Rod e-mails on movement-conservative consternation over Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers (for our Miers coverage, click here and here):

“Praise to our president once again As much as I adore Ann Coulter and Rush Limburgh they’re wrong, dead wrong this time, The American public isn’t ready [for a fight with the Democrats]. We are still coming to grips with 9/11, terrorism and reeling from Katrina’s devastation, rising price of oil and, worse, an escalation of crime agianst our kids, not to mention a plummeting stock market.

“Do we really think the people could handle a Senate battle over judicial nominees? At the moment the public cares nothing about the Supreme Court. What we need is stability and George W. has given us just that.”

Good points, all, Rod. Miers doesn’t have a judicial track record, but she does strike me as one of those tough, smart women with whom Bush likes to surround himself: Karen Hughes, Condoleezza Rice, and, of course, Laura.

And here’s Elizabeth on the same topic:

“Does it strike anyone at IWF that all the negativity re Harriet Miers, much of it from conservative males, is, well, ‘sexist’? I never thought I’d have to say that about conservatives, but it strikes me that much of the conservative assessment stems from her being a woman.”

Here I’ve got to disagree. At least some of the criticism of the Miers appointment has come from women, e.g. Coulter. While I may not agree entirely with the critics, I don’t think they’re being sexist.

N.S. comments on Christine Maggiore, the extreme-breastfeeding although HIV-positive mother whose 3-year-old daughter died of AIDS-related pneumonia this past spring (see “The ‘Natural’ Way to Kill Your Children,” Oct. 5):

“Two things:

“Regarding he part about the gal with HIV who breastfed her children and refused HIV treatment: This may sound like she’s a nutcase, but underlying that is a parental rights issue. Where are the boundaries drawn between a parent’s right to refuse treatment? In our heavily medicated (need I say ADD?) society, shouldn’t parents have a right to refuse medication? And at what point do we step in and supersede the parent’s wishes – especially when there are…doctor nutcases out there who don’t always agree? How do we have the wisdom to know the difference? Common sense is not so common, and doctors’ agreement is not so easily reached.

“I find your attitude toward attachment parenting disheartening. While I agree with you on many conservative policies, with this policy toward child-rearing I respectfully disagree. Find what works for your family and the heck with what everyone else thinks. If you think bed- sharing works for you, do it. If you think having the kid sleep alone and cry it out works for you, fine. The best advice I’ve been told is, never offer advice or criticism on child-rearing unless you are asked for it or the child is imminent danger. I think you should heed that advice. There is no quicker way to make enemies than to tell a mother that she is not taking care of her kids properly.”

The issue in the Christine Maggiore case isn’t one of rights but responsibilites. Egged on by ideological doctors and the rabidly anti-formula breast-feeding mafia, Maggiore allegedly indulged in acts and omissions that contributed to the death of her daughter. It’s not for me to say whether Maggiore should be criminally prosecuted, but I do deem her a grossly negligent mother. Do you really think she had a “right” to act as she did?

As for my own right to criticize other people’s child-rearing practices, I would never dream of offering unsolicited advice to anyone. As for Maggiore, who has appeared on magazine covers advocating and boasting about her own breastfeeding of her children until age 4 despite having been diagnosed as HIV-positive, I do consider myself entitled to comment on her as a public figure. I also consider myself entitled to respond to the attachment-parenting, “family bed” set, which has filled many a web page with denunciations of parents who do not agree with them as either cruel to their children or victims of the capitalist corporations that manufacture children’s cribs. What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

And here’s L.M. on terrorist chic (see “Dress for Suicide-Bombing Success,” Oct. 5):

“I went to the website of the company that is making the sweatshirts. I don’t read French very well, but I didn’t see the words ‘terroriste,’ ‘terreur,’ ‘bombe’ or ‘bombardier.’ But I do think they should have added ‘bowhunters’ to their list.”

That may be, but the hooded sweatshirts-cum-facemasks sure are being marketed as dusted with the terrorist patina.