Saturday, 12 April 2008


You can see why Hillary Clinton is staying in the race for the Democrat nomination. This man is not ready for prime time. Remember my prediction: Barack Hussein Obama will get no more than 40% of the popular vote come November.


Here is the start list for tomorrow’s 106th Paris-Roubaix (161.2 miles, with 28 sectors of cobblestones). George Hincapie has been snakebitten in this race. Perhaps tomorrow will be his day.

Addendum: Here is video from the 2006 race, in which Hincapie’s handlebars snapped. What a helpless feeling that must have been!

Addendum 2: Here is a close-up image of the cobblestones in the Arenberg Forest. The cyclists will be riding over them at 25 miles per hour, and the stones may be wet.

J. J. C. Smart on Rule-Worship

The restricted utilitarian regards moral rules as more than rules of thumb for short-circuiting calculations of consequences. Generally, he argues, consequences are not relevant at all when we are deciding what to do in a particular case. In general, they are relevant only to deciding what rules are good reasons for acting in a certain way in particular cases. This doctrine is possibly a good account of how the modern unreflective twentieth century Englishman often thinks about morality, but surely it is monstrous as an account of how it is most rational to think about morality. Suppose that there is a rule R and that in 99% of cases the best possible results are obtained by acting in accordance with R. Then clearly R is a useful rule of thumb; if we have not time or are not impartial enough to assess the consequences of an action it is an extremely good bet that the thing to do is to act in accordance with R. But is it not monstrous to suppose that if we have worked out the consequences and if we have perfect faith in the impartiality of our calculations, and if we know that in this instance to break R will have better results than to keep it, we should nevertheless obey the rule? Is it not to erect R into a sort of idol if we keep it when breaking it will prevent, say, some avoidable misery? Is not this a form of superstitious rule-worship (easily explicable psychologically) and not the rational thought of a philosopher?

(J. J. C. Smart, “Extreme and Restricted Utilitarianism,” The Philosophical Quarterly 6 [October 1956]: 344-54, at 348-9 [italics in original])

From Today’s New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “2 Groups to Help Defend Detainees at Guantánamo” (news article, April 4):

The military commission system at Guantánamo is stacked against the detainees with the use of “secret evidence, hearsay and evidence obtained through torture.”

The Bush administration created the commissions system precisely because it knows it cannot circumvent American law to use such evidence in our federal courts.

Moreover, the government has shamefully underfinanced and understaffed the military defense counsel it has deployed to represent these men while providing virtually unlimited resources for the military prosecutors.

Indeed, it is great news that the A.C.L.U. and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers plan to join the Center for Constitutional Rights and other attorneys to challenge the military commissions on behalf of the men the government seeks to execute based on what federal law recognizes as unreliable, torture-tainted evidence.

That the government has forced charitable organizations like ours to step in to try to redress some of the imbalance is unconscionable for a nation that prides itself on providing fair trials.

Vincent Warren
Executive Director, Center for Constitutional Rights
New York, April 7, 2008

Note from KBJ: There are plenty of anti-American law professors out there. Put them to work.


Fenway Park. Top of the eighth. Two runners on. Two outs. Yankees trail Red Sox, 4-3. Jonathan Papelbon strikes out Alex Rodriguez on three pitches. Choke-Rod.

A Year Ago