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Grave Matters

Do wives do in their men? Part One of much heated reaction, with a special reply by Marty Nemko. Plus: An open Ivy secret. Job saboteurs. Rushing after Rush. And more.

11.9.03

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STAND UP AND YALE
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s Caught in the Ivy:

Nice try, but with the wonder that is Google, I found that the criminal in question is an alumnus of Yale, a formerly great university in the Ivy League. Why is it that these fearless seers from the late '60s or early '70s like this turd and others such as P. Erlich are never challenged about what they say now when their track record is so abysmal?

Just wonderin'.
-- Tom Halleck
Longwood, Florida

ECONOMIC SABOTEURS
Re: Enemy Central's Nice Work If You Can Get It:

You would suppose that with all that the nine hopefuls, Hillary, and Al Franken have to say about everything bad in America, they would at least comment on why individual states like California, Washington, Oregon, Michigan, and Illinois (that are run by Democrats) have some of the worst unemployment figures.

This "Economic sabotage" is just another form of terrorism this bunch implements, cheers on, then blames on the Right.

See the U.S. Dept of Labor statistics. Only Hawaii and Texas don't seem to fit the trend.
-- John Conforti
Camino, California

WHAT'S LEFT
Re: David Hogberg's HateRush.com:

It isn't a surprise, really, that Rush gets that reaction. The Left, believing itself morally superior, is very used to conservatives cringing and cowering whenever they call us names -- what has always offended them about Rush is his refusal to accept their claim to moral superiority. I wish there were more conservatives -- say, in the Republican caucus in the Senate -- who felt the same way. All these "hate Rush" folks have done is reveal what losers, what pathetic "human beings" they are.
-- Brad Bettin
Melbourne, Florida

I was both amused and saddened to read about Margaret Cho's snide attacks on Rush. You may not be aware of this, but Ms. Cho is (or, at least claimed to be several years ago) a recovering alcoholic and addict. I know this because I was an executive of a company that several years ago produced a cable TV show comedy show called "Bottoms." It was a live show at a small comedy club in L.A., featuring comedians in recovery riffing on their alcohol and drug experiences and subsequent recovery. I have no idea how many of those we taped are still clean. But one common theme among recovering alcoholics and addicts is charity towards anyone who is trying to kick the habit. To see someone in recovery attack a person who had admitted their problem and is getting treatment is simply despicable. Ms. Cho has no right to comment on anyone else's problems.
-- Greg Richey

If David Hogberg really wants to read vile postings on the Internet from the brain-dead of our society, he should try DemocraticUndergound.com.

Beyond the Rush hatred they spew, they are even worse on Bush and the war in Iraq. Many posting they actually pray for more American soldiers to die in Iraq so Bush won't be re-elected.

Only a country as great as the United States would send brave men and women to fight and die to protect the rights of even the most stupid and hateful of us.
-- Greg Barnard
Franklin, Tennessee

Thanks for alerting me to MediaGeek. The others you mentioned are on my daily reading list and now I can add another top notch site.

In these days of rising Bushco fascism, humor is the best medicine. You should try some.
-- Mark H.

Please. Mr. Limbaugh has made a career out of liberal-hating, Clinton-hating, women and minority-hating. None of the sites you quoted compare to the bile spewed by Mr. Limbaugh, our Solicitor General, Ann Coulter, Michael Savage, Bill O'Reilly, and so many more spokesmen of conservative thought.

No one over the age of eighteen has forgotten the right's disgusting hate campaigns over the last decade, and we are not impressed by your sudden outrage at the level of political hostility. If you had spoken up when Rush called Chelsea a dog, or when he implied that Clinton murdered Vince Foster, or sold drugs in Mena, or killed dozens of political enemies, etc., etc., you might have a moral argument. You didn't, you don't
-- Jim Golden

CALL WAITING
Re: Kathy Shaidle's Dial-a-Fatwa:

A great deal has been made regarding the place of Islam in America. I have read innumerable times about how Islam is a religion of peace and that American Muslims are patriotic. I have read that Osama bin Laden is not a true a Muslim and that no true Muslim would ever engage in the acts he has orchestrated. Now that I see just how easy it is to have a Fatwa declared I wonder why none have been issued regarding the repudiation of Osama bin Laden. My doubts regarding the patriotism of American Muslims will be greatly ameliorated the day one is issued.
-- Robert Metzler

DRIVEN TO AN EARLY GRAVE (Part 1)
Re: Marty Nemko's Beasts of Burden:

I thought Marty Nemko's article was stunning. He put down on paper some unspoken thoughts that must have occurred to more and more people in the workplace. But I also did get a twinge of fear for him. Men usually shy away from expressing such things publicly and they are right to do so -- the retaliation is inevitably vicious and personal.

