Thursday, 6 March 2008

Uncle Neptune

I leave you this fine evening with a website that I found randomly, by typing “banjo” and “neptune” into Google.


Read it and weep, Yankee fans. Not only will the Yankees not win the East Division title this year; they won’t make the playoffs.


George Will slices and dices Fidel Castro. By the way, aren’t progressives predictable, and therefore boring? They love every two-bit dictator who comes down the pike, as long as he professes interest in the welfare of his people (even as he brutalizes them) and stands up to the United States. First it was Castro; now it’s Hugo Chavez. The common thread is anti-Americanism: The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

Animal Ethics

Here is Mylan Engel’s latest post.


Right now is when things get nasty. Hillary Clinton senses an opening. She and Bill will try to destroy Barack Obama, using every dirty trick in the book. The question is whether Obama has it in him to fight back. I’m enjoying the show. How about you?

Addendum: This blog post by Rich Lowry is interesting. Key paragraphs:

—Obama is still the frontrunner. The Hillary scenario has to depend on a blow-out victory in Pennsylvania, say 15 points, Obama sinking in the head-to-head match ups against McCain, and somehow Florida and Michigan counting. Then, she can argue the race is basically a tie, and Obama is too much of a risk, and maybe, maybe, eke out a painful, ugly victory.

—But in those circumstances, the party would be denying an African-American the nomination when by the most important metric—pledged delegates—he’s ahead, if ever so slightly. How can the Democrats ever do that? They would risk alienating African-Americans and creating a rift in the heart of their party. Perhaps the best possible scenario for Republicans is that Obama deflates, but given how hard it will be for Clinton to catch up in the pledged delegates and the popular vote, Democrats have no choice but to give him the nomination anyway.

Don’t you love seeing Democrats agonize over race?

J. J. C. Smart on the Common Moral Consciousness

How are we to decide the issue between extreme and restricted utilitarianism? I wish to repudiate at the outset that milk and water approach which describes itself sometimes as ‘investigating what is implicit in the common moral consciousness’ and sometimes as ‘investigating how people ordinarily talk about morality’. We have only to read the newspaper correspondence about capital punishment or about what should be done with Formosa to realise that the common moral consciousness is in part made up of superstitious elements, of morally bad elements, and of logically confused elements. I address myself to good hearted and benevolent people and so I hope that if we rid ourselves of the logical confusion the superstitious and morally bad elements will largely fall away. For even among good hearted and benevolent people it is possible to find superstitious and morally bad reasons for moral beliefs. These superstitious and morally bad reasons hide behind the protective screen of logical confusion. With people who are not logically confused but who are openly superstitious or morally bad I can of course do nothing. That is, our ultimate pro-attitudes may be different. Nevertheless I propose to rely on my own moral consciousness and to appeal to your moral consciousness and to forget about what people ordinarily say. ‘The obligation to obey a rule’, says Nowell-Smith (Ethics, p. 239), ‘does not, in the opinion of ordinary men’, (my italics), ‘rest on the beneficial consequences of obeying it in a particular case’. What does this prove? Surely it is more than likely that ordinary men are confused here. Philosophers should be able to examine the question more rationally.

(J. J. C. Smart, “Extreme and Restricted Utilitarianism,” The Philosophical Quarterly 6 [October 1956]: 344-54, at 346 [italics in original])

Housework and Sex

How does this differ from prostitution?

From Today’s New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “Texas and Ohio to Clinton; McCain Is In as G.O.P. Choice” (front page, March 5):

The March 4 political primaries were historic in several ways. John McCain completed one of the most incredible comebacks in American political history.

A few short months ago, he was seemingly dead in the water, with no money or support. On March 4 he became the Republican nominee for president by capturing four primaries, becoming the second oldest first-time presidential nominee in American history.

Hillary Rodham Clinton was equally impressive, scoring victories in Ohio, Texas and Rhode Island. After a string of 11 consecutive primary losses, and rapidly losing support in Texas and Ohio, she was dangerously close to dropping out. But she surprisingly scored some badly needed victories, and is once again back in the race.

You might say the media and political pundits came to bury her, and instead witnessed a resounding resurrection.

Kenneth L. Zimmerman
Huntington Beach, Calif.
March 5, 2008

Note from KBJ: According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Barack Obama will probably end up with more delegates than Hillary Clinton in Texas, even though she got more votes. So he won two states Tuesday and Clinton won two states. But hey, who wants to let facts get in the way of a good story?

A Year Ago