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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Man-Bashing On The Road to Serfdom

Author's note, this article first appeared on The Spearhead on September 22d, 2011.

Selwyn Duke postulates the theory--misandry leads to authoritarianism--thusly:
[W]hat would you do if you wanted to grow government? I think you would try to remove any hope in women's minds that they could find security through a husband. You do this by destroying the man. You need to make him look weak, ineffectual, feckless, and buffoonish.

Here is how you would proceed: Portray men in sitcoms, movies, and commercials as inept, foolish, and pusillanimous. Make sure these overgrown Hollywood boys are always outshone by the female characters. Also ensure that there are at least as many female characters in action roles as men -- and don't neglect to make them as hard and as tough, if not more so, than the fellows. And definitely show them beating men up as much as possible. Then men certainly won't seem very strong.

This perception is far easier to instill if you can actually bring men and boys down. To this end, make sure you feminize the curricula and atmosphere in schools so that boys receive neither the stimulation nor the discipline they need to succeed. And when these little outside-the-box male creatures' (boys are more likely to be revolutionary-minded, for good or for ill) energies are misdirected due to this lack of discipline, you can pickle their wills in psychotropic drugs such as Ritalin. The idea here is to lower boys' grades and college-graduation rates so that they're less capable of being a family's breadwinner. And then they certainly won't seem very intelligent.

There must also be institutionalized discrimination against the lads. So be sure to have affirmative action, quotas, and set-asides for women. For instance, you can have government aid for female-owned businesses but not male-owned ones; if this is done right, a situation might even arise in which women start four times as many new businesses as men do [Ed: they already start twice as many]. The idea is to, as much as possible, work towards a point where men aren't very wealthy or powerful.

By sexualizing everything in society and presenting girls as objects of pleasure, we can instead make the boys more predatory. Then they will leave a trail of broken hearts in their wake, ensuring that girls' hopes of bonding with a man are crushed; this causes women to harden their hearts to avoid being similarly hurt again, which reduces the chances that they will ever truly bond with a man.

The result of all this will be men who seem weak, powerless, and unintelligent, and who are poor. Women must feel that the only reliable source of security and resources in their lives, the only strong man, is Uncle Sam.
In other words, misandry is functionally the same as hating freedom. If you love freedom, then you fight misandry wherever you find it. If you love liberty, then you labor tirelessly to restore and protect the position of men as fathers and as patriarchs of their families. If you crave independence, then you work to foster durable marriage and ensure interdependence between husbands and wives.

On the other hand, if you welcome the yoke, if you want your sons and daughters to be serfs, if you enjoy the boot heel of authoritarian rule pressing against your neck, go ahead and suppress men, masculinity, and dispose of patriarchal marriage and family.

I've argued before that while women are the center of gravity of a civilization, it is individual men operating within a framework of other men who transmit the technology of civilization from one generation to the next. Reading Mr. Duke's line of reasoning, it seems I need to extend my argument a bit and claim that it is the male-led family structure that enables freedom and liberty and that the female-led family drives a society toward tyranny and serfdom. A society based upon the female-headed family fails to bring men into the fold of marriage and family, fails to secure their investment into their children, and fails to direct men's surplus energies toward socially productive ends sans the use of government force.

It is this failure to capture male investment that makes Mr. Duke's observation about sexually predatory boys and hard-hearted girls especially salient. For our society is increasingly failing to efficiently capture male investment while at the same time establishing a moral ecology wherein evo psych and game theory justify the despoiling of the womenfolk...making them progressively poorer candidates for marriage with each happy roguring.

Speaking of marriage, Mr. Duke also had this interesting observation about how the marriage calculus has been stood on its head by all this man-hatin' going on:
[W]omen have been sacrificing liberty for security for thousands of years -- in an appropriate context. This context was marriage, when a woman would accept a man's protection and his headship (with today's hen-pecked Western man, it's different; upon getting married, he sacrifices liberty for insecurity) [Emphasis mine].
So on top of the postulate that misandry leads to tyranny, we see, through several degrees of separation, that all this bustin' on the guys has had the effect of negating the marriage contract for men. It still brings a (temporary) security for women while failing to secure for men what it used to. But it's worse than that, for it is not only a lack of security, men who marry face an insecurity, a negative security...they risk more by marrying than by not. And by not marrying, they feed into Kay Hymowitz' SYM stereotype, which in turn begets more misandry and so forth.

