WAIS Thanks Phyllis Gardner and the liberal WAISers

WAIS thanks Phyllis Gardner of the Stanford School of Medicine for her contribution to its survival and development fund.  Because of her opposition to the Iraq War, she was dubbed Mrs. Saddam Hussein, which was both unfair and inaccurate. The real Mrs. Saddam Hussein is in Syria, where her husband stashed away large sums of money now being used to fund terrorists. We would be grateful for reliable information on her role in this operation. I would describe Phyllis as a liberal, a cuss words used by Americans ignorant of history. I will not vote for anyone who thus misuses that word. It is only in the US that this strange meaning has developed. Elsewhere it is an honorable term.  The great British statesman William Gladstone was a Liberal, and it is still the honorable name of  political parties around the world. Gladstone was deeply concerned about the welfare of the people. That takes us to the second meaning of the word "liberal": generous. With some notable exceptions, the liberals are more generous in their support of WAIS than the conservatives, who are in general more affluent. Linda Nyquist, a liberal whose means are limited, is always one of  the first to help.

This takes us to a related subject.  Some professions are more generous of spìrit than others. In general I would put physicians at the top of the list, since they have real concern for their patients. Paradoxically, some humanists are at the bottom of the list.  When the Stanford School of Medicine moved from San Francisco to the campus, a professor of classics, Hazel Hansen, staged a nasty campaign to block the move.  Of course she failed, and the Stanford Medical Center is one of the glories of the university.  I was struck by the mean spiritedness of her campaign, and I dislike mean spirited people.  How would you rate professions in terms of their public spiritedness?

Your comments are invited. Read the home page of the World Association of International Studies (WAIS) by simply double-clicking on:   http://wais.stanford.edu/ E-mail to hilton@stanford.edu. Mail to Ronald Hilton, Hoover Institution, Stanford, CA 94305-6010. Please inform us of any change of e-mail address.

Ronald Hilton 2004


last updated: November 20, 2004