I have no doubt that there are some women exactly as depicted in this article. However, relegating all of them to a “tribe” is an unsubstantiated generalization hardly befitting an anthropologist engaged in a scientific study. Even more unwarranted is Wednesday Martin’s ultimate determination that all educated, wealthy SAHM mothers are “disempowered,” as is her suggestion that women are squandering their talents staying home with their children.
Clout and cash are seemingly synonymous for Ms. Martin. Perhaps that should be the focus of her next anthropological “work”: why people equate power with money. Clearly the women who make the choice to stay at home with their children do not agree. For many of them, it is a privilege to be with their children, and there are plenty of women who would give up all the earning potential in the world to have that opportunity.
TARA KANTOR Scarsdale, N.Y.
Note from KBJ: The most awesome power in the world is the power to produce, nurture, educate, shape, and inspire an autonomous human being. That feminists don't grasp this simple fact shows how dense they are.
America has always found a place for some kind of conservatism. The American revolution was widely construed as conservative in nature, being an enforcement of the traditional rights of Britons in America. The Federalists believing in centralization, aimed to limit states' rights and to mitigate democracy in the interests of stability. [Bad grammar in original.] Southern conservatism, as in Randolph and Calhoun, was altogether more traditional. Both strands of conservatism have persisted up to the present day; one in the form of a combative preference for an unfettered market for individual enterprise to prosper in, the other, more nostalgically, and, perhaps, unrealistically, looking back to a traditional hierarchical order which had only the most fitful and marginal existence.
(Anthony Quinton, "Conservatism," chap. 9 in A Companion to Contemporary Political Philosophy, ed. Robert E. Goodin and Philip Pettit, Blackwell Companions to Philosophy [Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers, 1993], 244-68, at 253)
I'm still on track to have my second-best mileage year ever (of 35). Today I rode 30.6 miles (my usual course), which gives me 1,716.8 miles for the year. That's an average of 12.09 miles per day and 84.6 miles per week. At the 21-mile mark, the sky got dark and spooky. I knew I was going to get wet; the only question was when. I put my rain jacket on with 7.6 miles to go and rode in a pouring rain the rest of the way. Earlier, I waded across a swollen creek. The current was so strong that I thought I was going to be swept away. Every time I lifted a foot, the water pulled it several inches downstream. I took my time, however, and made it safely. Interesting times! The month of May has been extremely rainy, but North Texas needs the water to replenish its many reservoirs, so I'm not complaining.
William M. Daley argues that critics of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal are motivated by unfounded fear and seek instead a “protectionist” approach to global trade.
Advocates of the TPP prefer to make their case with general rhetoric about job growth and economic expansion, but the devil is in the specifics.
One of the most indefensible provisions in the trade deal would give foreign corporations the right to sue the United States and other countries for large sums in secretive international trade tribunals any time the wheels of policy making turn in ways they do not like.
These Investor-State Dispute Settlement accords are already included in many bilateral trade agreements, and we know what they bring—a Philip Morris suit against Uruguay for $25 million for the sin of tougher cigarette warnings, a Canadian-Australian company suit against El Salvador for $300 million because the country blocked mining operations that residents say are toxic, and so on.
The question that Mr. Daley and the president need to answer but don’t is why it is in a country’s best interests to hand foreign corporations this kind of new power to punish it for political action taken to protect public health and safety. Protecting these things from legal assault from abroad is not about fear; it is about common sense.
I have been much concerned that so many people today with Conservative instincts feel compelled to apologize for them. Or if not to apologize directly, to qualify their commitment in a way that amounts to breast-beating. “Republican candidates,” Vice President Nixon has said, “should be economic conservatives, but conservatives with a heart.” President Eisenhower announced during his first term, “I am conservative when it comes to economic problems but liberal when it comes to human problems.” Still other Republican leaders have insisted on calling themselves “progressive” Conservatives.These formulations are tantamount to an admission that Conservatism is a narrow, mechanistic economic theory that may work very well as a bookkeeper’s guide, but cannot be relied upon as a comprehensive political philosophy.
The same judgment, though in the form of an attack rather than an admission, is advanced by the radical camp. “We liberals,” they say, “are interested in people. Our concern is with human beings, while you Conservatives are preoccupied with the preservation of economic privilege and status.” Take them a step further, and the Liberals will turn the accusations into a class argument: it is the little people that concern us, not the “malefactors of great wealth.”
Such statements, from friend and foe alike, do great injustice to the Conservative point of view. Conservatism is not an economic theory, though it has economic implications. The shoe is precisely on the other foot: it is Socialism that subordinates all other considerations to man’s material wellbeing. It is Conservatism that puts material things in their proper place—that has a structured view of the human being and of human society, in which economics plays only a subsidiary role.
The root difference between the Conservatives and the Liberals of today is that Conservatives take account of the whole man, while the Liberals tend to look only at the material side of man’s nature. The Conservative believes that man is, in part, an economic, an animal creature; but that he is also a spiritual creature with spiritual needs and spiritual desires. What is more, these needs and desires reflect the superior side of man’s nature, and thus take precedence over his economic wants. Conservatism therefore looks upon the enhancement of man’s spiritual nature as the primary concern of political philosophy. Liberals, on the other hand,—in the name of a concern for “human beings”—regard the satisfaction of economic wants as the dominant mission of society. They are, moreover, in a hurry. So that their characteristic approach is to harness the society’s political and economic forces into a collective effort to compel “progress.” In this approach, I believe they fight against Nature.
Surely the first obligation of a political thinker is to understand the nature of man. The Conservative does not claim special powers of perception on this point, but he does claim a familiarity with the accumulated wisdom and experience of history, and he is not too proud to learn from the great minds of the past.
(Barry M. Goldwater, The Conscience of a Conservative, ed. CC Goldwater, The James Madison Library in American Politics, ed. Sean Wilentz [Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2007 (first published in 1960)], 1-3 [footnote omitted; italics in original])
Note from KBJ: This is a great book by a great (though, like all of us, imperfect) man. I'm ashamed to say that it took me 58 years to read it. Better late than never.
Paul Krugman, writing about the decisions that led to our invasion of Iraq, doesn’t remind us that President Bill Clinton, in December 1998, ordered our armed forces to strike Iraq, and said, “Saddam Hussein must not be allowed to threaten his neighbors or the world with nuclear arms, poison gas or biological weapons.”
Mr. Clinton said: “If Saddam defies the world and we fail to respond, we will face a far greater threat in the future. Mark my words, he will develop weapons of mass destruction. He will deploy them, and he will use them.” Think about that: The president promises us that the Iraqi will use poison gas, as he had done numerous times before, or biological or nuclear weapons.
Democratic leaders in the Senate voted to authorize the Iraq invasion; the “lies” and “crime” Mr. Krugman writes about all preceded President George W. Bush’s 2000 election by several years.
JAMES W. HANWAY
Note from KBJ: The idea that Paul Krugman, a.k.a. Bush-Hatin' Paul, would "remind us" that Bill Clinton and every other prominent Democrat thought Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction is risible. Krugman isn't interested in the truth and he certainly doesn't care about argumentative fairness. He's a politician masquerading as an economist. His hatred for George W. Bush led him to write an entire book about the man. Krugman's current project is to revise history to bring it into line with his hatred.
Anyone with a brain can see that "global warming" is a politically motivated hoax, perpetrated by totalitarians. But suppose it's true; why is it not a good thing rather than a bad thing, all things considered? Read this.