Sunday, 30 March 2008


President Bush threw out the first pitch in Washington, D.C., a few minutes ago. Quite a few classless idiots booed him. What is this world coming to?


The Final Four is set: UCLA plays Memphis and North Carolina plays Kansas. All four teams are seeded #1. Has that ever happened? I don’t remember it happening, which is not to say that it hasn’t. Did anyone watch the Kansas-Davidson game? How stupid do you have to be not to get a clean shot off in 16 seconds? Look for UCLA to knock off Memphis and for Kansas to beat North Carolina. UCLA wins it all, proving, once again, that the Pac-10 is the best basketball conference.

Twenty Years Ago Yesterday

3-29-88 . . . Robert Dole has withdrawn as a Republican candidate for president. That leaves George [Herbert Walker] Bush and Pat Robertson as the only Republican candidates, with Bush the clear frontrunner. Robertson, like Jesse Jackson, is a religious leader. Neither, in my view, can be elected. Here’s an early prediction: Bush will select California Governor George Deukmejian as his vice-presidential running mate. Deukmejian is a conservative Republican who is popular in his state. He would balance the ticket both geographically and ideologically and make it likely that Bush would capture California. Originally, following the 1984 election, I predicted that Bush would select Jeane Kirkpatrick as his running mate, but she came out in support of Dole a few weeks ago. That effectively shot her down. It’s hard to believe that George Bush may be our next president. I’m surprised not just that he beat Dole, but that he beat him so easily and quickly. [Bush chose Dan Quayle as his running mate. Dole was the Republican nominee in 1996. He was defeated by Bill Clinton.]

A Year Ago


“Virginity Is Extremely Alluring”

Here is a New York Times story about premarital sex.

From Today’s New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “With More News of Abuse, a Harder Search for Homes for Pit Bulls” (Westchester and the Region, March 16):

As a member of the League of Humane Voters of Westchester, I thank you for covering the efforts by the police and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to stop the dog fighting and animal cruelty in Westchester County.

The Westchester chapter of the league is calling on the county executive, Andrew J. Spano, and the mayor of Yonkers, Philip A. Amicone, to establish a task force dedicated to ending the dog-fighting in Westchester, and specifically in the City of Yonkers, site of most of the fights.

Yonkers prides itself on its gentrification and revitalization efforts. It is a blight on Westchester to have a city consistently in the news for such an odious activity.

The Michael Vick case shed light on the disgrace of those who cause dogs to fight each other, an event often accompanied by drug sales and prostitution. The animals are forced to fight through beatings, starvation, being thrown at each other, being made to attack smaller animals thrown at them, and worse.

We are tired of our dogs being bloodied, broken, scarred, crippled, killed and thrown into garbage cans. We are tired of our Westchester community being shown on TV in such an ugly light.

Let’s send a message to dog fighters: You are not welcome here.

Julie Serenson
Yonkers, March 23, 2008

Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) on Philosophy

But this priviledge, is allayed by another; and that is, by the priviledge of Absurdity; to which no living creature is subject, but man onely. And of men, those are of all most subject to it, that professe Philosophy. For it is most true that Cicero sayth of them somewhere; that there can be nothing so absurd, but may be found in the books of Philosophers. And the reason is manifest. For there is not one of them that begins his ratiocination from the Definitions, or Explications of the names they are to use; which is a method that hath been used onely in Geometry; whose Conclusions have thereby been made indisputable.

(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], chap. 5, p. 34 [italics in original] [first published in 1651])

Safire on Language


Saturday, 29 March 2008

“Shrill Ideological Zealotry Coupled with Chilling Ambition”

I leave you this fine evening with a column by James Ceaser. Do you suppose Americans are tired of Hippies and Baby Boomers? Barack Obama was born in 1961, which means he was eight years old at the time of Woodstock. John McCain was 32. Hillary Clinton was 21.


I told my home boys today that I’m starting a company. It will sell T-shirts with “I’m a Typical White Person” on the front. What should go on the back?


The two games in Japan between the Boston Red Sox and the Oakland Athletics didn’t seem like official games, athough they were. They started at five o’clock in the morning where I live. The regular season begins tomorrow, as far as I’m concerned. I can’t wait. I love baseball more with each passing year, which, if you knew how much I have loved baseball since I was 10 years old, would boggle your mind. I love the game in spite of (1) Bud Selig, (2) Don Fehr, (3) Scott Boras (and other agents), (4) drugs, and (5) commercialization. These things, to me, are ancillary to the game, which will always be about grass, dirt, lime, leather, wood, pine tar, and spit. I love the sounds of the game. I love the pace. I love the drama. But you know what I’m going to love most about this season? It’s going to be another year of futility for Alex Rodriguez and the New York Yankees.


This puts a kick in my step.

Pascal’s Wager in Reverse

Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) argued that it’s prudent to believe in God because (1) there is a nonzero probability that God exists and (2) belief in God if God exists has infinite value. Read this. It’s prudent to disallow the particle accelerator because (1) there is a nonzero probability that it will destroy the Earth and (2) destruction of the Earth has infinite disvalue. Where am I going wrong?

A Year Ago


From Today’s New York Times

To the Editor:

To the extent that Neal Gabler is right when he states that John McCain is “a darling of the news media,” it’s not so much because he shares their sense of irony. It’s because he’s a Republican who is not reliably conservative.

So here’s a prediction from someone who’s been a full-time working journalist since 1967: The love affair will end as soon as soon as [sic] the general election begins (if not sooner). That’s when every gaffe by Mr. McCain will be portrayed by the media as “evidence” that he’s old—really, really old. That’s when every grimace will be “proof” that he’s got a hair-trigger temper.

When the Democrats stop beating each other over the head, and one of them starts running in earnest against John McCain, the media will no longer find their “darling” nearly as “ironic”—or nearly as lovable.

From a media point of view, it’s one thing when Senator McCain sticks a finger in a fellow Republican’s eye, quite another when he’s taking aim at a liberal Democrat.

Bernard Goldberg
Miami, March 27, 2008
The writer is the author and former CBS News correspondent.

Note from KBJ: I dislike John McCain, but not as much as I dislike Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. By the way, Goldberg is exactly right. Journalists don’t love McCain because he’s a conservative; they love him because he’s an unconventional conservative, i.e., one without a hard ideological (or religious) edge. When he goes up against a progressive, they’ll turn on him in an instant.