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June 20, 2006

TIME: "What would Ann Coulter do?"

"Karin Agness, a recent graduate of the University of Virginia (UVA), got the idea for NeW when she returned to college after a summer spent interning for Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) in Washington. 'I loved being around other conservative women and wanted to find more women like that at UVA,' says Agness, 22, who hails from Indianapolis. 'Unfortunately, all the women's groups on campus were really liberal and biased. And when I asked a [women's studies professor] if anybody would be interested in sponsoring a conservative women's group, she just laughed at me.'

(...)

"She has received her fair share of hate mail, and in September 2004, a UVA student newsmagazine published an article about the fledgling organization, complete with artwork. Recalls Agness, 'On the cover they ran an illustration of a woman dressed in a perfectly ironed pristine shirt with a checkered apron, connected to a machine with 12 babies popping out while stirring her batter and reading her recipe with the headline Manifest Domesticity.

"'We were really portrayed as baby-making machines, and at that point I knew we were onto something. We were a threat.'"

Posted by KShaidle at June 20, 2006 6:04 AM
Comments

What's really astonishing is how myopic, or is it actually a death wish?, North American and European secular socialist democracies have been when it comes to populating our countries rather than relying on immigrants to do the job, with all the commensurate problems: As Mark says, "The problem is that secondary-impulse societies mistake their weaknesses for strengths—or , at any rate, virtues—and that's why they're proving so feeble at dealing with a primal force like Islam."

I was in the "baby trenches" of the '80s when, in my mid- to late-thirties I gave birth to two daughters with whom I decided to spend all of my days and nights rather than head out every day, with briefcase in hand, to conquer the male world and blast through that glass ceiling the feminists insist exists in every work place.

While our family struggled to make ends meet (because despite three university degrees my husband is in "a helping profession"), watching and encouraging our girls to grow and develop, being there when they were ill, when they had important questions to ask, when dealing with the death of a beloved pet, when they took their first step, spoke their first coherent word, etc., was definitely not a poor substitute for the kind of "fulfillment" I was supposed to be pursuing in the paid workforce.

As a Mom with stay-at-home kids, who were my most virulent adversaries--as though I needed any? The feminists, whose ranks were rapidly growing, partly because of all the government grants and programs open, it seems, to only them: The implicit message of applying for this government largesse was: Married women, faithful to one man, living on one salary, with children for whom she is caring at home definitely need not apply.

Add to this mindset, the feminist ascendancy in academia, and all stay-at-home moms became lepers. So, it is no mystery why our numbers through live births of our own children have been decimated. Support for mothers willing to have children and actually care for them was zilch—and it wasn’t even a neutral lack of support, it was a malevolent opposition with not a little nastiness thrown our way by the radical fems: “You want a grant? You’re not for ‘equality’ for women, you’re anti-women, etc.” ‘Door firmly slammed in one’s face, usually on one’s foot as well to cause optimum pain and humiliation.

We had a few defenders at the time in the media: David Frum, Danielle Crittendon, Donna Laframboise, I don’t think Mark Steyn was writing at the time, but it was pretty bleak. If it hadn’t been for my husband’s firm support and that of some family members and friends, not to mention my daughters’ busy, happy, loving daily activities which kept me fully occupied, I might have felt completely desolate and alone.

David Warren recently made a very interesting comment about the feminist movements in North America and Europe, which is pertinent to our birth rates now in free-fall: “The cult of the priestesses [you could substitute radical feminism, as it is the impetus behind priestesses] is not advanced in the service of women. It is advanced instead to achieve an order in which fair is foul and foul is fair.”

Posted by: new kid on the block at June 20, 2006 7:55 AM

Interesting that this group originated to protest of UVA's production of The Vagina Monologues. Are they in favour of censorship? It's also interesting that Karin's complaint about women's groups on campus was that they were "liberal and biased". Does that mean her conservative group isn't biased? Sheesh. I wish them well in their endeavours, but they are obviously just the other side of the same coin.

