Saturday, 2 February 2008


Here is a scene from yesterday’s final stage of the Tour of Qatar. Tom Boonen is in great shape already, at least relative to his rivals. It won’t be long before the spring classics begin.

Thirty Years

I gave up alcohol 30 years ago today, on 2 February 1978. I haven’t had a drop since then. All of my drinking took place between the ages of 17 and 20. How many of you could live without alcohol?


Is it possible (yet) to put icons on a desktop with Mozilla Firefox? With Microsoft Internet Explorer, when I’m at a site I like, I can right click and choose “create shortcut.” All I’m able to do with Firefox is create a bookmark, but that means I have to fire up the browser first and then find the bookmark. It’s much easier to click icons on my desktop. This seems like a simple thing; but I can’t figure out how to do it. If Firefox can’t get this right, can it get anything right?

Kenneth Minogue on Tutorial Relationships

Most social relationships between adults are equal, and can be terminated at will, but certain relationships, especially involving the young, may be described as “tutorial.” In these cases, superiors teach and train inferiors. Their point is to form young people in preparation for adult life, and more generally, to teach them the arts of controlling impulse and doing their duty. It will be obvious that the family is the model of a tutorial relationship, because the children are under the discipline of mothers and fathers. And it is important not to fall too quickly into running together these two sets of people—mothers and fathers—as being the abstract thing called “parents” because, within the vast differences between one family and another, they play significantly different roles. No single parent can provide the full range of influences that come from the combination of both mothers and fathers.

(Kenneth Minogue, “Conservatism & the Morality of Impulse,” The New Criterion 26 [January 2008]: 8-12, at 9)


You won’t believe what I wrote three years ago today. I plead temporary insanity.

From Today’s New York Times

To the Editor:

Regarding your coverage of the Democratic debate on Thursday, I had a different take. I saw the “cordiality” as an example of civility that should become a model for all of us—individuals as well as politicians and community leaders across the country.

It set a benchmark for future dialogue in this election and for our delegates to the now and future Congress. It was truly an example of national leadership on the highest level.

Further, I appreciated the detailed and frank discussion of the differences in the candidates’ positions on major issues like health care and immigration.

And for both of them, emphasizing the importance of values and humanitarian concerns in these issues, as against the politics of pandering to interest groups, was a compelling response to the conservatives, who always seem to think they have morality on their side.

Joyce L. Spencer
Northport, N.Y., Feb. 1, 2008

Note from KBJ: Don’t you love the final paragraph? According to the letter writer, only Democrats care about values and “humanitarian concerns” on issues like health care and immigration; only Republicans pander to interest groups; and only conservatives “think they have morality on their side.” This woman has been in the echo chamber too long. Somebody do me the service of listing the interest groups to which Democrats pander.


Who needs the Super Bowl when there’s a killer basketball game between my beloved Arizona Wildcats (15-6) and the fifth-ranked UCLA Bruins (19-2). Tonight, 8:00 Central Time, ESPN. Go Cats!

Addendum: It was ugly. The Bruins won, 82-60, and that’s after the Wildcats scored the final eight points. I’m looking forward to the NCAA tournament in March. UCLA will be hard to beat.

A Year Ago