Tuesday, 27 May 2008

“When Anchormen Themselves Shill for Obama”

I leave you this fine evening with a column by Isaac Chotiner.


Here is a New York Times story about a philosophy student.

From the Mailbag


I randomly picked a link on your blogroll and found this. (Incidentally, the link in your blogroll needs to be updated.) Take a look at his item titled “Obama’s Attempt Sound Memorial-Day-ish.” Is BHO even aware of the contradictions between what he says one day and the next?

Mark Spahn


Today is a rest day in the Giro d’Italia. Here is tomorrow’s stage. Note that it finishes in Switzerland.


I’m crying crocodile tears for the farmers in this New York Times story. They’re used to paying subsistence wages to their workers, and now that the supply of workers has decreased (because many of them were in this country illegally), they’re unwilling to increase the wage to attract the workers they need. The market is working exactly as it’s supposed to.


David Brooks has some advice about how to pick a running mate. Key paragraphs:

If Barack Obama is elected, his chief challenge will be that he hopes to usher in a new style of politics, but he has no real strategy for how to do that.

He will find himself surrounded by highly partisan Democratic politicians, committee chairmen and interest groups thrilled to finally seize power. Some of them might have enjoyed his lofty rhetoric about change, but in practice, these organization types have no interest in changing politics. They just want to take the money and patronage that has been going to Republican special interests and give it to Democratic special interests.

Government as usual.


If this isn’t the best album ever made, then rock ’n’ roll is dead.

Addendum: Here is “Woman of the World.”

A Year Ago


From Today’s New York Times

To the Editor:

The distinction between older Jews and younger Jews, in terms of their views of Barack Obama, tells only half of the story.

As a 55-year-old Jewish woman, I support Mr. Obama, and have given little thought to his race (or Hillary Rodham Clinton’s gender). The fact is that baby boomer Jews—and younger—have had a great deal of experience working with and socializing with African-American professionals, an experience that older Jews may not have shared.

Truth be told, many of us baby boomers do not notice race or gender—what we notice is class. We are comfortable with Mr. Obama because he went to good schools, because he is an intellectual, because, despite humble beginnings, like many Jews of our generation, he is now part of the professional class, living the American Dream, sending his children to the best schools, camp, lessons and so on.

In this important way, we recognize him—he is like us. Does that mean that we all support him? Not necessarily, but if not, it is not because of his race.

Ellyn S. Roth
New York, May 22, 2008


Before the season began, I would have said that there is a better chance of an all-Michigan World Series than an all-Florida World Series. Don’t look now, but the two best teams in Major League Baseball are the Tampa Bay Rays (31-20) and the Florida Marlins (30-20).

Hampton L. Carson (1852-1929) on the Punishment of Animals

In the open square of the old Norman city of Falaise, in the year 1386, a vast and motley crowd had gathered to witness the execution of a criminal convicted of the crime of murder. Noblemen in armour, proud dames in velvet and feathers, priests in cassock and cowl, falconers with hawks upon their wrists, huntsmen with hounds in leash, aged men with their staves, withered hags with their baskets or reticules, children of all ages and even babes in arms were among the spectators. The prisoner was dressed in a new suit of man’s clothes, and was attended by armed men on horseback, while the hangman before mounting the scaffold had provided himself with new gloves and a new rope. As the prisoner had caused the death of a child by mutilating the face and arms to such an extent as to cause a fatal hemorrhage, the town tribunal, or local court, had decreed that the head and legs of the prisoner should be mangled with a knife before the hanging. This was a mediæval application of the lex talionis, or “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” To impress a recollection of the scene upon the memories of the bystanders an artist was employed to paint a frescoe on the west wall of the transept of the Church of the Holy Trinity in Falaise, and for more than four hundred years that picture could be seen and studied until destroyed in 1820 by the carelessness of a white washer. The criminal was not a human being, but a sow, which had indulged in the evil propensity of eating infants on the street.

(Hampton L. Carson, “The Trial of Animals and Insects: A Little Known Chapter of Mediæval Jurisprudence,” Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 56 [1917]: 410-5, at 410)