Posted by: CounterPoint at June 20, 2006 7:55 AM

Well my wife and I have done our best, we have 5 children (we wanted more). 2 Boys and three girls, all hard working and driven. They understand the importance of families and why we need to have children. Before any of you liberals fret, my wife and I both have college degrees and are working on our graduate degrees. The difference is my wife and I decided family was more important than big expensive vacations, boats, fancy cars, etc....my wife is a homemaker and I fortunately make enough to support my family.

Posted by: S. Baker at June 20, 2006 8:17 AM

"Biased"? "Other side of the same coin"?

How, in the monotonously, relentlessly, rigidly, censoriously left-wing world of academe, could ANY non-lefty organization NOT be a breath of fresh air AND a true manifestation of diversity.

Diversity, the oh-so-sacred word of the left, really means only superficial diversity. Tall, short, white, black, male, female...all OK.

But TRUE diversity, intellectual diversity, differing values and philosophies is not tolerated. One either totally buys the worldview and values of the left or one is "right-wing", "neo-con", "fundamentalist", "______-phobic".

Notice that these labels are merely ad hominem attacks. Derogotory labels rather than -gasp!- tolerating, debating the differing values and philosophies.

Posted by: Dave at June 20, 2006 8:22 AM

And kudos to S. Baker, Mrs. Baker and your family! :-)

Posted by: Dave at June 20, 2006 8:24 AM

Dave,

Putting aside your accusations of ad hominem attacks (ironic enough in the context of the language of your post), let me ask a question. Where did I ever say I don't tolerate differing ideas? I never said such a thing, and it is yet another example of projecting a perception of the attitudes of "the left" onto one person's opinion. I merely pointed out that Karin's group comes to the table with an agenda, as do the leftist feminist groups (whom I'm not a big fan of, BTW). This just illustrates that whenever there is complaint about liberal bias (or conservative bias for that matter), the real problem people have is with the "liberal" and not the "bias". You'd have no problem with agenda-driven academia if it suited your own agenda.

Posted by: CounterPoint at June 20, 2006 8:44 AM

while all provincial parties in ontario pledge to nominate more women in more ridings next election, i remind myself to encourage my only daughter to attend university anywhere but virginia.

Posted by: davidson at June 20, 2006 8:53 AM

Just a quick follow-up to illustrate the above point: Many people who don't like the bias in public education prefer to home school their children. But do these parents expose their children to "TRUE diversity, intellectual diversity, differing values and philosophies" in their home schooling? I'll bet you a doghnut that most don't.

Posted by: CounterPoint at June 20, 2006 8:55 AM

counterpoint - the term 'bias' includes the meaning of an invalid conclusion that is firmly accepted regardless of its wrong data base. It doesn't refer to a particular point of view unless that perspective is based on invalid reasons.

That is the problem that many of us have with leftist viewpoints; they are based on invalid reasons and the left won't debate those basic reasons.

With regard to women, many of the left conclude that there is only one acceptable mode of life for men and women; the woman must work for a wage, otherwise, she is rejecting 'equality'. Working at home is considered demeaning - you hire someone to do that! And the left mocks, scorns, denigrates women who do this (eg the cartoon noted above). They won't debate the issue and they won't debate their reasons. That's bias.

Posted by: ET at June 20, 2006 9:00 AM

Its not surprising that socialists hate babies and those who have them.

To a socialist, a baby is nothing but trouble....

.....another mouth for the state to feed , another mind to indoctrinate to the true shining path and another citizen who will soak up weakly balanced welfare state resources....A baby means another stay in a state health facility, another place in state learning centers, another on the family suppliment rolls, and, of course, another citizen that has to be controlled and kept under the watchful eye of the intrusive, secular state's policy police.

As the baby matures, it will have modest productivity and potentiual due to the celebration of mediocrity it has been instilled with by unionist teachers in state schools....it will be under equiped with real skills ( both social and commercial), it will not pull its full financial burden to the state and will have to have its government service usage supplimented some how....as it ages it uses more of the state health care resources by either having more babies (thus creating more problems for the state to cope with), ...or by having the ordacity to get old and sick and require state nursing.

