May 31, 2008
"Someone wins, someone doesn't win, that's life," Nancy Kopp, Maryland's treasurer, told the Washington Post. "But women don't want to be totally dissed." She was talking about her political candidate, Hillary Clinton. Democratic women are feeling metaphorically battered by the Obama campaign. "Healing The Wounds Of Democrats' Sexism," as the Boston Globe headline put it, will not be easy. Geraldine Ferraro is among many prominent Democrat ladies putting up their own money for a study from the Shorenstein Center at Harvard to determine whether Senator Clinton's presidential hopes fell victim to party and media sexism. How else to explain why their gal got clobbered by a pretty boy with a resume you could print on the back of his driver's license, a Rolodex apparently limited to neo-segregationist racebaiters, campus Marxist terrorists and indicted fraudsters, and a rhetorical surefootedness that makes Dan Quayle look like Socrates. "On this Memorial Day," said Barack Obama last Monday, "as our nation honors its unbroken line of fallen heroes - and I see many of them in the audience here today…"
Hey, why not? In Obama's Cook County, Illinois, many fallen heroes from the Spanish-American War still show up in the voting booths come November. It's not unreasonable for some of them to turn up at an Obama campaign rally, too.
But what of the fallen heroine? If it's any consolation to Senator Clinton, she's not the only female to find that social progress is strangely accommodating of old-time sexism. There was a front-page story in London last week about a British Indian couple in Birmingham - she's 59, he's 72 - who'd had twins through in vitro fertilization and then abandoned the babies at the hospital when they turned out to be daughters, announcing their plans to fly back to India for another round of IVF in hopes of getting a boy. In the wake of the media uproar, the parents now claim something got "lost in translation" and have been back to the hospital to visit the wee bairns. But think of mom and dad as the Democratic party and the abandoned daughters as Hillary, and it all makes sense.
There's a lot of that about. Sex-selective abortion is a fact of life in India, where the gender ratio has declined to 1,000 boys to 900 girls nationally, and as low as 1,000 boys to 300 girls in some Punjabi cities. In China, the state-enforced "one child" policy has brought about the most gender-distorted demographic cohort in global history, the so-called guang gun - "bare branches." If you can only have one kid, parents choose to abort girls and wait for a boy, to the point where in the first generation to grow to adulthood under this policy there are 119 boys for every 100 girls. In practice, a "woman's right to choose" turns out to mean the right to choose not to have any women.
And what of the Western world? Between 2000 and 2005, Indian women in England and Wales gave birth to 114 boys for every 100 girls. A similar pattern seems to be emerging among Chinese, Korean, and Indian communities in America. "The sex of a firstborn child in these families conformed to the natural pattern of 1.05 boys to every girl, a pattern that continued for other children when the firstborn was a boy," wrote Colleen Carroll Campbell in the St Louis Post-Dispatch the other day. "But if the firstborn child was a girl, the likelihood of a boy coming next was considerably higher than normal at 1.17-to-1. After two girls, the probability of a boy's birth rose to a decidedly unnatural 1.51-to-1."
By midcentury, when today's millions of surplus boys will be entering middle age, India and China are expected to account for a combined 50 percent of global GDP. On present trends, they will be the most male-heavy societies that have ever existed. As I wrote in my book America Alone, unless China's planning on becoming the first gay superpower since Sparta, what's going to happen to all those excess men? As a general rule, large numbers of excitable lads who can't get any action are not a recipe for societal stability. Unless the Japanese have invented amazingly lifelike sex robots by then (think Austin Powers's "fembots"), we're likely to be in a planet-wide rape epidemic and a world of globalized industrial-scale sex slavery. And what of the Western world? Canada and Europe are in steep demographic decline and dependent on immigration to sustain their populations. And - as those Anglo-Welsh statistics suggest - many of the available immigrants are already from male-dominated cultures and will eventually be male-dominated numbers-wise, too: circa 2020, the personal ads in the Shanghai classifieds seeking SWF with good sense of humor will be defining "must live locally" as any zipcode this side of Mars.
Smaller families may mean just a boy or a girl for liberal Democrats, but in other societies it means just a boy. The Indian writer Gita Aravamudan calls this the "female feticide." Colleen Carroll Campbell writes that abortion, "touted as the key to liberating future generations of women," has become instead "the preferred means of eradicating them". And, while it won't eradicate all of them, Philip Longman, a demographer of impeccably liberal credentials, put the future in a nutshell in the title of his essay: "The Return Of Patriarchy."
