For Singer, . . . morality is a vast speculation, an unreal computation of costs and benefits, extended over unknowable domains. His defence of the "moral expert" is really an apology for armchair moralising and self-appointed sainthood. It has been said of him . . . that he is "the most influential living philosopher", and this is perhaps true. But the influence has been purchased at the cost of the philosophy. After all, there was a sense in which Mao was the most influential living poet, and Hitler the most influential living painter.
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.