The answer to saving the nanny statists all this worry coping with expanding populations to be cared for is euthenasia and eugenics......which is built into the dogma of the new left. We see it at work scolding this conservative woman for her attitudes towards family and children.

Posted by: W L Mackenzie redux at June 20, 2006 9:14 AM

ET:

There is plenty of reasoned argument on the left, as well as the right. The problem is that both sides like to highlight only the most extreme or illogical arguments coming from the other side in order to discredit the good ideas along with the bad. Can you say straw man? In addition, it's like sport to tear down the public representatives of the "opposition" and emphasize their lowlights. There seems to be some weird rhetorical law which states that if you're wrong about one thing, you must be wrong about everything. As a result, even well-meaning people like yourself get into the mindset that it's more important to score points and win the argument rather than actually examine what is best for all of us. By dismissing ideas simply because they come from left or right does a disservice to everybody. And that's the unbiased truth. ;-)

Posted by: CounterPoint at June 20, 2006 9:23 AM

Count on good old William Lyin' MacKenzie to provide levity.

Posted by: Drago at June 20, 2006 9:26 AM

Dismissing ideas simply because they are left or right is a disservice to us all. Unfortunately, the left has unceremoniously dismissed any idea from the right as incorrect. The left has a problem with dissent from their "correct" point of view. This is exemplified quite well by the politically correct mindset.
enough

Posted by: enough at June 20, 2006 9:29 AM

I always observed that dogmatic leftists provde their own levity Drago.

Posted by: W L Mackenzie redux at June 20, 2006 9:32 AM

Enough: I do agree with your premise of the dogmatic left-right political schism being a distraction to the real politics played out in the halls of power. All the same, statist socialism is a bad idea and has been proven so in practical application too many times to be considered sound enough in theory to blindly march in lock step behind it....as dogmatic leftists do.

Posted by: W L Mackenzie redux at June 20, 2006 9:37 AM

Are they in favour of censorship?

And why would you surmise that? It is pretty obvious that the group was formed as a reaction to the exclusivity of the feminist ideology that permeates that campus and most campuses. Karin was denied a forum and created one. You've got to be living on another planet if you think that there is a level playing field on college campuses for women to have an open and fair dialogue regarding abortion, motherhood, etc.

But do these parents expose their children to "TRUE diversity, intellectual diversity, differing values and philosophies" in their home schooling?

The public school alternative of mind numbing pc censorship, superficial multi-culti moral equivalences, formulaic and dumbed down text books containing little original literature or controversy, pre-determined groupthink conclusions......and just where would the public school student have an advantage in finding your "TRUE" anything? At the very least the homeschooled kid's doughnut is safe from the food police.

Posted by: penny at June 20, 2006 9:51 AM

Steyn shows a stunning ignorance. Imagine him being unaware that Urbanization is the primary cause of the low birth rate. The higher the percentage of the population that lives in urban areas the lower the birth rate. His example of countries with high birth rates, conveniently chosen as being Muslim, is a good example of what I mean. They are all rural economies.
In Toronto, the cost of habitation is $600 a square foot. You know that market driven economies put a price on everything so it is literally too expensive to have children. It takes two incomes for most families to make ends meet and the 'nanny state' support is, given the low birthrate, grossly inadequate at "nannying".

The prospect of spending tax dollars on programs that actually make lives easier is horrible to Steyn. He wants all the money freed up to spend on more "stuff" I guess.

To spend your money on privately owned collective ventures like car, house, life and medical insurance is just fine. That brings back the middle man, the stock holder, who is the person for whom all things are done.You realize that if the stockholder is not happy then noone can be happy.

Collective ventures WITH privatization always trumps collective ventures without privatization. At least if you write for the Wall Street Journal it does.

Tolerance, multiculturalism are bad. Genocide, as Americans inflicted on Natives is good. I understand. I have always felt America had a Fascist tendency. Vestiges surface at different times. The full blown version hasn't incubated long enough yet.
Looking for scapegoats is a good start though. When the next downturn in the economy happens and tens of millions of working poor become unemployed and won't be convinced that their unemployment is their own fault, what will the elite do? It will be interesting to see how the elite turn to fascism to get things under control. I guess Steyn wouldn't want to write about that though.

