Thursday, 26 June 2008


I leave you this fine evening with a column by Karl Rove.


My friend Jeff knows Ozzy Osbourne’s bassist.  Jeff asked whether I’d like an autograph from Ozzy. I said yes. I said that Ozzy is one of my heroes, right up there with George Armstrong Custer and W. D. Ross. I should have added Lance Armstrong to the list. A musician, a soldier, a scholar, and an athlete. That pretty much sums up life, doesn’t it?


Here is a scene from Tuesday’s stage of the Tour of Pennsylvania. Here is another. Cycling is not for the fainthearted.


Steve Walsh asked me for advice three months ago. I made a note here at my desk to reply, but haven’t done so. Can you be more specific, Steve? Are you puzzled about the nature of philosophy? Do you want readings in a particular area, such as ethics? Are you looking for Internet resources?


McCain Obama
The first is unprincipled
The second unfit


If this isn’t the best album ever made, then Alex Rodriguez is a clutch hitter.

Addendum:Turn Up the Night.”

Addendum 2:The Mob Rules” (live). If this doesn’t get your blood pumping, you’re not alive.

Baseball, Part 3

I feel sorry for Yankee fans. My beloved Detroit Tigers won again today and are 38-40 on the year. Yesterday, the Tigers won in the bottom of the ninth inning. Today, they won in the bottom of the 10th inning. When the Tigers reach .500, the tormenting of Yankee fans will resume. By the way, a team has to finish at least second in its division to go to the playoffs. That means the Yankees aren’t going to the playoffs this year.

A Year Ago


“Nothing Under the Hood”

Here is an interesting column by Ralph Peters.

From Today’s New York Times

To the Editor:

David Brooks credits the president’s stubbornness to fight on and on forever as some kind of wisdom due our acknowledgment. That’s like praising a baseball manager for sticking with a rag-arm pitcher who, after allowing 10 runs to cross the plate, finally gets out of the inning with a strikeout.

Everett Young
Stony Brook, N.Y., June 24, 2008

Note from KBJ: This letter could have been written about Abraham Lincoln during the first two years of the Civil War or Martin Luther King Jr during the early years of the Civil Rights Movement. Persistence in the face of adversity is a virtue, not a vice.

Baseball, Part 2

Guess who’s the most overrated player in Major League Baseball? Hint: He plays for the Bronx Bombs.


Sam Scott sent a link to this classic statement of the 99 reasons why baseball is better than football. Do we need reasons? Isn’t is self-evident that baseball is the sport of the gods and that football, by comparison, sucks?

James Cargile on Happiness and Misery

Now human happiness is not always good, in cases where it is happiness at the misery of others. However, human misery is always bad, even when it is misery at the happiness of others. When we regret that someone is happy at another’s suffering, we regret both that other person’s suffering and that someone should be in such an awful condition that he rejoices at suffering. When we regret that someone is miserable at someone else’s happiness, we do not regret the happiness, but only that someone should be in such a state that he is made miserable by human happiness. A good man cannot be happy in contemplating a fiend who is suffering because others are happy. He may rejoice at the happiness, but he can only feel sorry for the fiend and horrified at the prospect of a man so disordered. A good man can never rejoice at anyone’s misery, be he a fiend or otherwise. On the other hand, a good man may be miserable in contemplating another’s happiness, if it is happiness at the suffering of others.

(James Cargile, “On Consequentialism,” Analysis 29 [January 1969]: 78-88, at 84)

Note from KBJ: Cargile is right that happiness is not always good. Only deserved happiness is good. Undeserved happiness is bad. Cargile is wrong, however, that misery is always bad. Only undeserved misery is bad. Deserved misery is good.


Good news for all those who believe in individual liberty. Bad news for progressive law professors, effeminate philosophy professors, racists, gun haters, totalitarians, and criminals. Here are the opinions. Here is Michelle Malkin’s coverage.

Addendum: Here is my prediction of six months ago.

Addendum 2: UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh is cited three times (for three different law-review articles) in the majority opinion. Congratulations, Eugene! Here is Eugene’s latest essay on the topic.

Addendum 3: According to this report, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley says he is “frightened” by the ruling. What a bizarre reaction! Shouldn’t he feel more secure, knowing that law-abiding citizens will be able to defend themselves and their loved ones from criminals? United States Senator Dianne Feinstein says she is “viscerally affected” by the ruling. What a bizarre reaction! Is she worried that criminals will no longer be able to terrorize the citizenry? Note that neither Daley nor Feinstein addresses the merits of the ruling, as a matter of law. They evidently believe that it’s the Supreme Court’s job to make policy. No. It’s the Supreme Court’s job to enforce constitutional norms. If Daley, Feinstein, and their ilk don’t like the Second Amendment, they should work to amend the Constitution. Oh, wait. That would require persuading a majority of Americans. It’s so much easier to get a handful of unelected judges to impose their will on the people.

Addendum 4: What are the political implications of the ruling? See here for some opinions.

Addendum 5: I’ve been critical of Linda Greenhouse’s reporting on many occasions, so let me say that this report of hers is fair. I didn’t say objective, which is an impossible ideal; I said fair. People with axes to grind should stay out of journalism, just as people with rabid loyalties to particular teams should stay out of umpiring and people with class or racial biases should stay out of judging.