I bet far more men agree with him than will admit to it -- they are just too scared!
-- Barry Wood
London

Mr. Nemko and his 1,500 clients are certainly not the average cross section of the population he makes them out to be. Most people don't need a career counselor (who lives in San Francisco and works for NPR of all things). His statements remind me of my Mother-in-law who worked at a mental health clinic and came to the conclusion that All people were dysfunctional (except her and her immediate circle of course). His conclusions regarding the vast majority of people based on the self-selected group of people he deals with are just the usual drivel espoused by the "counselor community" types who supposedly are there to "help" people. That a usually clear-headed publication such as yours would publish this distorted viewpoint is just astounding. I can only agree with one conclusion that he makes and that is that there is no glass ceiling for anyone in this country except that of their own
making.
-- Stuart Buchalter
New York

Well! Mr. Nemko certainly provides "Another Perspective" in his article, speaking as a conservative Christian husband and father.

I, for one, did not even entertain the notion that my wife would work as long as there were school-age children in the house. This was an understanding that we reached long before our vows were spoken, and it's one that I have never regretted. Of course, it helps that I married someone with the same values that I have, specifically that the raising, training and nurturing of our children was and is far more important than living in a large house or driving a new(er) car. Therefore, there has never been a need for me to "work myself to death" in order to satisfy a spouse's incessant desire for the trappings of affluence. It sounds to me like "Kevin" and his wife should have had a much better understanding going into their marriage of what their family, lifestyle and employment arrangements would be at various stages of their life together. I've heard it said, and I personally believe it to be true, that unmet (often unspoken) expectations kill most marriages. It sounds to me like most of Mr. Nemko's clients would be better served by spending time, along with their spouses, with a competent marriage counselor rather than a career counselor.…
-- Wylie Merritt
Norman, Oklahoma

Having read the tales of whimpering half-males in Marty Nemko's "Beasts of Burden" article, I wondered how this article found its way into The American Spectator. What a disappointment!

Nemko's clients all seem to be married to Lady Macbeth, so the only solution which pities the husband and spares the children is to foist this grasping, demanding shrew upon the marketplace, where her selfish talent can be exploited to everyone's material benefit. Mr. Nemko must spend so much time "helping" hapless people that he can't help but denigrate the happiness that comes from families with stay-at-home moms.

It's a big problem that stupid men marry materialistic women. A bigger problem is that for many people (especially in California), high taxation makes $80,000 annual salaries insufficient.
-- Kirk Conole
San Marcos, California

Mr. Remko's article really hits home. Sadly after nearly 20 years in a marriage I left after posing the question: "When is enough -- enough!" The answer I received was a Keep-Up-with-the-Jones's refrain. I packed my bags and never looked back. Some may view this as cowardice, but I knew my ex and knew she would not change.

Something that I thought died with my parents' generation is relayed in this article. Why would our society expend large sums on higher education of women whose career track will not be consistent with their life goals? I leave the issue on the table unanswered. (Spare me the indignation; I merely point out the issue, not its advocacy.) But I find it interesting that in the new millennium this question arises like Phoenix from the ashes.

What Mr. Remko does not answer is why a lot of single men work like dogs as well. If his thesis were to hold it would seem that single men would reach the Maslow satisfaction level sooner than married men and essentially cut back on their work hours once reached. But I don't see that as the case. Other factors have to be at play here. Nor is our achievement culture addressed. I would hazard for a lot of men, the big house, fancy car and high debt load are indications of achievement not the source of it.

In some cases we have also become slaves to our own perceptions. Anyone remember the story of the Fisherman? The MBA type is vacationing in Cancun and notices a fisherman come in and sell some of his catch in the afternoon. This goes on for days, only a few fish at a time. Finally the MBA offers the fisherman a drink. While they are sipping the beer, the MBA lays out his strategy. "Sir, you ought to buy a bigger boat and bring many more fish to market. After a year you buy more boats, build a fish plant, incorporate. Work hard for 20 years and you will be wealthy." "Then what?" the fisherman replies. MBA says, "You can lie on the beach and relax with your family." "But Señor," the fisherman replies, "I do that now."
-- John McGinnis

What on earth made you put that piece of liberal tripe by Marty Nemko on your website? I don't have time to debunk all the mother-bashing lies he presents as facts. Mothers know, and fathers know, and our culture proves, that children are healthier, happier, and less likely to shoot up a school if they are being raised by a stay at home mom and a loving dad. Children are less likely to end up abused or dead at the brutal hands of a caretaker if they are raised by their biological mother.

Who is raising Mr. Nemko's children while he and his wife are off making lots of money? What happens to his kids when he and his wife close the door and leave them behind? Does he care? God forbid that his children have a loving mother to watch over them at the neighborhood playground, to help them with schoolwork, to give them the deep comfort that they are loved and secure. The job of mother often comes with delights such as sitting in the sun watching children play. That is not a bad thing.