Posted by: steve d. at June 20, 2006 9:53 AM

counterpoint - if you read the original article, the group didn't originate as a protest against a production of the Vagina Monologues; it wasn't censoring or trying to shut the production down. It originated BEFORE, as a book club.

Then, when the play came to campus, the group offered a dissenting perspective - that's called the opportunity to debate.

davidson - I don't see why someone should be nominated or appointed on the basis of gender. I prefer only one variable. Merit.

counterpoint - what's your point? You assert that both 'sides' make weak and strong arguments. So? You are reducing the content to irrelevance and equating the two sides. I don't think these two perspectives are as equal as you assert.

What some of us are saying is that the left side of the debate, has proportionally less validity (data base, logic) than the right. No, I don't dismiss or accept ideas based on their ideological origin (left, right) but on their content and logic. I don't see much of either in the majority of left perspectives.
I agree with 'enough'; his post points out how the left dismisses any ideas other than their own.

And, I agree with Penny. Public schools do not expose the children to diversity of thought. No, different cultural expressions of food, dance, music and clothing are NOT expressions of diversity of thought.

Posted by: ET at June 20, 2006 10:05 AM

Penny.

I'm so sorry that you are responding to my remarks in a vacuum rather than in the context of the discussion which I was having with others. We might have had a productive debate.

The "TRUE diversity..." line came from my response to Dave (using his own words), who noted that this was not being provided for in higher education. I extrapolated that to public education (and never disagreed with the premise!) but made the point of illustrating that home schooling doesn't offer any more diversity of thought than public schooling does. And all that was to support my premise that you would have no complaints about bias in school if it were biased your way. Nothing more, nothing less.

Posted by: CounterPoint at June 20, 2006 10:08 AM

"And all that was to support my premise that you would have no complaints about bias in school if it were biased your way"

Re-read your own sentence and spot the biased assumption. I hope the irony isn't lost on you.

Posted by: penny at June 20, 2006 10:16 AM

We cant have any of that rightwing thinking going on on campus!!!/sarc off.

MINDBOGGLING!

Posted by: FREE at June 20, 2006 10:22 AM

The comments above are instructive in themselves. Some of us base our views on a reasoned analysis of the world as it is, and what form of structures would work best for not only ourselves, but by extrapolation, what is logically and historically demonstrated to work for society generally. Reasoned analysis as opposed to feel-good wishful thinking.
Then along comes the large number of intellectually lazy people, who think that the safest and easiest way to go is the great "middle ground". Support whatever views everybody else does. Support whatever view someone tells you is the moderate middle ground. Without question. Without analysis. And without realizing that the pendulum has swung so far to the left, that the "safe middle ground" is actually radically extreme.
And we stumble blindly over the cliff, comforted by the warm, fuzzy assumptions of the "moderates".
As societies rise and fall, they seem to have a consistent pattern. One of the symptoms is "decadence". I would posit "lazy" as a large part of "decadent".
It's not just lay-about, "let the State take care of everything" lazy, it's intellectual laziness, too. As so clearly demonstrated by the modern politically "liberal" class.

Gaaak!

Posted by: Mad Mike at June 20, 2006 10:51 AM

Mad Mike, you said it very well.

The one skill that I try to instill in my two daughters is: THINK FOR YOURSELF! Don't accept anyone's 'truth' - even mine! - until you've thought it over and considered it from your own point of view.

That means don't accept the BS of the left, and don't accept the BS of the right. There's plenty on both sides, even if, IMHO, there's more on the left. Lazy and uncritical thinking is a sure recipe for civil disaster.

Posted by: KevinB at June 20, 2006 11:14 AM

"There is plenty of reasoned argument on the left as well as the right..."

Well counterpoint, name one reasoned argument on the left for us all to contemplate, would you?