Thus does misandry circle back around in a self-sustaining spiral down into chains. The message is clear: a free society that makes a habit of disrespecting and suppressing and repressing its men won't remain free
for too much longer.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Brave New Choice Mommy World

The mind reels at the potential adverse consequences incident to choice mommyhood of the sperm donation variety:
Cynthia Daily and her partner used a sperm donor to conceive a baby seven years ago, and they hoped that one day their son would get to know some of his half siblings - an extended family of sorts for modern times. Today there are 150 children, all conceived with sperm from one donor, in this group of half siblings, and more are on the way. "It's wild when we see them all together - they all look alike," said Ms. Daily, 48, a social worker in the Washington area who sometimes vacations with other families in her son's group.

As more women choose to have babies on their own, and the number of children born through artificial insemination increases, outsize groups of donor siblings are starting to appear. While Ms. Daily's group is among the largest, many others comprising 50 or more half siblings are cropping up on Web sites and in chat groups, where sperm donors are tagged with unique identifying numbers. Now, there is growing concern among parents, donors and medical experts about potential negative consequences of having so many children fathered by the same donors,
including the possibility that genes for rare diseases could be spread more widely through the population. Some experts are even calling attention to the increased odds of accidental incest between half sisters and half brothers, who often live close to one another.

"My daughter knows her donor's number for this very reason," said the mother of a teenager conceived via sperm donation in California who asked that her name be withheld to protect her daughter's privacy. "She's been in school with numerous kids who were born through donors. She's had crushes on boys who are donor children. It's become part of sex education" for her.
It's bad that somewhere south of half of all marriages, and roughly 4 of 10 first marriages, end in divorce, resulting in somewhere north of half a million children becoming the hapless victims of a parendectomy each year in the USA. Cohabitations, accounting for roughly 10% of US couples but producing 20% of new babies, disrupt at rates far higher than divorces; good data on numbers of children denied paternal investment when a shack-up goes bad is hard to find. It's also bad that straight single women (and a few straight single men), rather than taking the time and trouble to find a mate and marry them, would pursue single parent adoption instead, forcibly consigning their newly acquired children to a childhood conspicuously lacking in the investment of a mother and a father. Both events--divorce and single parent adoption--send their own seismic ripples through an already strained social fabric.

Compare the consequences of divorce, dissolving cohabitative unions, and single parent adoption to the chimera that is reproduction via sperm donor. One one hand we have the well-known and well-documented results from widespread choice-mommyism: greater rates of violence, greater rates of spiritual, emotional, and financial poverty, decreased school performance, greater rates of unwed childbirth and precocious sexuality, etc. I could go on, but I won't.

On the other hand, however, we have all of these things, but with an added dysgenic bonus: the risk of half-siblings unwittingly reproducing with one another, and the propagation of genetic anomalies far out of proportion to their prevalence in the gene pool at large. When considering the risks, it's not as if these risks will be evenly distributed amongst the population as a whole. No, the political and social climates that lead a woman to consider man-not-included reproduction are geographically clustered, same with the marketplaces that trade in men's genetic material. These two factors collude to make the incest freakshow entirely possible and plausible: half-siblings could unwittingly have an incestuous union...and children.

This risk is finally dawning on the choice mommy crowd, their solutions are also as predictable as their politics: more government intervention. Never once does it enter their minds that perhaps their "choice" behavior is the culprit at the root of it all:
Ms. Kramer said that some sperm banks in the United States have treated donor families unethically and that it is time to consider new legislation. "Just as it's happened in many other countries around the world," Ms. Kramer said, "we need to publicly ask the questions 'What is in the best interests of the child to be born?' and 'Is it fair to bring a child into the world who will have no access to knowing about one half of their genetics, medical history and ancestry?' "These sperm banks are keeping donors anonymous, making women babies and making a lot of money. But nowhere in that formula is doing what's right for the donor families."

Without limits, the same donor could theoretically produce hundreds of related children. And it is even possible that accidental incest could occur among hundreds of half siblings, said Naomi R. Cahn, a law professor at George Washington University and the author of "Test Tube Families: Why the Fertility Markets Need Legal Regulation."

Sperm donors, too, are becoming concerned. "When I asked specifically how many children might result, I was told nobody knows for sure but that five would be a safe estimate," said a sperm donor in Texas who asked that his name be withheld because of privacy concerns. "I was told that it would be very rare for a donor to have more than 10 children." He later discovered in the Donor Sibling Registry that some donors had dozens of children listed. "It was all about whatever they could get
away with," he said of the sperm bank to which he donated. "It is unfair and reprehensible to the donor families, donors and donor children."