I hope you paid Mr. Nemko for that article. Money is what matters to him.
-- Bonnie Ramthun
Erie, Colorado

Very interesting article by Dr. Nemko. I was in a similar situation as Kevin, his client. I am a physician who was working two jobs to try to keep up. We had three kids and no debt, but yet it seemed like I never had time or money for myself or what I wanted to do. I dreaded my job. At times, you could have called me depressed but then something changed: my attitude. I realized that it was time to grow up and do what men have always done, which is work as hard as hell to provide for their families, put up with pressure at work, get the yard work done, play with the kids, and pay attention to the wife. Life is hard, there are no guarantees, and I just had to accept it. I defy you to name a time in history where most people lived a life of leisure. Even Bill Gates works like a dog, so having lots of money is no panacea. Now I work three jobs and spend the extra "woe-is-me" energy making sure I'm a good father and better husband. I spend time talking to God again, I exercise, eat better, and have lost weight. A fourth child is on the way and yet I am not stressed out about it at all. Nothing at work has changed but I love doing what I do, I love my life, and I love my wife. This has translated into making everything better since people (even wives and children) want to help out someone with a good attitude. My problems do not rest with my wife, or my boss, or my kids. They rest with me. I still have a boss and plenty of stress ( I doctor critically ill children) but I realized that my happiness is up to me, so life is good.

Incidentally, I came to this realization on my own. I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who would take Kevin's money to tell him the same thing, but unless he's telling himself this...he might as well send the money to me. Just kidding. PC or not, Kevin should realize that for all of the reasons Dr. Nemko lists, he is the de facto head of the family. He needs to accept the job and start doing it better because he is already getting burdened with all the responsibility that goes with it. Kevin should be encouraged because the solution is within his grasp. He should remember that he can do this. After all, it ain't rocket science -- it's just life.
-- Andrew J. Macfadyen, M.D.

Interesting article by Marty Nemko. Shows that while "It's a man's world" is still very true in many parts of the world, in the U.S. the reality is that "Women have rights; men have responsibilities." Have you noticed how women can force their husbands to do things, even using threats, but not the other way around? During the race to replace Sen. Torricelli, one initial candidate said he'd like to run but his wife wouldn't let him -- not the first time I've heard such a thing. It may have been just a silly excuse, but can you imagine the uproar that would ensue if a woman said, "I'd love to run for this national office, but my husband won't let me"?
-- Ted Angell
Florianópolis, Brazil

I am a well-educated working woman. In my humble opinion you nailed it. Too many women work their husband's to death. Yeah, I would prefer to stay at home, but the very thought of my husband having to grind through a miserable job just so me and the kids could have lots of neat toys to play with is detestable.

I am his second wife. His counselor during marriage counseling actually advised him to leave the marriage when his wife refused to work on the marriage. His counselor told him he was killing himself by staying in that marriage. The big causes, more and more, "I want", accruing debt, constant pus to become partner in engineering firm, 70-hour weeks minimum at work plus doing all the hard chores around the house. He looked like death when I met him and was seriously ill.

When we got married, I landed a nice job and my salary was good and our material needs/desires were minimal, so he took several months off and then worked in consulting from home for a couple of years. During that time he was hospitalized for GI problems brought on by stress and has suffered periodic bouts of illnesses, usually brought on by stress. It did nearly kill him and he still might arrive in the grave early. Who knows for sure, but it was an investment that made great sense. And now, we have a modest home, a happy marriage, jobs we like pretty well (although well below our earning capacity) and are basically healthy. I gladly carry my weight, as I see it as a way of honoring my marriage vows and mostly for selfish reasons, I want my husband around and healthy -- I like him.

I think too many women marry a paycheck and the courts encourage that perception by giving the mom the kids in the divorce and telling the dad he does his fatherly duty by providing child support. My kids like their new dad (the one that's health and home shortly after they get home from school) and don't mind at all that our cars are old, our clothes not fancy, etc.

Keep up the good work, I know you will get reamed for your column, but there are plenty few of us girls out there who think you are right on.
-- unsigned

I hope Mr. Nemko's clients get better science and analysis than he provided in his "put the mother's to work" screed published in the Spectator. He notes that the average life span of men and women in 1900 was much closer than it is today and so biology likely has little to do with the discrepancy. Nonsense, women died in huge numbers in child birth or related injuries until antibiotics and modern medicine came along. Simply eliminating those deaths could change the lifespan comparison. Worse he fails to make the key comparison, the life spans of men who are married and those who are not. Surprise! Married men live longer and have better health by every measure. I do not have the statistics in front of me regarding the health of married men whose wives work and those who don't, but I doubt very much it differs greatly. Finally, he fails to mention the significant problems suffered by children in day care as compared to those raised by their mothers. Why a conservative magazine would publish such poorly researched tripe brimming with the same unreasoning contempt for homemakers displayed by Simone de Beauvoir and the further reaches of the feminist movement is beyond me.
-- John Vecchione

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