Obama keeps focus on fight for women's equality
I was going to use another epithet.
White House: Weekly Address: Women’s History Month & Fair Pay
Today’s Essential Foreign Affairs Reads
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I used to fall for the old arguments about smoking and freedom – that people were entitled to do this stupid thing if they wanted to. I may even have used the expression ‘nanny state’, though I try very hard to avoid it now. Sometimes even grown-ups need a bit of nannying.
I even campaigned, in an office I worked in, against a planned smoking ban, though I have never smoked myself. I was quite wrong. It is perfectly sensible and justifiable to use the law to try to stop people from harming themselves, unless there are very good reasons for the risk. Because when you harm yourself, you harm plenty of other people too.
The real crisis is what has been happening to our forces. With a $300 billion increase in funding, the Navy's "battleforce" shrank from 318 ships in 2000 to 287 in 2010. With more than $300 billion added to its budget, the Air Force shrank from 146 combat squadrons to 72. The Army burned another $300 billion to increase brigade combat team equivalents from 44 to just 46. According to data from the Congressional Budget Office, this includes not a smaller, newer equipment inventory, but an older one.
Worse, the Pentagon can't track its own inventory, financial transactions, or even what it has paid out to contractors and received in return. Despite the accountability clause of the Constitution, the General Accounting Act of 1921, and the Chief Financial Officers Act of 1990, the Pentagon has maintained itself in a state where it cannot be audited.
In the preface, Sandel defines the liberal conception of the person this way:
According to this conception, my dignity consists not in any social roles I inhabit but instead in my capacity to choose my roles and identities for myself. (xiv)
To put it bluntly, the $3 trillion cost of the Iraq war, as computed by Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes, is 20% of the size of the U.S. economy in 2010. In other words, the Iraq war alone cost Americans one-fifth of the year's gross domestic product. Instead of investing the resources, which would have produced income and jobs growth and solvency for state and local governments, the US government wasted the equivalent of 20% of the production of the economy in 2010 in blowing up infrastructure and people in foreign lands. The US government spent a huge sum of money committing war crimes, while millions of Americans were thrown out of their jobs and foreclosed out of their homes.
Home education is about much, much more than academics. As a home educating mother for over 2 decades and wife of a man who was educated at home, I have seen legitimate problems with women directing the education of their own children. But those problems have more to do with children, particularly boys, spending so much time away from the presence of men, including their fathers than whether mothers are capable of teaching trig. It could be easy for those boys to become feminized, particularly if the mother is striving to achieve the "schooling" environment within in the home.
Parents who are aware of the danger can take steps to avoid the pitfalls. Fathers need to be home more. They need to establish a way of providing for their families that actually allows them to be with their families. Or, alternatively, to have their sons with them while they work. Women are to be managers of their homes, but the men are to rule. This includes the training and instructing of the children. Much of the day to day is directed by mom, but dad should be supervising, setting the goals and leading the way.
For those in the transition stage, who didn't plan to raise their families this way, it isn't going to be ideal. A man may have a job that takes him from the home all the time and the children are going to be with mom and she is going to be doing the educating. Those kids are still going to be better off than if they were institutionalized all day with a bunch of unrelated women. But at least those kids will be better prepared when it is their turn to raise their own families. We have to think long term. It may not be able to get it right in just one generation. That is no excuse to continue down the current path of destruction.
For some time now in this Commission, emphasis has been given to the promotion of women’s equal access to full employment and decent work. In this regard, the whole labor process must be organized and adapted to respect the requirements of the person and his or her forms of life, above all life in the home, taking into account the individual’s age and sex.
In many societies today women work in nearly every sector of life. However, they should be able to fulfill their tasks in accordance with their own authentic nature, without being discriminated against and without being excluded from jobs for which they are capable, with full respect for their family aspirations and for their specific role in contributing, together with men, to the common good of society.
The true advancement of women requires that labor should be structured in such a way that women do not have to pay for their advancement by abandoning what is specific to them and at the expense of the family, in which women and mothers have an irreplaceable role. As foundational instruments of the United Nations Organization rightly point out, the family, founded on the marriage between a man and woman, is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State (cf., Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Art. 16,3; International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Art. 23,1). For this reason, women who choose marriage must be supported, as should their husbands and their children. Civil legislation regarding marriage ought to protect the family which is necessary for the preservation and increase of the human community.
However, it has been pointed out that with the expansion of individual freedom has come the expansion of the centralized state. Are the two dynamics related? Robert Nisbet, for one, argues that the emancipation of the individual from the complex web of social groups that constituted pre-modern Europe, ironically, has served to undermine the diffuse powers that held the state in check. Thus, with the rise of the atomized–though liberated–individual came the centralized, bureaucratic state to fill the void once occupied by secondary associations and complex social structures. The very dynamic that emancipated individuals fostered the rise of centralized state power. While few would advocate a return to some of the social and political forms of medieval Europe, we do well to wonder if it is possible to build strong social structures that could defend the dignity of every individual while at the same time provide make-weights against the centralized state.
In recent years the pendulum has started swinging the other way. Signs of a revived Catholic subculture can be seen in such things as new, proudly orthodox colleges and universities, media ventures like EWTN and Catholic radio, a growing number of websites and a handful of publishing houses, and organizations and movements that work to promote a dynamic Catholic spirituality -- especially an authentic spirituality for the laity. These coexist side by side with individual parishes, even whole dioceses, that have gotten the message and taken it to heart.