Enlightened progressives take it for granted that social progress is like technological progress - that women's rights are like the internal combustion engine or the jet aeroplane: once invented they can't be uninvented. But that's a careless assumption. There was a small, nothing story out of Toronto this week - the York University Federation of Students wants a campus-wide ban on any pro-life student clubs. Henceforth, students would be permitted to debate abortion only "within a pro-choice realm", as the vice-president Gilary Massa put it. Nothing unusual there. A distressing number of student groups are inimical to free speech these days. But then I saw a picture of the gung-ho abortion absolutist: Gilary Massa is a young Muslim woman covered in a hijab.
On such internal contradictions is the future being built. By "The Return Of Patriarchy," Philip Longman doesn't mean 1950s sitcom dads. No doubt Western feminists will be relieved to hear that.
© 2008 Mark Steyn
A note on free speech on campus....
The Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) have reinforced their stance on banning pro-life groups. The York Federation of Students (YFS) was the ringleader in making the motion this past weekend and also have plans to ban their prolife groups at a meeting this coming weekend.
This decision is especially disturbing, as it demonstrates:
- The CFS and YFS do not want women to be fully informed.
- The CFS and YFS do not tolerate differing viewpoints - this is totalitarianism.
- The CFS and YFS have made a sweeping motion that does not represent all CFS/YFS students - this demonstrates a lack of transparency, and that the CFS/YFS accepts a dogma of dictatorship.
We need to join together to defend our rights to express our opinions and freedom of speech on university campuses! This is the time for YOU to act to make an impact.
Email Robert J. Tiffin, York's vice-president who has publicly disagreed with what is happening. He needs to know his stance is supported and that we feel strongly that he should exert his power over the YFS who are showing clearly discriminatory actions against a group of students.
Express your concern for freedom of speech at York U and the discriminatory actions taken by a student's union who is supposed to represent all students, despite personal beliefs.
- YFS President: Hamid Osman - firstname.lastname@example.org
- YFS Vice President External: Gilary Massa - email@example.com
Remember - If you say nothing when they start taking others rights away, who will be left when they start taking yours?
Alive and kicking....
The Death of Conservatism Is Greatly Exaggerated
By: FRED D. THOMPSON
May 23, 2008
Recent congressional losses, President George W. Bush's unpopularity, and bleak generic ballot poll numbers have conservatives fearing the "liberalization" of America - a move toward secularization, the growth of government, stagnation, mediocrity and loss of freedom.
Yet there is still a way to revive the conservative cause. Doing so will require avoiding the traps of pessimism or election-year quick fixes. Conservatives need to stand back for a moment and think about our philosophical first principles.
Conservatives value the lessons of history and respect faith and tradition. They are skeptical of mass movements, perfect solutions and what often passes for "progress." At the same time, they recognize that change is inevitable. They also know that while man is prone to err, he is capable of great things and is meant to be free in an unfettered market of ideas, not subjugated by a too-powerful government.
These were the principles relied upon by our Founding Fathers, and which paved the way for a Constitution that delineated the powers of the central government, established checks and balances among its branches, and further diffused its power through a system of federalism. These principles led to a market economy, the primacy of the rule of law and the abolition of slavery. They also helped to establish liberal trade policies and to meld idealism and realism in our foreign and military policies.
The power of conservative principles is borne out in the most strong, prosperous and free country in the history of the world. In the U.S., basic constitutional government has been preserved, foreign tyrannies have been defeated, our failed welfare system was reformed, and the confiscatory income tax rates of a few decades ago have been substantially reduced. This may be why the party where most conservatives reside, the Republican Party, has won seven of the last 10 presidential elections.
Still, a lot of the issues that litter the political battlefield today put conservatives on the defensive. What are we going to do to fix the economy, the housing market, health-care costs and education? Some conservatives try to avoid philosophical confrontation with liberals, often urging solutions that would expand the government while rationalizing that the expansion would be at a slightly slower rate.
This strategy simply has not worked. Conservatives should stay true to their principles and remember:
- Congress cannot repeal the laws of economics. There are no short-term fixes without longer term consequences.
- In a free and dynamic country with social mobility, there will be great opportunity but also economic disparity, especially if the country has liberal immigration policies and a high divorce rate.
- An education system cannot overcome the breakdown of the family, and the social fabric that surrounds children daily.
- Free markets, not an expanding and more powerful government, are the solution to today's problems. Many of these problems, such as health-care costs, energy dependency and the subprime mortgage crisis, were caused in large part by government policies.
