday, 14 January 2008


I leave you this fine evening with a column by Christopher Hitchens, who makes sense when he’s not talking about religion.


Here is an essay about the ethics of stem-cell research.


Paul Krugman* is angling for a cabinet position in the Clinton administration. Can you say “sucking up”?

* “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).


William Kristol is living in fantasy land if he thinks any Democrat will admit that anything President Bush has done is good. Has he not heard of Bush Derangement Syndrome?


My vote doesn’t matter, since I live in Texas, but I will not vote for John McCain. See here for my reason (actually, one of my reasons) why.

Addendum: Kevin Stroup concurs. He sent this.

From Today’s New York Times

To the Editor:

Imagine a primary campaign where Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama are appreciative and complimentary toward each other. Imagine them articulating their differences—different personal strengths, different ideas—without recourse to attacks on the other.

That way, the party could remain strong and united and the voters could choose, based on their preferences of personality and policy.

The prospect of the candidates’ attacking one another is painful to me. What is gained by this? We obviously have two enormously talented imperfect front-runner candidates, and a few others as well. This is an embarrassment of riches. Let’s savor it! And may the best person for this historical moment win!

Claire Basescu
New York, Jan. 10, 2008

Note from KBJ: The letter writer is obviously unfamiliar with the Clintons.

Alan Donagan (1925-1991) on Common Morality

Common morality is outraged by the consequentialist position that, as long as human beings can remain alive, the lesser of two evils is always to be chosen. Its defenders maintain, on the contrary, that there are minimum conditions for a life worthy of a human being, and that nobody may purchase anything—not even the lives of a whole community—by sacrificing those conditions. A community that surrenders its members at the whims of tyrants ceases to be anything properly called by that name; and individuals willing to accept benefits at the price of crimes committed upon other individuals degrade their humanity. Common morality allows a certain room for compliance with tyrannical external force, when resistance has become impossible; but there is a line that must be drawn beyond which compliance is excluded. . . .

(Alan Donagan, “Cases of Necessity,” chap. 4 in Absolutism and Its Consequentialist Critics, ed. Joram Graf Haber [Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 1994], 41-62, at 51-2 [essay first published in 1977])

A Year Ago


Best of the Web Today


All Fred, All the Time

John Hawkins has posted two Fred Thompson videos.


Ya gotta love this.