Magazine November 7, 2016, Issue

Letters

Looking the Other Way on Abortion

Jay Nordlinger’s article “No More Baby” (September 26) concludes that we are a “deeply hypocritical society” because we won’t admit that killing a newborn baby is not much different from killing a pre-born baby by abortion. I agree with this conclusion, but I believe the hypocrisy goes much deeper. Nordlinger asks whether Emile Weaver, who was given a life sentence for killing her newborn baby, is “worse — all that much worse — than her counterparts who dispose of their babies earlier and more neatly.” But by focusing on this question, we avoid other questions that are even more difficult to face: Are these women “all that much worse” than people who support politicians who take pro-abortion positions only because they calculate it will further their career? As their supporters include friends, relatives, members of religious communities, and possibly someone sitting next to us at dinner, isn’t it more convenient for us to place the blame elsewhere? And is what these supporters do “all that much worse” than our choice of easy targets in our determination of where blame is placed?

Joseph Mirra

Bronx, N.Y.

Merit-Based Education Reform

Rarely do we hear intelligent solutions to the problem of America’s failing educational system — even from reformers, who get caught up in the “golden goose” approach of alighting on a single issue. Frederick M. Hess’s “Ten Priorities for Education Policy” (October 24), however, is a practical and rational approach to the entire issue. While teaching in one of the school systems Hess mentioned — Baltimore’s — I had the pleasure of working with fine teachers (and some not-so-fine), but I left, like many others, because of the shortcomings to which Hess intelligently proposes solutions.

Most insightful of all, Hess suggests to “permit for-profit educators to compete on their merits.” This was the marrow of education — of all true learning — from the appearance of the human race on the planet until the late 1800s, when schooling became mandatory. Merit-based, “boutique” education was, on the whole, vastly more effective, cost-efficient, and entertaining to students and teachers alike. I would add to this homeschooling and “unschooling,” which have recently proven to be extremely effective means of education. These small centers of true learning should receive the benefit of tax breaks, freedom from governmental meddling, and a general approbation from the vox populi — for their efficiency, and for their great virtue of relieving an overstressed system and an overtaxed people.

John C. Young

Pensacola, Fla.

Corrections

In “Russia’s Bloody Tsar” (August 15), David Satter wrote that in May 2007, when he testified before the House Foreign Relations Committee about the 1999 Russian apartment bombings, he was the only person publicly accusing the Russian government of involvement who had not been killed. He mentioned Alexander Litvinenko, the author of Blowing Up Russia, as one of the victims but did not note that Mr. Litvinenko’s co-author, Yuri Felshtinsky is, we are pleased to say, alive and very well.

“Unsullied” (Ross Douthat, October 10) mistakenly identified the flight that Captain Sullenberger famously piloted as United 1549. It was, in fact, US Airways 1549.

NR Editors includes members of the editorial staff of the National Review magazine and website.

In This Issue

Articles

Features

Books, Arts & Manners

Sections

Politics & Policy

Letters

Looking the Other Way on Abortion Jay Nordlinger’s article “No More Baby” (September 26) concludes that we are a “deeply hypocritical society” because we won’t admit that killing a newborn baby is ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ Bob Dylan is to literature as Barack Obama is to peace. ‐ “How is that not classified?” That was the stunned reaction of Clinton confidante Huma Abedin upon learning that ...
Politics & Policy

Poetry

HOMELAND “. . . I cannot sing Amid this horror.”                      – Anna Akhmatova                      (early draft of “Poem without a Hero”) Months pass without a single word recorded, Eliminating each suspicious link: The terrorizing, barbarizing, sordid, The ones who ...

Most Popular

White House

The Democrats’ Burisma Bait and Switch

Imagine you get indicted in a swindle. The prosecutors represent that they can prove you and your alleged co-conspirators planned to fleece a major financial institution. You counter that you weren’t fleecing anyone. Sure, you were asking for millions in loans, but the collateral you were prepared to post was ... Read More
White House

The Democrats’ Burisma Bait and Switch

Imagine you get indicted in a swindle. The prosecutors represent that they can prove you and your alleged co-conspirators planned to fleece a major financial institution. You counter that you weren’t fleecing anyone. Sure, you were asking for millions in loans, but the collateral you were prepared to post was ... Read More

A Nation of Barbers

It seems almost inevitable that long hair is unwelcome at Barbers Hill High School. There’s a touch of aptronymic poetry in Texas public-school dress-code disputes. When I was in school in the 1980s, at the height of the Satanism panic, the local school-district superintendent circulated a list of ... Read More

A Nation of Barbers

It seems almost inevitable that long hair is unwelcome at Barbers Hill High School. There’s a touch of aptronymic poetry in Texas public-school dress-code disputes. When I was in school in the 1980s, at the height of the Satanism panic, the local school-district superintendent circulated a list of ... Read More
Politics & Policy

15 Flaws in Adam Schiff’s Case

Adam Schiff did most of the heavy lifting for the House managers, and if he performed ably, he also relied on arguments and tropes that don’t withstand scrutiny. The Democratic case for impeachment and removal is now heavily encrusted with clichés, widely accepted by the media, meant to give their ... Read More
Politics & Policy

15 Flaws in Adam Schiff’s Case

Adam Schiff did most of the heavy lifting for the House managers, and if he performed ably, he also relied on arguments and tropes that don’t withstand scrutiny. The Democratic case for impeachment and removal is now heavily encrusted with clichés, widely accepted by the media, meant to give their ... Read More

When There Is No Normal

One of the ancient and modern critiques of democracy is that radicals destroy norms for short-term political gain, norms that they themselves often later seek as refuge. Schadenfreude, irony, paradox, and karma are various descriptions of what happens to revolutionaries, and unfortunately the innocent, who ... Read More

When There Is No Normal

One of the ancient and modern critiques of democracy is that radicals destroy norms for short-term political gain, norms that they themselves often later seek as refuge. Schadenfreude, irony, paradox, and karma are various descriptions of what happens to revolutionaries, and unfortunately the innocent, who ... Read More