Six-and-Two-Thirds-Inning Felix couldn't make it out of the sixth inning yesterday. He threw so many pitches (114) to get 20 outs that he had to leave the game in the hands of other pitchers who earn far less than he does. What a man!
The mayor of Baltimore is so incompetent that she doesn't know she's incompetent. How in the world did this woman get political power? What a sad commentary on our times. But you know what? The people of Baltimore elected her, and they deserve what they have. Maybe next time they'll put more thought into their votes.
In June 2013, a reporter from The New York Times interviewed my partner and me. He asked me how I felt after both the United States v. Windsor decision, invalidating the Defense of Marriage Act, and the overturning of Proposition 8. I responded, “Today is the first day I feel like a real citizen in my country.” The Times made it the Quotation of the Day and included a photo of both my partner, who is now my wife, and me in an article about West Coast same-sex couples.
After hearing the arguments before the Supreme Court, I would like to rescind that quote. Several justices reinforced the notion that I am not a full citizen. Of course, they have all the power. I just have my life, which I try to live with dignity, love and understanding.
KATHLEEN M. SULLIVAN
Note from KBJ: It's sad that this woman's feeling of dignity depends on approval, by the state, of her relationship. What low self-esteem she has! Also, it's absurd to think that, unless she is allowed to marry someone of the same sex, she is being denied the status of "full citizen." Is a pedophile not a full citizen because he or she can't marry a child? Are polygamists not full citizens because they are not allowed to marry one another? I have yet to see, after all this time, a convincing argument (or even a plausible argument) in favor of homosexual "marriage." What I see are tendentious claims, question-begging arguments, abusive epithets ("homophobe"! "bigot"!) and uses of manipulative rhetoric (such as the term "marriage equality"). Everybody has the same legal right: to marry someone of the opposite sex. Nobody has a right, legally or morally, to participate in an institution that was not designed for him or her.
Here is the plaque I mentioned a couple of days ago. Click to enlarge. I wrote a term paper about the 1874 Black Hills Expedition when I was a college student at the University of Michigan-Flint, in about 1978. The professor, Bruce A. Rubenstein, wrote the following on the paper: "You have all the makings of becoming a top-notch research historian." Needless to say, that made me feel good. I chose philosophy over history, but I would have been happy as an historian. I probably would have specialized in the American West.
I WAS deeply moved as I read, in Kevin Cullen’s powerful April 24 column, about the heart-wrenching moment when Steve Woolfenden, his leg blown off and his son seriously wounded by Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s bomb, laid his hand on the back of Denise Richard as she pleaded with her dying son to hang on, and about how Richard then turned to Woolfenden to ask if he was OK (“Moments of humanity followed a brutal crime”).
Then I read Cullen’s next line: “And in that moment, the contrast between Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his victims could not have been starker. His victims responding to an appalling act of inhumanity with a simple moment of humanity.”
All I could think and feel when I read that line was: How can we witness this moment and think that killing Tsarnaev is the right way to respond? What Tsarnaev did was without question inhuman. But he is a human being. And we sacrifice the very humanity that we so deeply cherish if we decide to take yet another human life in the name of revenge.
Note from KBJ: Exactly backward. We show our respect for innocent human life by killing those who destroy it. It's not revenge; it's justice.
I just made this handout for my Ethics students. I'm about to spend three days lecturing on W. D. Ross's famous book The Right and the Good (1930), which, in my opinion, is one of the best books ever written on (or in) ethics. I call Ross's normative ethical theory "Rossian Pluralism." It is the last of 11 normative ethical theories to be discussed in the course. Next year, when I teach the course again, there will be 13 such theories. As I explain to my students, my aim in the course is not to indoctrinate anyone. It is to expose my students to the main normative ethical theories, going back to the ancient world, so that they may make an informed decision about which theory, if any, to endorse, subscribe to, and act upon. I love teaching Ethics.
It is perhaps unfortunate, on the whole, that many people need to find something fundamentally unworthy in every other religion in order to find a firm attachment to their own religious positions, although it is undoubtedly true that religious discussions are more lively than they would be if this were not the case.
(William P. Alston, "Religion, Naturalistic Reconstructions Of," in Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2d ed., ed. Donald M. Borchert [Farmington Hills, MI: Macmillan Reference USA, 2006], 8: 373-6, at 376)
Roughly 50 years after the inner-city riots of the 1960s, and the publication of the Kerner Commission report with its damning description of the two Americas—and at a time when the nation even has an African-American president—events in cities like Baltimore and Ferguson, Mo., demonstrate that from the perspective of young, poor people of color in the inner cities, nothing has really changed.
While the resort to violence is obviously deplorable, people in these neighborhoods are sick and tired of being abused by police forces that act like an army of occupation in their communities, and they are serving notice that they are not going to take it anymore.
The power structure in this country ignores them at its peril. And political lip service to their demands will not suffice.
This historical plaque along U.S. Highway 16 (near Custer, South Dakota) describes the Black Hills Expedition of George Armstrong Custer in July and August 1874. The expedition caused a gold rush, which infuriated the Sioux, who killed Custer less than two years later. Click to enlarge. I will post a larger image of the plaque tomorrow, so you can see what it says.