Tuesday, 29 July 2008


I leave you this fine evening with an essay by Heather Mac Donald.

Yankee Watch

The Rays won today, while the Yankees lost, so Tampa Bay’s magic number to eliminate New York is down to 53.

Addendum: Mariano Rivera embarrassed himself by giving up a ninth-inning home run to Aubrey Huff.


I have only one thing to say to the hapless Seattle Mariners, who are in town to play my adoptive Texas Rangers.

Addendum: The Rangers blew a 7-0 lead. The Mariners scored two runs in the top of the ninth inning to take the lead, 10-9. The Rangers scored two in the bottom of the ninth to win the game, 11-10. I call them the Cardiac Rangers.


In my opinion, Thomas Sowell is our greatest public intellectual. Here is his latest collection of random thoughts.


If this isn’t the best album ever made, then Yankee fans aren’t obnoxious.

Addendum: Here, for your listening pleasure, is “Miracle of Life.”


My cycling buddy Julius sent a link to this page of wonderful Tour de France images.

Anthony Daniels on Good and Evil

Freedom and possibility necessarily include the freedom and possibility to do evil, which is something of which conservatives are aware but progressives tend to screen out of their minds. Of course, conservatives have, or tend to have, the opposite fault, to be unduly sceptical of the possibilities of doing good. But the existential limitations of human life, as sensitively described by Freud and Ortega, mean that it is far easier to do harm than good, and therefore that the faults of progressives and conservatives, while intellectually mirror images of one another, are not moral mirror images.

(Anthony Daniels, “At the Forest’s Edge,” The New Criterion 26 [March 2008]: 16-21, at 21)


My friend Jeff sent a link to this story about House speaker Nancy Pelosi, who, by her own admission, is trying to save the planet. The planet will be just fine, Nancy. Eventually, even the Hoover Dam will be reduced to rubble.

A Year Ago


From Today’s New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “Reports Find Errors and Fraud in Small Business Administration Contracts” (Business Day, July 24):

Congress has required that 23 percent of all federal contracts be set aside for small businesses, but a dozen Fortune 500 corporations received Interior Department contracts that were listed as going to small businesses.

Insanity is repeating the same behavior and expecting a different result.

The Small Business Administration has outlived its usefulness. It is time for Congress to reassign the tasks that the S.B.A. is supposed to perform to agencies that can actually perform them. Then dissolve the S.B.A.

I have had two marketing contracts with the S.B.A., and I know the ineffective manner in which that agency operates. Small businesses deserve better.

Steven A. Ludsin
East Hampton, N.Y., July 25, 2008


I teach Logic every fall to 40 bright-eyed, bushy-tailed undergraduates. I enjoy it. I’ve used two different textbooks over the years: Patrick J. Hurley’s A Concise Introduction to Logic (now in its 10th edition) and Irving M. Copi’s classic Introduction to Logic (now in its 13th edition with Carl Cohen as the author). It’s been a long time since I used Hurley, which I consider to be on a par with Copi and Cohen. I use the latter partly out of familiarity and partly out of loyalty to Irving, who brought me aboard as coauthor of Informal Logic many years ago.

This past February, I received the 13th edition of Copi and Cohen. I hadn’t read the entire book in many years, so, since I had plenty of time before the fall semester, I decided to read it at the rate of four pages per day. I knew it would take only 15 minutes or so and not seem like work. Today, five and a half months later, I completed the project. I never missed a day of reading from 7 February, when the book arrived, until today. It’s actually good to take your time with a logic book. Each day, your mind will be swimming with definitions, proofs, distinctions, diagrams, and arguments. I’m not embarrassed to report that I learned a few things during the reading. I also came up with some new pedagogical techniques.

If you want to learn logic, buy one of the books I mentioned in the first paragraph (I have supplied links) and start reading it. Even if you read only two pages a day, you’ll be done in about a year. Think of it as a journey. Every journey, even the longest one, begins with a single step.



Curro Ergo Sum

The official high temperature at DFW Airport the past two days was 105º Fahrenheit. When I got back from my 3.1-mile run a few minutes ago, it was merely 97.3º. Brrr! How will I stand it when the temperature drops into the 70s?