Monday, 17 March 2008


It would almost be worth having Hillary Clinton win the Democrat nomination to see moonbats such as Kos suffer. How did someone as illiterate as Kos get such a large following?


William Kristol has some harsh words for Barack Obama.

Twenty Years Ago

3-17-88 . . . President [Ronald] Reagan has ordered United States troops (3200, I think) to Honduras, which borders Nicaragua on the north. Recently, Congress rejected an aid package for the Nicaraguan Contras, who are fighting the Nicaraguan Sandinista government. Many people view this as an attempt by Reagan to drum up support for the Contra cause. Details are sketchy at this point, but I understand that the troops are for defensive purposes only—to keep the Sandinistas from attacking Honduras. Do I smell another Vietnam?


Here is a speech by Michael Heller, the recipient of this year’s Templeton Prize.

Twenty Years Ago Yesterday

3-16-88 Several indictments were handed down today in connection with the 1987 Iran-Contra affair. Among those indicted were Oliver North, John Poindexter, and Richard Secord. They’re charged with conspiring to violate (and actually violating) United States statutes on the sale and shipment of armaments. Last [sic; should be “This past”] summer, during the hearings, there was much debate about whether these people should be indicted and tried. Many conservative legislators and commentators argued that President [Ronald] Reagan should preemptively pardon them, but he hasn’t. He’ll probably wait until they’re convicted, then issue the pardons. I have no doubt that he’ll do it. Should he? My gut reaction is that he should not. These people, however noble their goals and purposes, broke the law. To pardon them is to send a signal to all citizens that if the goal is noble enough, the means don’t matter. Utah Senator Orrin Hatch says that all of them should be pardoned because, in his words, “They didn’t intend to be criminals”. Great. On this test, every convicted criminal should be pardoned, because nobody intends to be a criminal. People intend to perform particular actions which happen to be criminal. That’s precisely what these people did.

I went to another exhibition baseball game this afternoon, my second in five days. This time Cleveland [the Indians] played (and got beaten by) San Francisco [the Giants], 11-3. I went with Terry Mallory and his friend, Marshall L[.] Actually, I met them in the first-base bleachers. They arrived during the first inning. We sat high in the bleachers, soaked up the sun (it was seventy degrees [Fahrenheit]), and bantered about baseball, politics, and other current events. Marshall, who drank several large cups of beer, got progressively silly as the game wore on. He forgot parts of our earlier discussion, made inane comments, and cracked joke after joke. I didn’t mind, because I knew that we would be together only briefly. As for the game, it was exciting. There were thirty hits in the nine innings, twenty-two by the Giants. Nobody hit a home run (as expected, since the wind was blowing stiffly toward the third-base dugout). I had a good time. I’ve seen a couple of exhibition games and one [Arizona] Wildcat game this year. I’d like to see one or two more Wildcat games and perhaps a Tucson Toros game this summer. [The Toros were the AAA team of the Houston Astros.]


Here is a scene from today’s stage of Tirreno-Adriatico.


1. My headbanging friend Carlos gives a rundown of upcoming Texas concerts.

2. Here is your entertainment for this Monday evening.

A Year Ago


From Today’s New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “The Rank-Link Imbalance,” by David Brooks (column, March 14):

Mr. Brooks presents a well-written, well-conceived commentary. Unfortunately, it includes an implication of “it’s not their fault, their parents made them this way” nonsense. Individuals are responsible for their decisions, even high-achieving, self-styled saviors of humanity.

Greg Welch
Raleigh, N.C., March 14, 2008

Note from KBJ: The letter writer fails to grasp that ours is the No-Responsibility Society.

J. J. C. Smart on Henry Sidgwick (1838-1900)

There are many more and subtle points that could be made in connection with the relation between extreme utilitarianism and the morality of common sense. All those that I have just made and many more will be found in Book IV Chapters 3-5 of Sidgwick’s Methods of Ethics. I think that this book is the best book ever written on ethics, and that these chapters are the best chapters of the book. As they occur so near the end of a very long book they are unduly neglected. I refer the reader, then, to Sidgwick for the classical exposition of the relation between (extreme) utilitarianism and the morality of common sense.

(J. J. C. Smart, “Extreme and Restricted Utilitarianism,” The Philosophical Quarterly 6 [October 1956]: 344-54, at 347)

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