Ms. Kramer, the registry's founder, said that one sperm donor on her site learned that he had 70 children. He now keeps track of them all on an Excel spreadsheet. "Every once in a while he gets a new kid or twins," she said. "It's overwhelming, and not what he signed up for. He was promised low numbers of children."
Two thoughts here: First, Ms. Kramer is being a bit self-serving in her sudden concern for the best interests of the children. Having previously pushed aside as too inconvenient the interests of her children, you know, their interests in having a married bio mom and dad in the same home raising them, and after having already set up the very conditions in which her children have access to only half their genetics, medical history, or parental investment, she now dares to invoke "best interests of the children" in her push for more government intervention in the genetic materials market. Does she not hear how foolish she sounds? And short-sighted, too: In fact, I wager that she had better be careful, for she may get what she's asking for, and that is a lifting of the veil of secrecy surrounding those men who sell their genetic material (dumb move you men who make the world worse for other men). Should such an event come to pass, watch the US genetic material market dry up entirely, just as it has in other locations without anonymity for sperm sellers. What guy wants to risk being hit up for a chilimony bill 10 years after wanking into a bottle when one of the women who purchased his seed cross-referenced his name against the donor number? And women have already gone after men who have sold their genetic material, too, so it's not like it would never happen--or even all that unprecedented

My second thought--for the guys now--is: if you can't stand the thought of 200 children, then don't sell your seed. It's as simple as that. You lose your right to appropriate the mantle of fairness and responsibility if you are that indiscriminate about the vessel in which your seed gets spilt.  Don't be one of those guys who make the world worse, fellas.  Maintain control of your seed to maintain your freedom...to say nothing of doing your part to foster a SMP a little less tilted against you.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Problem...Is Choice's Consequences

I think it's starting to dawn on more and more people that the choice mommy family model is not very well suited to an orderly, complex society:
There has been a good deal of media commentary recently on the riots in London and "flash mob" activity in Philadelphia and elsewhere in the US. Many...commentators have noted that the teens involved in the rioting were largely from single-parent homes. Given the recent dramatic increases in the number of single-parent families in U.S. society, a serious problem may be developing here as well. The cause of this developing problem has been assumed to be the lower economic status of single-parent families and the likelihood that the mothers raising these children are "overwhelmed." But decades of research on single-parent families in the U.S., almost all of them headed by women, have made it pretty clear that the problems of the children raised in these families have very little to do with poverty and very much to do with father absence. [There are] startling differences in the social health and academic achievement between those children raised without biological fathers in their homes as compared with children raised in intact, two-parent families, even when research results are adjusted for factors such as family income.
The data that confirms the objective superiority of the nuclear family model over the single-parent "choice mommy" family model has been available for a long, long time. It just apparently takes, well, decades for the edgy, modern zeitgeist to acknowledge that yes, there was significant wisdom embedded in the traditions of lifelong monogamous marriage and a model of family that consists of a bio father, a bio mother, and their children. Moreover, those that have gone before us weren't necessarily the ignorant rustics, racists, sexists, and reactionaries our conceited self-absorbed culture casts them as. They recognized, accepted, and lived out a knowing that we ignore to our own detriment.

Almost no one will claim that the investment of a mother is not important to the healthy development of a child. But our society seems to say, in word, in social habit, and as a function of government policy, that the investment of a father is not. Thus I find it curious that leaders such as President Obama and Mayor Nutter of Philadelphia, rather than acknowledging that fathers and men have been deemed irrelevant and therefore free to act as the fashionable accessories that they now are, instead choose to lambast men for their "irresponsibility". In other words, we say that mom is essential, dad is a nice-to-have luxury, but out of the same mouth, dammit, you men are irresponsible for abandoning those hapless women and the children you so recklessly sired:
...it is somewhat absurd to hold men accountable for the problem of father absence in the society as a whole. Today, women initiate somewhere between two-thirds and three-quarters of all divorces in the U.S. and get sole custody of the children in 85%-90% of the cases. So it is interesting...that well into our society's current era of equal rights, our instinct is still to protect women--even if it means that we must blame men for a problem over which they have virtually no control. [A]sking dads to be "responsible"--the popular but simplistic pitch now endorsed by President Obama -- doesn't scratch the surface of this problem. [emphasis mine]
While I agree with what the author has to say here, divorce, while symptomatic of the problem as a whole, is only part of the picture. For all over the culture we see evidence that couples are, well, coupling irresponsibly. And by "irresponsibly" I mean that they engage in congress without first marrying. Or bothering to marry after several sessions of congress have been held. Or failing to take their coupling seriously enough to give much thought to mate selection or, if they do marry, to hack their way through tough times.  The other, much larger part of the problem is indicated by the text that I bolded above. We as a society seem afraid to hold women--the poor, fragile dears--accountable for their lifestyle choices, whatever they may be. Instead of letting women be fully accountable and fully responsible for their choices, our society is structured to soft-pedal the consequences of women's choices and blame-shift the cost to someone else. Usually men or "society" in general.  And in doing so, we encourage more of the same irresponsible behavior that gets us the Milwaukee, Denver, Philly, and London riots.