Posted by: Irwin Daisy at June 20, 2006 11:27 AM

I am glad to see so,eone like Mark exposing the left agenda sacred cows for what they are... cultural suicide! Our western society has happily adopted the mantras of "multicultualism", "abortion on demand", "feminism", "same sex marriage", "political correctness", and soon to come "euthanasia". It has been at our own peril!
In order to continue to have a viable workforce, as we have aborted more than 100,000 per year in Canada (and over a million a year in the USA), we have been forced to look outside our own borders for "replacement citizens." With the advent of same sex marriage and the destruction of the traditional family, we can look forward to even lower birthrates in the future. There will come a tipping point where the population will no longer be able to sustain traditioinal norms because in a democratic society, it is the majority that rules... unless, of course, you are a very vocal and increasingly violent minority!
Daniel

Posted by: Daniel at June 20, 2006 12:00 PM

new kid on the block :

Nice summery. Very well put. Since this is dealing with the Ladies I will remain quiet. Death by a thousand feminine darts thrown my way, is not enticing, at all, at all. All fun aside .lol (O:}

I think shoring up our families & society recognizing the essential roll of Parents & child rearing is a must. If we as a Society are to survive. Women who stay at home have to long been ignored or worse slandered. As have there contributions to society been down graded.

I would institute better taxes for couples. Free makeup Education for Women or Men who have stayed home looking after the children. More flexible work hours & environments , designed for working parents.

Perhaps even a stipend for stay at home parents like UI. Day cares in more companies. There are many ways to pay for this. Though I think it should be voluntary.

Heck even I would freely put some money towards work place daycares at my place of employment. I have no kids but I do see the problems of those that do . If not all there struggles in a child averse society like ours.

We had better start thinking of children first , ourselves last, or we will be the last.

The family should become the center of Canadian life . Not government programs designed to undermine parents . If not parental control completely to spew there poisons in young minds . Calling this freedom. While denouncing there parents beliefs & ideas as bad.

That’s rich coming from the moral retentive crowd. Whom believe in nothing but themselves & there needs.

Posted by: Revnant Dream at June 20, 2006 12:36 PM

From the SFGate article linked to: "In other words -- assuming Michelle and Jim Bob and their massive brood of cookie-cutter Christian kidbots will all be, as the charming photo suggests, never allowed near a decent pair of designer jeans or a tolerable haircut from a recent decade, and assuming that they will all be tragically encoded with the values of the homophobic asexual Christian right"

hmm.. in one sentence, the author slams the family for having 16 kids, and in the next he claims their values are "asexual"? Has immaculate conception made a recent comeback?

Posted by: KevinB at June 20, 2006 12:43 PM

Steyn is, as usual, compelling and so right that it hurts.

That other article? Thank God I lie to the opposing side of the political spectrum.

Posted by: mark at June 20, 2006 1:08 PM

Ann Coulter would do what she always does...Take the opportunity to promote herself by appealing to the twisted sense of humour of conservatives.

Posted by: David Brown at June 20, 2006 1:21 PM

counter,

Education's true goal should be TRUTH, not diversity. In suggesting that 'true diversity' is an academic goal, you are suggesting that truth does not exist.

as for homeschoolers - I believe this quote from "The risk of Education"(Luigi Giussani) explains motivation (at least for our family...you do know that homeschoolers are individual?)

"What we want - and this is our purpose here - is to free the young generation from mental slavery and from the tendency to conform, which mentally enslaves them to the forces in society"

Congrats to Karin for refusing to mindlessly conform.

Posted by: lwestin at June 20, 2006 4:26 PM

counter,

Education's true goal should be TRUTH, not diversity. In suggesting that 'true diversity' is an academic goal, you are suggesting that truth does not exist.

as for homeschoolers - I believe this quote from "The risk of Education"(Luigi Giussani) explains motivation (at least for our family...you do know that homeschoolers are individual?)

"What we want - and this is our purpose here - is to free the young generation from mental slavery and from the tendency to conform, which mentally enslaves them to the forces in society"

Congrats to Karin for refusing to mindlessly conform.

