Sunday, 9 March 2008


I didn’t see Saturday Night Live yesterday, but Michelle Malkin did. Here is a funny video.

A Year Ago


From Today’s New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “More Families Are Shunning Inoculations” (regional sections, March 2):

If there is no evidence that immunizations are likely to cause conditions like autism or other disorders, what rationale is there for choosing not to immunize children?

Surely acquiring an infectious disease like polio or measles is far worse than exercising one’s right to choose.

But exercising that “right to choose” without understanding immunization is even more serious.

The parents who exercise their right not to vaccinate their children need to be aware of the fact that immunization levels must be high to achieve complete protection against infection. For example, transmission of polio within a population will continue unless immunization rates over 95 percent are achieved.

Therefore parents who choose not to immunize their children place other children at risk for infection.

Immunization is not just about protecting your child. It is about protecting the entire population.

Vincent Racaniello
New York, March 5, 2008
The writer is a professor of microbiology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Michael Oakeshott (1901-1990) on Scientism

No doubt there are scientists deeply involved in the rationalist attitude, but they are mistaken when they think that the rationalist and the scientific points of view necessarily coincide. The trouble is that when the scientist steps outside his own field he often carries with him only his technique, and this at once allies him with the forces of Rationalism. In short, I think the great prestige of the natural sciences has, in fact, been used to fasten the rationalist disposition of mind more firmly upon us, but that this is the work, not of the genuine scientist as such, but of the scientist who is a Rationalist in spite of his science.

(Michael Oakeshott, “Rationalism in Politics,” in his Rationalism in Politics and Other Essays, new and expanded ed. [Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1991], 5-42, at 34-5 [footnote omitted] [essay first published in 1947])

Note from KBJ: Remember: Oakeshott’s rationalism is my progressivism, which contrasts with conservatism.

Safire on Language