Thursday, 17 January 2008


Canada is very rapidly becoming a totalitarian society. See here. Are there any men left in Canada? Real men don’t stand by and let their freedom be taken away.

Twenty Years Ago

1-17-88 Sunday. I hate to keep complaining about the wind, but it’s a serious problem for a bicyclist like me. For example, there was no wind this morning at eleven o’clock when I walked to the store for a newspaper. But a couple of hours later, on the northwest part of town [Tucson], the wind was blowing with gale force. Riding from here to the corner of Tangerine and Thornydale Roads wasn’t bad, but as soon as I turned south it hit me. I usually clip along at twenty-two miles per hour on Thornydale Road; today I struggled at ten to fourteen miles per hour, at times dipping to nine. That should tell you how fierce the wind was. And of course, where there’s wind, there’s dust. I had sand pelting me most of the day. Out of it all came my worst gross-average speed in five and a half months, 13.80 miles per hour (for 56.1 miles). Fortunately there was no rain. The official high temperature was sixty-seven degrees [Fahrenheit].

This evening, tired but contented by the day’s ride, I read a chunk of Thomas Nagel’s little book What Does It All Mean?: A Very Short Introduction to Philosophy [(New York: Oxford University Press, 1987); I finished reading this book on 18 January 1988] and listened to jazz music. Nagel is a smart man and a good writer, though I’ve had trouble with his dense prose in the past. Where once I disagreed with his deontology, now I agree with him. I view consequentialist theories as impoverished. They leave no room for such things as persons, rights, roles, and special relationships. It’s amazing, really, that anyone could go from being a diehard consequentialist to a nonconsequentialist (let alone so fast); but I did. I’ve gone from libertarianism to socialism, consequentialism to nonconsequentialism, and atheism (the belief that there is not a god) to agnosticism (the absence of belief either that there is a god of that there is not a god). These are just some of my intellectual changes. [I’m still a deontologist and an agnostic (or atheist), but now, politically, I’m a conservative rather than a progressive.]

In other news, the Super Bowl teams have been determined. The Washington Redskins will meet the Denver Broncos in San Diego. Denver is the early favorite, since the Broncos lost last year’s Super Bowl to the New York Giants and are thought to have more playoff experience. By the looks of things, I’ll be in Lexington, Kentucky, on Super Bowl Sunday (31 January). I wonder if [sic; should be “whether”] I’ll be able to see the game.


Are today’s young people more narcissistic than their predecessors? See here.


Here is a story about Slipstream. Be sure to click through the slide show.


Do I vote for sex?
Or do I vote for color?
What’s a man to do?

A Year Ago


Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) on Leviathan

NATURE (the Art whereby God hath made and governes the World) is by the Art of man, as in many other things, so in this also imitated, that it can make an Artificial Animal. For seeing life is but a motion of Limbs, the beginning whereof is in some principall part within; why may we not say, that all Automata (Engines that move themselves by springs and wheeles as doth a watch) have an artificiall life? For what is the Heart, but a Spring; and the Nerves, but so many Strings; and the Joynts, but so many Wheeles, giving motion to the whole Body, such as was intended by the Artificer? Art goes yet further, imitating that Rationall and most excellent worke of Nature, Man. For by Art is created that great LEVIATHAN called a COMMON-WEALTH, or STATE, (in latine CIVITAS) which is but an Artificiall Man; though of greater stature and strength than the Naturall, for whose protection and defence it was intended; and in which, the Soveraignty is an Artificiall Soul, as giving life and motion to the whole body; The Magistrates, and other Officers of Judicature and Execution, artificiall Joynts; Reward and Punishment (by which fastned to the seate of the Soveraignty, every joynt and member is moved to performe his duty) are the Nerves, that do the same in the Body Naturall; The Wealth and Riches of all the particular members, are the Strength; Salus Populi (the peoples safety) its Businesse; Counsellors, by whom all things needfull for it to know, are suggested unto it, are the Memory; Equity and Lawes, an artificiall Reason and Will; Concord, Health; Sedition, Sicknesse; and Civill war, Death. Lastly, the Pacts and Covenants, by which the parts of this Body Politique were at first made, set together, and united, resemble that Fiat, or the Let us make man, pronounced by God in the Creation.

(Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, rev. student ed., ed. Richard Tuck, Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought, ed. Raymond Geuss and Quentin Skinner [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996], Introduction, 9-10 [italics in original] [first published in 1651])


If this isn’t the best album ever made, then there is no justice in this world.

Peace Through Superior Firepower

It was only a matter of time before Ted Nugent made his way to Texas. We’re honored to have him. Now if only we could get him to run for governor. Or president.

Addendum: Here is Ted before he was Ted Nugent.

All Fred, All the Time

Here is Fred Thompson’s Hail Mary pass.

Today’s Quiz

Give the top three reasons dogs are better than cats. Please don’t say that this presupposes, falsely, that dogs are better than cats. It’s true and you know it.

Best of the Web Today



I’ve been both a progressive and a conservative. I’ve been a conservative for much less time than I was a progressive. This column rings true to me. The sheer viciousness of progressives is astonishing and disturbing. That I did not notice or pay much attention to it until I became a conservative shows how ideology acts as a blinder.

Addendum: I voted for Bill Clinton in 1992, so you can be sure I was attentive to Clinton-hatred. Yes, there was Clinton-hatred between 1993 and 2001, but it was nothing like the Bush-hatred that we’ve seen throughout the Bush presidency. In fact, there’s no comparison. On a scale of one to 10, Clinton-hatred was four and Bush-hatred is nine. What do others think? Can anyone explain why progressives are so hateful? Does progressivism cause hatefulness? Does being a hateful person cause one to be a progressive? Is there some third factor that causes both?

Addendum 2: I discovered the Brooks column while visiting Michelle Malkin’s site.

Conceptual Analysis

What are the necessary and sufficient conditions for being a bachelor?

From Today’s New York Times

To the Editor:

Any form of lighting is preferable to compact fluorescent lights. The danger of the mercury in these fixtures and the hazard posed by disposing of them is far too great, outweighing any perceived benefit.

If you break an incandescent light bulb, it’s an inconvenience, but not potentially life-threatening. But the mercury contamination that would result from widespread use of compact fluorescents could seriously damage the environment.

Connie Crothers
Brooklyn, Jan. 11, 2008

Note from KBJ: My mother told me the other day, when we were talking about light bulbs, that she used to play with mercury. I believe I did, too, although I can’t remember where or why. Maybe it was in science class. The mercury was liquid, but it would roll around on the table like a marble. Does anyone else remember this? What was going on? Was it not known that mercury is dangerous?