Magazine | July 4, 2011, Issue

Letters

Womyn and Males

Jay Nordlinger’s “War of Words” (June 20) prompted me to think of the loss of “ladies and gentlemen,” so common in my generation. Here is The New York Times Manual of Style and Usage — heartbreaking: “Except in jesting or teasing contexts, gentleman is obsolete for man, just as lady is obsolete for woman.”

Ed Kuhn

Hernandez, N.M.

Chemistry Corner

Regarding Rod Adams’s article “Nuclear Power after Fukushima” (June 20): Could Mr. Adams please explain how “burning a ton of coal releases between two and four tons of waste into the environment”?

Dwayne Weigel

Rockville, Md.

Rod Adams Replies: Coal is a complex hydrocarbon that is roughly 85 percent carbon. The chemical reaction for burning carbon is represented by the following equation: C + O2 → CO2.

Carbon has an atomic mass of 12, and oxygen has an atomic mass of 16 — meaning that when a carbon atom from coal combines with an O2 molecule from the air, the resulting carbon dioxide weighs more than three times as much as the original carbon.

There are many other minor components in coal and other parts of the waste stream, but that is the dominant reaction.

A Matter of Interpretation

In “The Week” (June 20), you commend Justice Scalia’s dissenting opinion in a recent case and quote him: “There comes before us, now and then, a case whose proper outcome is so clearly indicated by tradition and common sense, that its decision ought to shape the law, rather than vice versa.”

This sounds much like judicial activism. However, one of the bedrocks of conservative political theory is that the judicial system is not to be used to “legislate from the bench.”

Mindy Reifer

Wesley Hills, N.Y.

The Editors Reply: In this case, the Court’s majority claimed that the Constitution requires California to release tens of thousands of prisoners. Scalia said that it is wildly implausible to assert that the Constitution requires a policy as absurd as this; he did not say that we should try to read the Constitution to yield desired policies. He is correct.

NR Staff — Members of the National Review editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”

In This Issue

Articles

Politics & Policy

Growing Pains

Tim Pawlenty, the former governor of Minnesota, is determined to be the presidential candidate for those conservatives who believe that Republicans have lately been concentrating too much on cutting the ...
Politics & Policy

Friends in Need

José María Aznar and his friends, when they talk about Israel, often use the word “normal.” Israel is a “normal country,” they say, and ought to be accepted as normal, ...
Politics & Policy

Virtual Manhood

Rodney Dangerfield, the late comedian famous for his “No Respect” routine, used to do a bit in his act about how to deal with the awkwardness of the morning after ...

Features

Politics & Policy

Growth Formulas

Cut Taxes ALAN REYNOLDS Federal spending is scheduled to remain above 24 percent of GDP, five percentage points higher than the 19.2 percent average of 1997–2007. Pushing the highest tax rates higher ...

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

Grand Tours

In February 1825, a young graduate of Harvard College named Ralph Waldo Emerson paid a visit to the 89-year-old former president John Adams at his home in Quincy, Mass. Sitting ...
Politics & Policy

An Eye for the Real

The English geneticist J. B. S. Haldane, though an incorrigible commie pinko, was a tart and brilliant observer of life’s panoply. “My own suspicion,” he wrote, “is that the universe ...
Politics & Policy

The Way of Grace

When Terrence Malick returned to filmmaking in 1998 after a 20-year hiatus, no critic wanted to point out that the genius director’s re-entry had landed with a thud. So The ...

Sections

Politics & Policy

Letters

Womyn and Males Jay Nordlinger’s “War of Words” (June 20) prompted me to think of the loss of “ladies and gentlemen,” so common in my generation. Here is The New York ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ Newt Gingrich’s aides seem to be leaving him for a younger, more attractive candidate. ‐ American forces have routed the Taliban in its traditional strongholds in Kandahar and Helmand provinces ...
The Bent Pin

It’s Complicated

A postcard from Upgraded America, our new and improved country where everything that used to be simple has become as overcomplicated as possible . . . It began with reading glasses. ...
The Long View

The Republican Presidential Debate

Candidates’ thought-balloon transcript Extract: (page 23) MITT ROMNEY: Hair? Check. Teeth? Smiling. Upbeat, lofty attitude? Done. Don’t look at Pawlenty. Mitt’s a fighter. Mitt’s a fighter. Mitt’s a fighter. You’re about to mention ...
Athwart

Weiner’s Law

Language changes quickly, given the proper nudge. Three years ago the phrase “Weiner tweeted his schnitzel” would have made you think he’d invented a wind instrument out of a sausage; ...
Politics & Policy

Poetry

DUCKTOWN It had its origins in the sandy past Of Atlantic City, the old boardwalk And the short blocks, the brief alleys And small businesses with names Decalled over long empty windows. Pepper Alley they called ...
Happy Warrior

Coffee Crash

This fall marks the centenary of William Mitchell. You may not have heard of him, but in his day he was a big cheese. Indeed, he was a big processed ...

Most Popular

U.S.

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More