Posted by: lwestin at June 20, 2006 4:27 PM

So much to answer, so little time, as I leap over David Brown's "compliment."

I have two university degrees, and many think that to have stayed home with my children was "a waste," as one of my siblings put it—not to my face but to another sibling. Nothing could be further from the truth.

As mentioned by Revnant Dream (BTW, thanks for the empathy) the "contributions to society" of women with stay-at-home kids have "been down graded." I volunteered thousands of hours in my community while my daughters were growing up, and was often the only parent able to go on a day-long or overnight field trip and spend hours in their school to help academically at-risk kids not, BTW, my own children.

And I'll tell davidson why there are not equivalent numbers of women and men as surgeons, politicians, 18-hour-a-day business execs, etc.: It’s because women often prefer not to take these positions, a fact that is more often than not completely disregarded by the equality police. For many, if not most, women, family and children are so important to them that they choose to be general practitioners with more regular hours, or “do” local politics rather than run for office which, should they win, means months at a time in Ottawa away from their families and communities, etc. This idea that women need to be equally represented in politics, business, academia, health care, is a radical feminist fantasy. It’s simply never going to happen—unless women can be convinced to hate their children and families or, at the very least, to regard them as second-best to an “exciting” career and all of the perks such a choice offers.

As to the bleating about both the left and the right being biased: of course they are! A person without a bias, like both of David Brown’s children, is a person without the strength of their convictions. The problem for women who happen to espouse the values of “the right” is that women on the left are getting all the money. Much of this money is public money, taxpayers’ money, which feminist groups receive through government and university grants, to the tune of MILLIONS over the past 30 years. Women who are “conservative” are routinely left out of the grant-giving loop because they are deemed to be “against women’s equality” simply because they happen to believe in true choice for women, meaning that women can either work outside the home or stay at home, whichever is best for the individual woman and her family.

Sadly, and infuriatingly, the femi-Nazis in our midst, the ones bankrolled by successive Canadian governments and feted by our public school systems and universities, not to mention the MSM and the entertainment industry, the ones who most likely have no children, aren’t married, and are frequently lesbians, are driving the so-called “women’s agenda” at the political level. Has anyone checked out the makeup of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women lately, like in the past 10-15 years?

I heartily agree with Revnant Dream that children need to come first. At this moment in history in Canada, children pretty well come last. Women’s “rights” trump our children’s well-being at every turn, and all you have to do is look at how many of them are at-risk. At a time when our children, because of North America’s unprecedented affluence, should be thriving in every way, they are not. A tragedy.

Posted by: new kid on the block at June 20, 2006 6:07 PM

Before I am accused of being "against" women who are unmarried, who don't have children, or who are lesbian, let me state that I am not. I am simply against the fact--not just my opinion--that too many unmarried, childless, and lesbian women, with no personal experience of what it is to parent children or live with the myriad pressures of married life with kids, are too often driving, and overseeing, the so-called "women's agenda" in Canada.

Theirs is a very limited perspective, albeit they have the time, energy, and public money to pursue it. I simply question whether this situation is equitable, especially when we are talking about "equality for women." Unless stay-at-home moms have somehow been redefined as "not women" I don't see how the governmental policies concerning the "women's agenda" over the past 30 years, favouring universal daycare, outside the home work, abortion on demand, etc. (essentially the feminist agenda) can be in any way considered "equality."

Posted by: new kid on the block at June 20, 2006 6:57 PM

To Linda Hirshman : Mater tua criceta fuit, et pater tuo redoluit bacarum sambucus. ...


