Wednesday, 16 January 2008


I leave you this fine evening with a column by John Yoo.


Here is your entertainment for this Wednesday evening.

Best of the Web Today



Our next president takes office in January 2009. Here is how old each of the candidates will be at that time:

Hillary Clinton: 61
Barack Obama: 47
John Edwards: 55

John McCain: 72
Rudy Giuliani: 64
Fred Thompson: 66
Mike Huckabee: 53
Mitt Romney: 61

Here is how old each of the candidates will be at the end of a second term (in January 2017):

Hillary Clinton: 69
Barack Obama: 55
John Edwards: 63

John McCain: 80
Rudy Giuliani: 72
Fred Thompson: 74
Mike Huckabee: 61
Mitt Romney: 69

I’m sorry, but I don’t want an 80-year-old man (or even a 76-year-old) as my president. Ronald Reagan was 77 years old when he left office in January 1989.

The Presidency

Is anyone besides me dismayed by the low quality of many of the presidential candidates? Our president is the most powerful person in the world. Shouldn’t the candidates for that office be the best and brightest our nation has to offer? But look what we have. On the Democrat side, John Edwards is filled with resentment toward those who succeed in our capitalist economy. If it were up to him, every need would be filled by government, no questions asked. Concepts like desert and responsibility mean nothing to him. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are so caught up in sex and race (respectively) that they couldn’t possibly govern properly. Clinton is a woman first and an American second. Obama is an African American first and an American second. On the Republican side, John McCain is an arrogant goon; Rudy Giuliani is one-dimensional; Ron Paul is nuts; and Mike Huckabee is a conspiracy-mongering, smooth-talking preacher boy. The only candidates who don’t fill me with dismay (or fear) are Fred Thompson (my first choice) and Mitt Romney (my second). Here is Michelle Malkin’s post about Huckabee. Gives you the creeps, doesn’t it?

Addendum: My friend Peg thinks I demand too much.


Victor Davis Hanson weighs in on the absurdity of identity politics.

Hall of Fame?

Mo Vaughn. (For an explanation of this feature, see here.)

Jonathan Wolff on the Radical Critique of Liberalism

This sets the scene for Marx’s critique of liberalism. Liberalism seeks a regime of rights to equality, liberty, security, and property: political emancipation. Yet not only does the possession of such rights fall short of human emancipation; liberal rights are actually an obstacle to it. For liberal rights are egoistic rights of separation: rights which, according to Marx, encourage each individual to view others as limitations to his or her freedom. Marx’s idea is that the genuinely emancipated society is one in which individuals see themselves, and act, as fully co-operating members of a community of equals. Liberalism parodies this by setting out, at the level of the state, a sham community of ‘equal’ citizens, which cloaks the egoistic day-to-day activity of competition between unequals in civil society, where man ‘treats other men as means, degrades himself to a means, and becomes the plaything of alien powers’ (‘On the Jewish Question’, 53). The rights granted to the citizen reinforce the egoism and antagonism of civil society.

For Marx political emancipation—liberalism—is a great advance over the hierarchical, discriminatory state that preceded it. But it is a long way from his ideal, a communist society in which emancipation extends all the way down to civil society. This change, of course, Marx believes can only be accomplished by revolutionary action. Liberalism, by contrast, appears to Marx to be a shallow, superficial doctrine.

(Jonathan Wolff, An Introduction to Political Philosophy, rev. ed. [New York: Oxford University Press, 2006], 129)

From Today’s New York Times

To the Editor:

There have been more than 90,000 murders and nonnegligent homicides in this country since 9/11 and the onset of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. You found “121 cases in which veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan committed a killing in this country, or were charged with one” during that period—just a small fraction of 1 percent of those 90,000 homicides.

It is contemptible to pander to the worldview that American troops are drunken, debt-ridden psycho killers. Articles like yours feed into and perpetuate a negative stereotype of our soldiers, who have in truth shown a level of courage and civic duty far beyond what is asked of the hundreds of millions of their fellow citizens.

As an Iraq war veteran, I can tell you that soldiers need respect, not pity, contempt, hatred or fear.

Robert C. Verdi
Central Islip, N.Y., Jan. 13, 2008

Note from KBJ: A proper study would compare the homicide rates of two groups: (1) veterans; and (2) people of that age group generally. The Times did no such study, so its report is worthless.

Brian Leiter, Academic Thug

See here.

A Year Ago