In this unpredictable world, conservatives should adhere to their fundamental ideals. These ideals have brought our country much success, and may well win the day again. Conservatives must have faith that, more often than not, Americans will make the sacrifices necessary to preserve national security and prosperity.
A political party that adheres to conservative principles should have continuing success - especially if its leadership believes in those principles and is able to articulate them.
Mr. Thompson, a former U.S. senator from Tennessee, was a candidate for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination.
Copyright 2008 - The Wall Street Journal
And they expect us to blindly believe their Climate Hysteria...
Why I Left Greenpeace
By: PATRICK MOORE
April 22, 2008
In 1971 an environmental and antiwar ethic was taking root in Canada, and I chose to participate. As I completed a Ph.D. in ecology, I combined my science background with the strong media skills of my colleagues. In keeping with our pacifist views, we started Greenpeace.
But I later learned that the environmental movement is not always guided by science. As we celebrate Earth Day today, this is a good lesson to keep in mind.
At first, many of the causes we championed, such as opposition to nuclear testing and protection of whales, stemmed from our scientific knowledge of nuclear physics and marine biology. But after six years as one of five directors of Greenpeace International, I observed that none of my fellow directors had any formal science education. They were either political activists or environmental entrepreneurs. Ultimately, a trend toward abandoning scientific objectivity in favor of political agendas forced me to leave Greenpeace in 1986.
The breaking point was a Greenpeace decision to support a world-wide ban on chlorine. Science shows that adding chlorine to drinking water was the biggest advance in the history of public health, virtually eradicating water-borne diseases such as cholera. And the majority of our pharmaceuticals are based on chlorine chemistry. Simply put, chlorine is essential for our health.
My former colleagues ignored science and supported the ban, forcing my departure. Despite science concluding no known health risks – and ample benefits – from chlorine in drinking water, Greenpeace and other environmental groups have opposed its use for more than 20 years.
Opposition to the use of chemicals such as chlorine is part of a broader hostility to the use of industrial chemicals. Rachel Carson's 1962 book, "Silent Spring," had a significant impact on many pioneers of the green movement. The book raised concerns, many rooted in science, about the risks and negative environmental impact associated with the overuse of chemicals. But the initial healthy skepticism hardened into a mindset that treats virtually all industrial use of chemicals with suspicion.
Sadly, Greenpeace has evolved into an organization of extremism and politically motivated agendas. Its antichlorination campaign failed, only to be followed by a campaign against polyvinyl chloride.
Greenpeace now has a new target called phthalates (pronounced thal-ates). These are chemical compounds that make plastics flexible. They are found in everything from hospital equipment such as IV bags and tubes, to children's toys and shower curtains. They are among the most practical chemical compounds in existence.
Phthalates are the new bogeyman. These chemicals make easy targets since they are hard to understand and difficult to pronounce. Commonly used phthalates, such as diisononyl phthalate (DINP), have been used in everyday products for decades with no evidence of human harm. DINP is the primary plasticizer used in toys. It has been tested by multiple government and independent evaluators, and found to be safe.
Despite this, a political campaign that rejects science is pressuring companies and the public to reject the use of DINP. Retailers such as Wal-Mart and Toys "R" Us are switching to phthalate-free products to avoid public pressure.
It may be tempting to take this path of least resistance, but at what cost? None of the potential replacement chemicals have been tested and found safe to the degree that DINP has. The Consumer Product Safety Commission recently cautioned, "If DINP is to be replaced in children's products... the potential risks of substitutes must be considered. Weaker or more brittle plastics might break and result in a choking hazard. Other plasticizers might not be as well studied as DINP."
The hysteria over DINP began in Europe and Israel, both of which instituted bans. Yet earlier this year, Israel realized the error of putting politics before science, and reinstated DINP.
The European Union banned the use of phthalates in toys prior to completion of a comprehensive risk assessment on DINP. That assessment ultimately concluded that the use of DINP in infant toys poses no measurable risk.
The antiphthalate activists are running a campaign of fear to implement their political agenda. They have seen success in California, with a state ban on the use of phthalates in infant products, and are pushing for a national ban. This fear campaign merely distracts the public from real environmental threats.
We all have a responsibility to be environmental stewards. But that stewardship requires that science, not political agendas, drive our public policy.
Mr. Moore, co-founder and former leader of Greenpeace, is chairman and chief scientist of Greenspirit Strategies.
Copyright 2008 - The Wall Street Journal