Re “Blacks Beg to Differ With Trump’s Depiction” (news article, Aug. 25):
When Donald Trump told African-Americans that our schools “are no good,” we “have no jobs” and we are in danger of being shot, a group of golfing buddies and I were waiting for a table at a restaurant in Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard. Doctors, lawyers and bankers, we sat at the bar and looked at the TV and we just laughed.
I do not claim to speak for African-Americans as a whole, but Mr. Trump has no idea what he is talking about. Mr. Trump would do well to avoid painting blacks, Hispanics or any other group with a broad brush. Just as Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel is far removed from the Mexican criminals whom Mr. Trump often highlights, most African-Americans are not dodging bullets every day and praying that our children survive failing schools.
ROLAND NICHOLSON Jr.
Oak Bluffs, Mass.
Note from KBJ: It's good that Roland Nicholson Jr doesn't "claim to speak for African-Americans as a whole," because he most certainly doesn't. Perhaps he should talk to Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, officials of the NAACP, officials of the Urban League, and members of Black Lives Matter, who have been claiming for years that blacks are oppressed, victimized, bullied, impoverished, and sick. Donald Trump is simply pointing out what everyone (except Roland Nicholson Jr) knows.
From these facts it is possible to detect not one but two related yet distinct humanitarian rationales for the war in Iraq. The first can be described as the narrow humanitarian justification. This I categorize, in accordance with the discussion above, as the intention to depose Hussein and the act of doing so. This intention fits with the view of humanitarian intervention I proposed above: a war to rescue victims of tyranny. There is no question that the Coalition intended to do exactly this. It aimed to do it, it committed itself to doing it, and it did it. The removal of Hussein brought, in addition, prospects of freedom and democracy to the Iraqis. This direct intention was shown by numerous statements and actions by Coalition leaders, and it included the willingness to surrender Hussein for trial on charges of crimes against humanity. On January 30, 2005, eight million Iraqis voted freely in a successful election. Even before these recent developments, there were signs (concealed behind the understandable emphasis of the media on insurgent violence) that good things were happening in Iraq. If things go well, the country will have, for the first time in its history, a liberal constitution that will hopefully guarantee human rights and the rule of law. Most well-motivated observers have welcomed these developments, regardless of their political affiliation (witness the praise from liberal quarters). Surely these events must count in any evaluation of the war under humanitarian intervention principles.
But an examination of the record discloses a second humanitarian rationale, which I will call the grand (and, because of its boldness, more disquieting) humanitarian motive for the intervention in Iraq (again, in addition to other motives, such as disarming the regime). This is the grand plan that apparently underlies American strategy after the September 11, 2001, attacks, and can be summarized in one sentence: Defeating the enemies of the United States requires promoting liberal reforms in the Middle East and, indeed, the entire world. Removing the regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq is part of that strategy. The strategy also includes the successful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as well as promoting liberal reforms in other Arab countries, both friend (such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia), and foe (such as Libya and Syria).With respect to the war in Iraq, the grand strategy is part of the motivation, not the intent, but it is no less humanitarian. This grand strategy is humanitarian in a broad sense, because it involves fighting tyranny by peaceful and (where required) military means. The intended act was to liberate the Iraqis; the motivation was to enhance the security of the United States by promoting liberal reforms in the Middle East and elsewhere.
(Fernando R. Tesón, "Ending Tyranny in Iraq," Ethics & International Affairs 19 [September 2005]: 1-20, at 11 [italics in original; footnotes omitted])
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, both several years past the standard retirement age, are competing for the same exceedingly strenuous job. It’s a job that requires a 24-hour-a-day commitment.
The stresses and pressures of this position would seem to vastly outweigh [sic] the negligible physical demands of the presidency. But the physical demands can take the form of sleep deprivation, in the event of an international or domestic crisis, when the commander in chief needs to be alert for extended periods.
When a new bridge is under construction, it’s essential that the engineers conduct tests to ensure that it can withstand the stresses of longtime use. Americans deserve to know whether or not a nominee for the presidency will be capable of withstanding the physical demands the job will impose.
If he or she is reluctant to disclose health records, it suggests that there might well be worrisome cracks in the foundation.
Note from KBJ: I'm agnostic about whether (additional) health information should be disclosed. If you watch the candidates closely, you can see whether they're vigorous and alert.
The Clinton Foundation’s defenders are shameless. Clinton is supposed to be given a free pass on any inquiry whether she “sold” influence and favors as secretary of State (or permitted her subordinates to do so) because the foundation “does wonderful charitable work.”
So, we are to believe she is not responsible for the conduct of her subordinates? Sure, and Richard Nixon was not responsible for John Ehrlichman.
The executives of Enron, WorldCom, Adelphia and HealthSouth, among others, ensured their companies did wonderful charitable work too. Evidently, those executives were treated too harshly
Ullrich was like a superman—or, to be more accurate, a superboy. He'd come up training in East Germany, where the coaches lived by the maxim Throw a dozen eggs against the wall, and keep the ones that don't break. Ullrich was the unbreakable egg, a Cold War kid who, like Lance [Armstrong], had grown up without a father and, with the help of the East German state, had turned his energy into the single most impressive physique in cycling history. Ullrich's body was unlike any other rider's I'd ever seen. I'd sometimes try to ride next to him just so I could watch: you could actually see the muscle fibers moving. He was the only rider I've ever seen whose veins were visible under the Lycra. His mind wasn't bad, either: Ullrich had a remarkable ability to push himself, to go deep. In the 1997 Tour [de France], when he was only twenty-three, I'd watched Ullrich win the hardest stage I've ever ridden, 242 kilometers [150.3 miles] over eight hours through the Pyrenees; he even destroyed the mighty [Bjarne] Riis. Despite that imposing physique, Ullrich was a gentle soul, a nice guy who had a friendly word for everyone. His weakness was discipline—he struggled with his weight—but he had the ability to rise to the occasion and deliver a monster ride when you least expected it.
As a feminist, I find it supremely sad to read article after article about a so-called issue that should be no issue. If what women wear, or don’t, brings the “soul of France” into question, as Marine Le Pen, the leader of the extreme-right National Front, has argued, that soul is extremely vacuous. Women are now being almost forcibly stripped and fined on France’s beaches.
I call on all feminists to adopt the burkini and the hijab in support of our Muslim sisters. And I call on the media and politicians to focus on the very real major issues of our time.
Note from KBJ: I join Elizabeth Eastmond's call for feminists to cover their bodies.
Consequentialists disagree about which consequences are important—the classic utilitarians Bentham and Mill argued that pleasure is the only value, and that we should maximise pleasure. Some contemporary consequentialists think that the classic utilitarians were right about this, but others argue that what matters is the satisfaction of preferences, or a list of objective goods, such as truth and beauty; and some consequentialists are pluralists about the good, arguing that all of these things are good, and it may not be possible to order them precisely. Most consequentialists think that we should aim for the best outcome, but some think that we should aim to bring about an outcome that is ‘good enough’. Then there are various complex and more or less technical issues about how we add up the value in consequences: should we look at the average or the total? And how should we deal with probability? (we can’t know what the consequences of our actions will be in advance, so we have to use some account of probable consequences in deciding what to do).
(Elinor Mason, "What Is Consequentialism?," Think 21 [spring 2009]: 19-28, at 21)