Men and Women
Defending these other Julias--and not the woman in Orwell's 1984. From Robert Herrick:
WHENAS in silks my Julia goes,
Then, then, methinks, how sweetly flows
That liquefaction of her clothes.
... Next, when I cast mine eyes and see
That brave vibration each way free ;
O how that glittering taketh me !
You really wanna get rough with Julia, try John Donne's "Julia," Elegy 14:
Her hands, I know not how, used more to spill
The food of others than herself to fill ;
But O ! her mind, that Orcus, which includes
Legions of mischiefs, countless multitudes
Of formless curses, projects unmade up,
Abuses yet unfashion'd, thoughts corrupt,
Misshapen cavils, palpable untroths,
Inevitable errors, self-accusing loaths.
These, like those atoms swarming in the sun,
Throng in her bosom for creation.
I blush to give her halfe her due ; yet say,
No poison's half so bad as Julia.
Finally, try Julia Shaw, who unfavorably compares Obama's Julia to Tocqueville's American woman, whose superiority was responsible for American greatness.
While autobiographies don't need to be factual in order to be worthwhile reading, the notion of self-creating persons as presidents strikes at the core of what it means to be a self-governing America. Andrew Malcolm rose to the occasion. See his portrayal of the young Obama, together with his then-lover, as a composite. Sample:
He had lived in exotic foreign places, he claimed, consumed strange foods and painfully recounted his longing for an absent father that caused him to wildly over-spend other people's money, desperately seeking to fill some hidden void by repairing bridges and hiring union teachers. He regularly talked of receiving dreams from his father.
NLT is not being spammed: In light of the president's recent health insurance coverage edict, I propose that the
Obama on Roe: "And as we remember this historic anniversary, we must also continue our efforts to ensure that our daughters have the same rights, freedoms, and opportunities as our sons to fulfill their dreams." So does he oppose sex-selection abortions?
The entire statement below:
As we mark the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we must remember that this Supreme Court decision not only protects a woman's health and reproductive freedom, but also affirms a broader principle: that government should not intrude on private family matters. I remain committed to protecting a woman's right to choose and this fundamental constitutional right. While this is a sensitive and often divisive issue- no matter what our views, we must stay united in our determination to prevent unintended pregnancies, support pregnant woman and mothers, reduce the need for abortion, encourage healthy relationships, and promote adoption. And as we remember this historic anniversary, we must also continue our efforts to ensure that our daughters have the same rights, freedoms, and opportunities as our sons to fulfill their dreams.
The science columnist for the Wall Street Journal writes about sex-selection abortion and how it might be curbed. The case against this practice leads one to question the morality of abortion altogether.
Another approach, quite suitable to young adults, is presented in the Newbery award-winning novel The Giver. In the dystopian world young Jonas inhabits, he discovers that his father, a doctor, kills those deemed unfit. Progressive Montgomery County, MD assigns this as an eighth-grade text (along with other dystopian fiction such as Animal Farm and Kurt Vonnegut's "Harrison Bergeron.")
Men and Women
It doesn't make sense to berate the captain of the Costa Concodria to be one of the first on the beach in an egalitarian age that decries the notion of hierarchy, difference, and duty. Taking off from Mark Steyn, The Sage of Mt. Airy emphasizes that point, taking off on "women and children first:"
What [Steyn] leaves out is that it's become instead, and sadly so, an increasingly accurate descriptive phrase that captures perfectly a class of people who do go first, whether they should or not. (If, that is, it's even possible to use words like should or ought in a properly multicultural society.) "Women and children" is now descriptive of, well, descriptive of almost everyone, male and female, young and old, able and infirm, etc.. We're all equal after all and that's exactly as it should be. (Here's one place where should is not only allowed, but demanded.)
Steyn on the origins of "women and children first:"
In fact, "women and children first" can be dated very precisely. On Feb. 26, 1852, HMS Birkenhead was wrecked off the coast of Cape Town while transporting British troops to South Africa. There were, as on the Titanic, insufficient lifeboats. The women and children were escorted to the ship's cutter. The men mustered on deck. They were ordered not to dive in the water lest they risk endangering the ladies and their young charges by swamping the boats. So they stood stiffly at their posts as the ship disappeared beneath the waves. As Kipling wrote:
We're most of us liars, we're 'arf of us thieves, an' the rest of us rank as can be, But once in a while we can finish in style (which I 'ope it won't 'appen to me).
Men and Women