Thursday, 22 March 2007

Who Really Likes Her?

Here is Steve Chapman’s column about Hillary Clinton.

Thomas Nagel on Ultimate Explanation

All explanations come to an end somewhere. The real opposition between Dawkins’s physicalist naturalism and the God hypothesis is a disagreement over whether this end point is physical, extensional, and purposeless, or mental, intentional, and purposive. On either view, the ultimate explanation is not itself explained. The God hypothesis does not explain the existence of God, and naturalistic physicalism does not explain the laws of physics.

(Thomas Nagel, “The Fear of Religion,” review of The God Delusion, by Richard Dawkins, The New Republic 235 [23 October 2006]: 25-9, at 26)

Best of the Web Today



Is it permissible to vote for Hillary Clinton simply because she’s a woman? If so, then it’s permissible to vote against her simply because she’s a woman.


Every student of American government knows that ours is a system of checks and balances. Each of the three branches of the federal government—the executive, the legislative, and the judicial—has the power to check the other two, albeit in different ways. People being what they are, this sets up a perennial struggle. Each branch tries to aggrandize itself at the expense of the others. At one point in our nation’s history, the executive may be the most powerful branch. At another point, the legislative or judicial may be the most powerful branch. Many critics of the Bush administration argue that President Bush has been trying to expand the powers of the executive branch vis-à-vis the other branches. There are two possible bases of this criticism. The first is principled. It says that the presidency has become too powerful, and that this would be the case even if someone to the critic’s liking were president. The second is partisan. It says that President Bush has become too powerful. I suspect that most of the criticism of President Bush is of the second sort. In other words, the critic wouldn’t mind a strong president if he or she liked him or her. Such critics are shooting themselves in the foot, for if they succeed in weakening the presidency in order to thwart President Bush, they could very well be weakening the presidency of Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. Surely that’s not what they want! It seems to me, therefore, that the critics are pessimistic about regaining control of the White House. If you expect that Republicans will hold the presidency for the near future, you’ll try to weaken it.

From Today’s New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “Hot Tots, and Moms Hot to Trot,” by Judith Warner (column, March 17), takes moms to task for sexualizing the dress and style of their young children, urging them to become better role models who are comfortable within themselves instead of obsessed with their own physical appearance.

Nowhere does she mention the role men play in reinforcing our current female obsession with youth and beauty, nor how we as a nation give disproportionate importance to externals—both appearance and material possessions—to the detriment of developing inner beauty and self-confidence.

Marion K. Jacobs
Laguna Beach, Calif.
March 17, 2007
The writer is a psychologist.

Note from KBJ: What does it say about the intelligence and self-control of women that they are so easily duped by men? This author needs to read some biology. She will learn, among other things, that men are powerfully attracted to young, beautiful women. She will also learn that women derive great satisfaction from making themselves attractive to men. The author makes it seem as though there’s a grand male conspiracy to keep women frivolous. That’s like saying there’s a grand female conspiracy to keep men competitive.

A Year Ago