Thursday, 31 July 2008


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

Yankee Watch

The Rays didn’t play today, but the Yankees lost, so Tampa Bay’s magic number to eliminate New York is down to 51.

Reading List

It occurs to me that I’ve already written a post about philosophical books. Have you seen this, Steve? Maybe you weren’t a reader of my blog in December 2003.

Addendum: You might want to begin with this.

A Year Ago


Change We Can Believe In

I hoped it wouldn’t come to this, but I’m moving to another blog and another blog host. Starting tomorrow—the first day of a new month—I will blog here. The WordPress blog you’re now reading, which is hosted by BlueHost, will remain online (I’m paid through 20 December), but no new posts will appear after today. Why the move? As I mentioned the other day, I’ve been getting a gray screen (“This Account Has Exceeded Its CPU Quota”) more and more often when I attempt to post something on my blog. Mark Spahn got the same gray screen, so I know it’s not just me. It infuriates me that there are times when my blog is inaccessible. What the hell am I paying for? I want a blog that’s accessible every second of every day.

As for why the gray screen appears, I don’t know. I’ve been in communication with BlueHost technicians many times, both by e-mail and by telephone. They say that my archive is too big and that certain queries are taking a long time. I had no idea what “queries” meant in this context, but a technician told me today that whenever a spammer tries to post a comment on my blog, it slows everything down. I told him that I never allow spam comments to appear. Each day, I delete a handful of spam comments when I go to my blog for the first time. It doesn’t matter, he said; the mere attempt to post spam, even if it never appears on my blog, slows things down.

That did it. I want to allow readers to comment, but if I do, I risk making the blog inaccessible. You would think that there’s a simple solution to this problem, but no technician suggested one. WordPress is no help. I don’t think I’ve ever been in touch with anyone from WordPress. I don’t pay anything for the blog and therefore can’t complain about it when things go wrong. As for BlueHost, it’s a hosting company, not a blog company. The BlueHost technicians have bent over backward to help me, so far as I can tell.

It’s time to move. I should have no trouble with spam comments on TypePad, and there are technicians available 24 hours a day to help me. I’ve already had many of my questions answered. I signed up for premium service, which is $299.50 per year. That’s $24.95 per month, which, to me, is nothing. I love blogging. I apologize in advance for the inconvenience of having to reset your bookmarks, shortcuts, or favorites, as well as for having to learn a new system of posting comments. Keep telling yourself that change is good!

Addendum: Shortly before composing this post, I turned off the comment function. That should prevent spammers from slowing things down. Alas, it will also keep you from posting comments. When you go to the new blog tomorrow, you should be able to figure out how to post comments. Someone please let me know whether there’s an anti-spam mechanism in place, e.g., one of those boxes with skewed letters that must be typed in. Please remember my policy of requiring full names. Only my friend Peg gets to use her first name. That is because she is an exceptional person.

Addendum 2: I’m not the only one having CPU problems, evidently. Maybe BlueHost isn’t so innocent, after all.

From Today’s New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “Change Germans Can’t Believe In” (Op-Ed, July 26):

Being German, I have to disagree with Susan Neiman: Change we can believe in.

Although we think that it is out of place for us to support one American candidate more than the other, for we do not have a vote, there is indeed a lot of enthusiasm for Barack Obama here.

We fiercely hope that with him, the trans-Atlantic relationship will evolve into a friendship again. Nevertheless, we try not to be too optimistic, because we are not entirely sure if Americans define the word “friendship” the same way we do.

Friendship implies equality. Ms. Neiman’s statements that President Ronald Reagan’s hosts in Berlin “saw his speech as a tiresome bit of American naïveté” for “they had made their peace with a structure they thought would last forever” makes me think that we are still far from being equal partners.

Germans are becoming more self-confident. We do not want to build our relationship with the United States on a debt of gratitude only. In fact, we might actually take Mr. Obama at his word and use the chance to choose our “own tomorrow free from the shadows of yesterday.”

Katharina Thalmann
Germersheim, Germany, July 26, 2008

Note from KBJ: Germany will be our equal when it assumes responsibility for its own defense. (Somebody find an Internet site that shows how much Americans spend to defend Germans.)


Ken Griffey has been traded to the Chicago White Sox. Manny Ramirez has been traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Choke-Rod has been traded to the Washington Nationals. Okay, I made that last one up. I’m delighted with the Ramirez trade. Follow my reasoning. The Dodgers appear on national television far less often than the Boston Red Sox. This means I’ll have to look at Ramirez far less often. How bad do you suppose his hair stinks?

Factory Farming

I agree with Nicholas Kristof that factory farms will eventually be banned by law. I also agree that it will be a good thing.

Addendum: Here are comments on Kristof’s column.


If this isn’t the best album ever made, then Clarence Thomas isn’t a great Supreme Court justice.

Addendum: Here is Frank at work. Here is Frank in earlier days. My favorite song on the album is “Cruising Altitude,” but I can’t find it on YouTube.


How did we end up with this cretin as the Republican presidential nominee? On a scale of one to 10, with one representing demonic and 10 representing angelic, I give Obama a three and McCain a four. How about you? (Thanks to Dr John J. Ray for the link.)



From the Mailbag


For my money, the top two pundits today are: Victor Davis Hanson and Thomas Sowell. No one else comes close. Honorable mention: Michelle Malkin, Shelby Steele, R. R. Reno, Paul Johnson, Charles Krauthammer, Mark Steyn, Dinesh D’Souza, Christopher Hitchens (when he’s not expounding upon religion) and Tony Blankley.

If you would be so kind . . . who makes your list?


Note from KBJ: I think highly of all those listed, Jeff. I would add George Will and Pat Buchanan to the list. Kathleen Parker is good. Anthony Daniels (a.k.a. Theodore Dalrymple) is excellent. There must be some intellectually honest progressive pundits out there, but I can’t think of any off hand. Certainly there are none at the New York Times.

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Music, Part 2

It’s been a year since I set up my Bose Wave Music System. It has worked fine. I listen to classical music every morning and something heavier nearly every afternoon and evening. The sound is quite good for a small device with internal speakers. If I want richer sound, I can use the stereo system in the living room.

Guess the Movie

A: Well, the way I figure it, we can either fight or give. If we give, we go to jail.

B: I’ve been there already.

A: We could fight—they’ll stay right where they are and starve us out. Or go for position, shoot us. Might even get a rock slide started, get us that way. What else can they do?

B: They could surrender to us, but I wouldn’t count on that.

A Year Ago