Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Published in Men and Women

Men and Women

Defending Julia

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.

Categories > Men and Women


Obama as Composite

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.

Categories > Presidency


Justice in Gay Suicide Case?

Dharun Ravi had spied on and filmed his Rutgers College roommate, Tyler Clementi, who later jumped off the George Washington Bridge. A jury convicted Ravi of "bias intimidation."

Ann Althouse urges an appeal. 

Categories > Courts

Health Care

The Economics of the HHS Mandate

In connection with Justin's posts below, note Wheat&Weeds on the economic benefit to big pharma (a brouhaha over Rick Perry's mandate) concerning the HHS birth control mandate.
Categories > Health Care


Free Viagra

NLT is not being spammed: In light of the president's recent health insurance coverage edict, I propose that the President require insurance corporations to make Viagra free for all males over the age of __ (subject to compromise). My man-date poses no free exercise of religion problems (the Church approves of the drug, and not of the alleged compromise). True, it might lead to grandpappy Newt and Bob Dole making up, and re-excite Chris Matthews. But this is how bureaucracy can help strengthen the family. (Not that it would be available only to married men.)

Don't go wobbly on us, Barack. Use the mighty powers you wielded for free contraceptives on behalf of free Viagra. We Medicare-constrained geezers are watching you! Will you grant us a dream older than Aristophanes, and fulfill the Economic Bill of Rights our only greater President only wished for?

Categories > Presidency

The Family

The Real Inequality Problem

It's not income inequality. James Q. Wilson clarifies in today's WaPo: "Reducing poverty, rather than inequality, is also a difficult task, but at least the end is clearer." Obama's policies will perpetuate poverty and possibly even increase inequality.
Categories > The Family


Roe v. Wade and Equal Opportunity

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.

Categories > Bioethics


Rethinking an Old Issue

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.")

Categories > Bioethics

Men and Women

"Women and children first"

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).

Categories > Men and Women

Men and Women

Beauty is a Witch

John Hinderaker at Powerline calls this blog, "There is no excuse whatsoever for this post".  I respectfully disagree.  I fell in love with her at age 13.  Great pictures of Marilyn at 25, never before published.  Focus on her mouth, her smile.  Thank you John.
Categories > Men and Women