Re: Time article and letter to editor

From: Keith Henson (
Date: Wed 10 Sep 2003 - 00:41:50 GMT

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    At 04:14 PM 07/09/03 -0400, Scott wrote:

    >>From: Keith Henson <>


    >>Unfortunately, the current US administration is utterly opposed to
    >>population limiting steps that would improve the per capita income,
    >>though that probably lies behind reversing the tide of violence in
    >>Northern Ireland.
    >What population limiting steps? Contraception? Abortion? Sterilization?

    By far the most effective step in limiting population is education for women.

    >Where? The U.S.? Saudi Arabia?

    Anywhere. The fundamentalists who back the current administration would take the shoes off women if they could.

    >Are these steps supposed to be a matter of choice or gov't imposition?

    That's the politically correct choice, and my personal one as well. But when you have a *really* serious population problem like China did/does and considering the alternatives . . . . I would prefer not to think about their method too much.

    >Implicit in this Malthusian claptrap

    Read up on Easter Island.

    > would be the canard of the affluent intelligent people having fewer
    > babies and thus stable K population levels where the poor dumb folk are
    > sprewing gametes all over the place ("stupid people are breeding" AKA
    > r-strategy). Thus, these steps to curb population growth would have the
    > untermenschen as their target. They are the ones who are
    > underprivilileged, feel the tears of privation and serve as fermenting
    > vats of xenophobic "memes".

    Sorry, I just don't get the point here.

    >As conservative as Dubya is, I haven't yet seen Roe vs Wade overturned nor
    >contraception banned in the US. I would foresee us having a lot of
    >problems imposing planned parenthood upon a fundamentalist Islamic state
    >such as Saudi Arabia, in the hopes of socially engineering privation and
    >terrorist "memes" away. Imposing abortion (or other "population limiting
    >steps") upon our own people would be bad. Trying to do this to another
    >nation would be a pretty nasty situation too.

    And completely out of the prehistory/historical mode as well. The method we evolved to use was to kill all the males of the opposing tribe and take the women as extra wives. (See Biblical stories.) This probably isn't politically correct either. :-)

    >There's always forced sterilization. Didn't the US already impose this on
    >the "inferior" folks within our borders back in the day? There's not much
    >of a line to be crossed between Malthusian talk and eugenic action.
    >Population limiting steps (contraception, sterilization or abortion),
    >should be a matter of individual choice, not gov't edict. That's the most
    >important part of pro-choice.

    If it comes down to a government making a hard choice, my bet would be on the Russians using their 20 tons of smallpox on MIRV warheads to thin out various populations.

    Of course, a SARS comeback (new case announced yesterday) could have much the same effect if it got out of control.

    Keith Henson

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