Feminist Says Child Rearing not Worthy of Time and Talents of Intelligent Humans
Posted by wagglebee

LifeSiteNews ^ | 6/20/06 | Hilary White
NEW YORK, June 20, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Linda Hirshman, a feminist US writer on cultural issues, has told the world why she thinks staying at home with the children is an occupation “not worthy of the full time and talents of intelligent and educated human beings.” She complains at length that the feminist movement, while making some gains in public life through legal activism, has largely failed in the one area where it counts most: the family. She upbraids women who stay at home for failing the feminist agenda, saying, “They do not require a great intellect, they are not.. via freerepublic

Posted by: maz2 at June 20, 2006 8:21 PM

Fat is killing you, Virginia. Fat is contagious, too, Virginia. Your too fat, Virginia. Feel guilty, Virginia. "Yes, Nanny State." Good girl, Virginia. Here's a doggy-bite for you. ...-


Ontario's $10 million pledge to combat obesity
Ontario just pledged $10 million towards combating obesity and physical inactivity. Health Promotion Minister Jim Watson introduced the Action Plan for Healthy Eating and Active Living - a pilot project to provide fruits and vegetables to Northern Ontario school children, a Health School Recognition Program, and a web and phone-based dietitian advisory service. Is this enough? What more needs to be done? Is this really the government’s responsibility? Submit
canoe news

Posted by: maz2 at June 20, 2006 8:38 PM

Poor, deluded Linda Hirshman.

Posted by: new kid on the block at June 20, 2006 9:06 PM

TIME is just another liberal birdcage linner its not worth reading and its not worth linning abirdscage with

Posted by: spurwing plover at June 21, 2006 2:39 PM

Mark Steyn's comments make perfect sense assuming that no change in human lifespans occurs in the next 20 years. If human lifespan is significantly increased during this time, then his comments are are about as meaningfull as the concerns of 18'th century worriers that city streets would be an impassable mass of horse manure if everyone was able to afford a horse and carriage.

Biotechnology has been progressing at an exponential rate and it would not surprise me if an increase of 50-100% in human lifespans occurred during the next 20 years. (At least this is what I'm hoping for as I've got way too many things that I want to do within the ridiculously short human lifespan that currently exists).

Should such medical breakthroughs occur, they would be almost exclusively limited to western industrialized societies that could afford them. Obviously extending human lifespan is only usefull if intellectual abilities were retained.

Steyn also has little to say about automation of many routine tasks that would obviate the need to import workers into an aging society. Similarly, the automation of warfare will compensate for any deficit in young men for the military (also, the new desire of women to assume combat roles in the military doubles the number of potential soldiers). The situation described by Steyn is worrisome only as long as scientific progress is eliminated from considerations of the future. It may well be that a woman who choses to have children rather than pursue her scientific studies is more likely to contribute to the cataclysmic outcome forecast by Steyn for western societies.

The nice thing about ignoring science in ones extrapolations of present trends to future times is that it makes for a much more predictable future. Unfortunately, for people like Mark Steyn, progress in science can make his predictions totally irrelevent and the source of much future amusement. Normally I agree with Mark Steyn, but in this piece of writing, he has made the cardinal sin of assuming that the future will be just like the past except the date will be different.

If women find that they are most fulfilled in having large familes, then by all means they should do so. On the other hand, if women feel the need to advance biomedical science to the point where primitive biologic processes for ensuring the future survival of a society are no longer needed, then they should feel free to devote themselves to such goals without the burdens of having children.


Posted by: Loki at June 22, 2006 3:28 AM

Loki said, "Normally I agree with Mark Steyn, but in this piece of writing, he has made the cardinal sin of assuming that the future will be just like the past except the date will be different."

Well, Loki, do you know of any way other than procreating that humankind can continue to "advance biomedical science" or any other of the "higher" academic disciplines? So, we've got all of the equipment but no humans to operate it. Great.

Someone needs to have the kids and keep the home fires burning, or do you think that kids just bring themselves up? That seems to be a common misconception in the "enlightened" segments of society today.

Just goes to show that bullsh** baffles brains.

Posted by: new kid on the block at June 22, 2006 8:09 AM

Yet more proof, as if more were needed, that those of us who've interned for Dick Lugar are all, without exception, geniuses. ;-)

Posted by: Dave J at June 22, 2006 11:16 PM

Along with the public education debate...the mission statement for a local public school:

"Celebrating Diversity assures success for All!"

Still not sure what they mean by that, but it doesn't make me want to send my kids there!

Posted by: majellamom at June 23, 2006 10:09 AM
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