Thursday, 20 March 2008


Here is the start list for Saturday’s 99th running of Milan-San Remo (185.1 miles). The winner? Australian Robbie McEwen. American George Hincapie finishes in the top five.


Here is Nicholas Kristof’s apology for Jeremiah Wright. It’s all well and good to call for a national “dialogue about race,” but how can you have a meaningful dialogue with someone who believes that:

1. “the AIDS virus was released as a deliberate government plot to kill black people”;

2. “it [the O. J. Simpson jury] had decided correctly”; and

3. “the crack cocaine epidemic was a deliberate conspiracy by the United States government to destroy black neighborhoods”?

People who believe these things need therapy, not dialogue.

From Today’s New York Times

To the Editor:

Barack Obama’s speech on race was the most honest appraisal of race relations in this country that I’ve heard any politician, black or white, give.

The fact that Mr. Obama is black makes it that much more risky for him—and that much more courageous. He has helped us find a way to raise the level of dialogue about race to something that attempts to find common ground, not by dismissing or ignoring our past, but by insisting we not stop there.

Mr. Obama makes me feel hopeful, not just because of what I believe he can do, but also because of what he inspires the rest of us to do.

Kathy Roberson
Middlesex, N.J., March 19, 2008

Note from KBJ: How is Obama black? Once again, he has a white mother and a black father. He is half white and half black. He is as much white as he is black. Does the letter writer endorse the one-drop rule? By the way, I thought there weren’t any races.

Thomas Nagel on the Public Arena

One of our problems, as liberal attitudes become more prevalent, is how to draw the line between public and private tolerance. It is always risky to raise the stakes by attempting to take over too much of the limited social space. If in the name of liberty one tries to institute a free-for-all, the result will be a revival of the forces of repression, and a decline of social peace and perhaps eventually of generally accepted norms of toleration. I think we have seen some of this in recent cultural battles in the United States. The partial success of a cultural revolution of tolerance for the expression of sexual material that was formerly kept out of public view has provoked a reaction that includes the breakdown of barriers of privacy even for those who are not eager to let it all hang out. The same developments have also fueled the demand from another quarter for a return to public hypocrisy in the form of political correctness. The more crowded the public arena gets, the more people want to control it.

(Thomas Nagel, “Concealment and Exposure,” Philosophy & Public Affairs 27 [winter 1998]: 3-30, at 9)

Note from KBJ: You mean like this? (Viewer discretion advised.)

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