Wednesday, 9 April 2008


I leave you this fine evening with a column by Lanny Davis. Why is everyone so puzzled by the Obama-Wright affair? It’s really quite simple. Barack Obama wanted to be a genuine member of the black community so he could count on its political support when he ran for office. (He may have had a psychological need for it as well.) Once Jeremiah Wright’s hateful ranting came to public attention, Obama couldn’t denounce him without alienating the black community. He’s between the devil and the deep blue sea. He can’t denounce and he can’t win without denouncing. The Democrat Party is in a fine mess. It is about to nominate someone who can’t win the general election. Hillary Clinton is hoping that the superdelegates grasp this fact and rush to her side of the aisle before it’s too late.


Here is a New York Times profile of Chris Matthews. His show should be entitled “Blowhard” rather than “Hardball.” Is it still on the air? I stopped watching it several years ago, after he abused Michelle Malkin.

Addendum: I said in my post of nearly four years ago that I would never watch Keith Olbermann again. I have. Every now and then, I switch over to Countdown (a.k.a. Moonbat Central) to see what’s going on. It’s like watching a train wreck. The man is in love with Barack Obama, envious of Bill O’Reilly, and deranged by President Bush. Each night, he asks himself what he can say to ingratiate himself with the moonbats. What a way to earn a living!

Guess the Movie

“Do you know what’s gonna be here? Right here? A lake. As far as the eyes can see. Hundreds of feet deep. Hundreds of feet deep. Did you ever look out over a lake and think of somethin’ buried underneath it? Buried underneath it. Well man, that’s just about as buried as you can get.”


Does anyone have a Blu-ray player? If so, what is the quality of the Blu-ray format? Do you notice a difference between Blu-ray and DVD? If so, how much of a difference? Please describe it as vividly as you can, so that I can decide whether to switch over to it.

Addendum: I mentioned the other day that my childhood friend Paul and I watched 3:10 to Yuma. Until yesterday, while I was shopping at Kroger, I didn’t know that this was a remake. I purchased (for $9.99) a DVD of the 1957 film of the same name, starring Glenn Ford and Van Heflin. The original, which is in black and white, but which has been “Mastered in High Definition,” runs 92 minutes. The remake runs 122 minutes. Have we gotten wordy, or what?


Here is R. R. Reno’s latest blog post at First Things. Reno pigeonholes Anthony Kronman as a lawyer, but Kronman has a Ph.D. degree in philosophy. Indeed, he was a philosopher before he was a lawyer. That he doesn’t teach in a philosophy department is neither here nor there; he has philosophical training.

Baseball Notes

1. Is there life for the New York Yankees after Derek Jeter? If so, is it a life worth living?

2. Which division is strongest, and why?

3. Here is a blurb from today’s Fort Worth Star-Telegram:

Detroit’s Placido Polanco made a throwing error in the third inning—his first error since July 1, 2006, after 911 chances and 186 games, both major league records for a second baseman.


4. I hated the name “Devil Rays” when Tampa Bay came into the American League. Reducing it to “Rays” is just plain idiotic.

5. Why is 44-year-old Randy Johnson still pitching?

6. The Detroit Tigers are 0-7, but they’ll win 100 games.

7. I see that Boston fans cheered Bill Buckner. Would they have done so if the team had not won two World Series in the past four years? Magnanimity is easy when you’re rolling in dough.

8. There were only two Caucasions in the Tiger lineup yesterday: Brandon Inge and Kenny Rogers. Whatever happened to diversity?

9. Will Barry Bonds play again?

10. Do you agree with me that there should be no music in Major League ballparks?


Here is a scene from today’s 70th Gent-Wevelgem (in Belgium), which was won by Spaniard Oscar Freire. Paris-Roubaix, a.k.a. Hell of the North, is Sunday. It’s the most beautiful (and also the most difficult) race in the world. Look at the carnage in the Arenberg Forest. If this eight-minute video doesn’t give you chills, then you’re no longer among the living.

Curro Ergo Sum

The weather was threatening when I set out on my run a couple of hours ago. I decided to take a chance by leaving my clothes on the line. With half a mile to go in my 3.1-mile run, it started sprinkling. I believe I set the world record for 800 meters. Luckily, I got the clothes in (damp though they still were) before it rained. By the way, how many of you remember the 440-yard and 880-yard dashes? I hate the metric system. It’s unAmerican.

Best of the Web Today


Animal Law

Here, hot off the press, is an essay by Steven M. Wise, the author of Rattling the Cage: Toward Legal Rights for Animals (Cambridge, MA: Perseus Books, 2000).


I have always loved this song. I listened to it many times while riding my bicycle in the Sonoran Desert, which is as beautiful a place as there is in the world. I feel privileged to have lived there for five years. Who knows? I may one day return.

A Year Ago



There are things in this world that make no sense to me, and I don’t think it’s just because I’m a philosopher. Listen to this. On the way home from school yesterday, I stopped at Kroger for groceries. I saw that both Clif Mojo bars and Clif Builder’s bars were on sale (for customers with a Kroger card) for $1.25 per bar. The regular prices are $1.39 and $1.99, respectively. I put one full box of each type of bar in my cart, and then took most of a second box of each as well. At the checkout counter, I noticed that the Builder’s bars were ringing up at $1.99 per bar. I told the clerk that they should be $1.25 apiece. She paused. “Will the difference be taken off at the end?” I asked. She didn’t know, so I let her proceed.

You guessed it. I was charged the full price for all the bars. I wouldn’t have purchased the bars at the regular price, so I called the manager over. We walked back to the energy-bar section to investigate. When I pointed to the yellow sale tag that said “4/$5,” she said, “The sale expired on 6 April.” As she said it, she ripped the sale tag off. When we got back up front, she talked to the person in charge of energy bars. They decided to sell me the loose bars, but not the full boxes, at the sale price. I didn’t complain. She acted as though I might want to buy the bars at the full price. I told her I did not. It took her 15 minutes to get things in order, and seemed perturbed at having to do it.

Can you believe this? Is there a principled reason to sell me some bars, but not all I wanted, at the sale price? Why was Kroger willing to sell the bars at $1.25 apiece until 6 April, but not on 8 April? Did keeping a customer happy enter into it, and if not, why not? I asked her whether I’m supposed to notice expiration dates on sale tags. She said no. I had done nothing wrong. Someone in the store should have taken the sale tags off when they expired. It was a bizarre experience. As I say, I didn’t complain, but that doesn’t mean it makes sense to me.

Robert A. Nisbet (1913-1996) on Prejudice

Every person, every custom, every institution, serves some basic need in human life or contributes some indispensable service to the existence of other institutions and customs. Even prejudice, Burke insisted in a striking passage, has, despite the contempt that it arouses in the mind of the rationalist, the indispensable function of holding together the structure of society, of providing a kind of emotional cement for beliefs and habits. There is, in prejudice, an indwelling wisdom that is the product of the centuries and of man’s deep needs for security.

(Robert A. Nisbet, “Conservatism and Sociology,” The American Journal of Sociology 58 [September 1952]: 167-75, at 170)

Note from KBJ: Like Michael Oakeshott, Robert Nisbet uses “rationalist” to mean what I mean by “progressive.” The difference between conservatives and progressives is that the former view prejudice as a good thing and the latter view it as a bad thing. You might say that progressives don’t “get” prejudice.

Hall of Fame?

Brady Anderson. (For an explanation of this feature, see here.)