Sunday, 20 January 2008


I leave you this fine evening with a puff piece by the New York Times. With journalists like this, who needs aides?


It’ll be New England against New York in the Super Bowl two weeks from today. Isn’t that like the Red Sox and the Yankees in the World Series? The question is, will anyone west of the Appalachians be watching?

Google Earth

My friend Joe told me about Google Earth during the Denton Turkey Roll in November. He said he used it to find an alternate route. A few minutes ago, I downloaded the program and used it. I typed in my mother’s street address, town, and state and it took me to her house. Incredible. Has anyone else used this application? Maybe I’m the last person on Earth to know about it. Any tips you can give me are appreciated.

Addendum: I just changed “alternative” to “alternate.” Do you see the difference?

Addendum 2: In 20 years, everyone will be working for Google. Mark my words.

John McCain

I don’t understand how a conservative could support John McCain, who has worked closely with Ted Kennedy and Russ Feingold and who shares Al Gore’s view that the debate about global warming is over. See here for George Will’s column.

Genital Cutting

Many progressives are conflicted by this practice. On the one hand, they want to condemn it, since it “oppresses” women; on the other hand, they want to refrain from condemning it, since that is cultural imperialism. Feminism, meet multiculturalism.


Here is an interesting story about innovative technologies. Remember the Segway, which was supposed to revolutionize transportation? Right. I’ve never even seen one, much less used one.


Forget about who won which states or how many states each candidate has won. What matters is the delegate count. Here is where things stand as of today.

From Today’s New York Times

To the Editor:

Yes, I would rather pay $5 than $20 for anything. But when my $15 savings results in a lower standard of living for my fellow Americans, a larger subclass and the resultant economic disparity (and perhaps impact on social services), then maybe I ought to just chalk up my increased costs to the advantage of living in a country that cares enough to promote safety standards, a living wage and economic opportunity.

There’s nothing free about free trade.

David Chavez
San Francisco, Jan. 16, 2008

Note from KBJ: I agree with the letter writer. Free trade produces both winners and losers. The amount “won” may exceed the amount “lost,” but unless the winners have to compensate the losers, which they do not, many people will suffer. You don’t have to be a progressive to care about these people—or about the social disruptions free trade produces. See here for an instructive speech by Pat Buchanan.

Note 2 from KBJ: I admit that free trade is Kaldor-Hicks efficient (although it is not Pareto efficient). What I deny is that it is just. Efficiency and justice differ. When they clash, as they do here, justice must prevail.

Note 3 from KBJ: Let me clarify my second note. I’m not convinced that free trade is Kaldor-Hicks efficient, since Kaldor-Hicks efficiency takes account only of economic costs. My point is that even if free trade were Kaldor-Hicks efficient, it would still be an open question whether we should embrace it, for there are other values besides efficiency.

Thomas Nagel on Sexual Harassment

I shall comment very briefly on the issues of public display and sexual harassment. The same respect for the privacy of sexual imagination that demands tolerance also opposes the involuntary imposition of disturbing sexual images on others. Inevitably the regulation of what can be displayed on billboards or newsstands will depend on a rough empirical judgment of what significant numbers of the public will find genuinely upsetting. The same goes for pinups in the workplace. The problem is to distinguish genuine revulsion from mere disapproval.

Regarding harassment, I believe real care is needed to stay with the original meaning of the term. That does not include the expression of sexual interest, even if unwanted, unless it persists beyond reason, or is backed up by an abuse of authority. Nor does it include sexual compliments or evident sexual appreciation. The toleration of sexual feelings should include a certain margin of freedom for their expression, even if it sometimes gives offense, and even though it will often impose the unpleasant task of rejection on its target. Adults should be able to take care of themselves.

(Thomas Nagel, “Personal Rights and Public Space,” Philosophy & Public Affairs 24 [spring 1995]: 83-107, at 106)

A Year Ago


“Psychopathic Media Vets”

Mark Spahn sent a link to this parody by Iowahawk. It’s hard to argue with progressives, since they’ve lost the ability to reason. About all you can do is laugh at them.

Safire on Language