Friendly Fenway!

… unless you have a name that's easily confused with that of a despised adversary. Then the wildlife attacks. I foresee a 800-page Steven King novel about this.

In other news, the Coke bottles are gone this year.

The Red Sox magic number for winning the AL East: 159.

Coming Soon to a Nanny State Near You

I noted earlier this week that all three leading presidential candidates think it's time for Your Federal Government to "stem the growing epidemic of obesity". So it's worth paying attention to how that sort of thing plays out elsewhere:

Corporate Japan will join the country's battle against bulging waistlines next month with the introduction of compulsory "flab checks" for the over-40s and penalties for firms that fail to bring their employees' weight under control.
About the only ray of optimism here is the observation that We Truly Are One People, despite cultural and racial differences. Because Japanese nanny-staters sound exactly like ours:
"If it can prevent even a small number of people from developing cardiovascular diseases it will be good news for them and their families," Yuji Matsuzawa, director of the Japan Society for the Study of Obesity, wrote in the Asahi newspaper.
The article makes no mention of the new policy's impact on sumo wrestling. (Via Kip Esquire.)


I've been a Charles Murray fan for a long time, so I put some weight to his even-handed, even charitable, reaction to Barack Obama's race speech last month.

I can’t vote for him. He is an honest-to-God lefty. He apparently has learned nothing from the 1960s. His Supreme Court nominees would be disasters. And maybe he is too green and has lived too much of his adult life in a politically correct bubble. But the other day he talked about race in ways that no other major politician has tried to do, with a level of honesty that no other major politician has dared, and with more insight than any other major politician possesses. Not bad.
But it turns out that Obama isn't particularly keen on Murray. Hugh Hewitt shelled out $3.95 for an NPR transcript of a 1994 "commentary" from Obama:
"With one finger out to the political wind," Obama continued, "Mr. Murray has apparently decided that white America is ready for a return to good old-fashioned racism so long as it's artfully packaged and can admit for exceptions like Colin Powell."
That was fourteen years ago, but the difference in attitudes is pretty striking.