The problem is choice...we have chosen to support, excuse, and even subsidize the choice mommy family model...and now we must deal with the unhappy and sometimes deadly consequences.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Advice to My Sons, No. 2

Note 1: this is the second installment in a series of posts where I dispense advice to my pre-adolescent sons.  Advice that I wish I would have had in my youth. 

Note 2: This article first appeared at the blog Traditional Christianity on September 6th, 2011.

Marry a Zealot

A little-z zealot, that is.

My checkered past features a four-year time span of acute unhappiness, bookended on the left by a surprise divorce that I didn't see coming, and on the right when I was introduced to and eventually wed Mrs. Wapiti.

It's been nearly 10 years since I first faced those dark and terrible days, and the memory of that bitter experience motivates me to share the lessons I had to learn the hard way.

One of those hard-won lessons was, duh, don't be unequally yoked.* That should have went without saying, but I was frankly quite ignorant and arrogant in my youth, the way high-achieving young folks can be. The other lesson was: marry a woman who is hard core about her faith.

There are a couple of reasons why I advise my sons and my fellow men to marry hard-core believers. First, is has been my consistent observation that in today's world, with women armed as they are with so many choices, choices that include whether a man's child escapes the uterus intact and whether a man gets to participate in the rearing of his own seed, indeed whether he remains free or is sold into a state of semi-slavery, a woman's locus of control becomes paramount. If she is internally controlled, as I've observed most women are, then her actions will be primarily driven by whim. Or biochemistry. Or modern chemistry. Or even a dartboard. Whatever heuristic a woman uses to govern her actions, if she peers inside herself to determine what to do and where to go, run, don't walk away. Such women is but a leaf in the autumn wind. Who knows where the air currents will take her, and by extension, where the man tied to such a woman finds himself.

Hard core Believers, on the other hand, are externally governed. Their locus of control tends to be directed outside themselves, toward a fixed point that doesn't move. In the case of Believers, that fixed point is Scripture and the Holy Spirit, and women whose decision tree starts and ends there are a whole lot less likely to follow their Game-manipulable lizard hind brain into situations which their hamster must then rationalize away.

So how does one differentiate the externally controlled few from the internally controlled masses? By her claims to be a committed Christian? Bzzzt! If the metaphorical red pill has taught modern men anything about women, it is to put greater stock in a woman's actions than her words.

This brings me to the second reason why I advise men to marry zealots: they take their faith seriously. A seriousness that is reflected in their church/synagogue attendance rates. And it turns out that said attendance rates are highly correlated with marital success. Read on:
“Christians divorce at roughly the same rate as the world!”

It’s one of the most quoted stats by Christian leaders today. And it’s perhaps one of the most inaccurate.

The factor making the most difference is religious commitment and practice. Couples who regularly practice any combination of serious religious behaviors and attitudes – attend church nearly every week, read their bibles and spiritual materials regularly; pray privately and together; generally take their faith seriously, living not as perfect disciples, but serious disciples – enjoy significantly lower divorce rates than mere church members, the general public and unbelievers.
That's the text. But the adjusted-for-race-and-income data practically shouts from the rooftops (negative numbers represent percent less likely to divorce):

Protestant (Nominal) +20
Protestant (Conservative) -10
Protestant (Active-Con) -35

Catholic -18
Catholic (Nominal) -5
Catholic (Active) -31

Jewish +39
Jewish (Nominal) +53
Jewish (Active) -97

Looking at the data, one thing is very clear. Those that are serious about their faiths stand a significantly lower risk of marital disruption than those that are not. Fine. This is great news, but not the end of the story, for what I also find very interesting about this table is that those who dabble in their faiths, those who are neither hot nor cold, are the ones setting themselves up for failure the most...+20 for Protestants, -5 for Catholics, and a whopping +53 for Jews.

My advice for my sons and my fellow brothers is this: find and marry a woman who is zealous about her faith, a zealotry that is demonstrated by her actions. For an obedience and submission to Christ portends well for her ability to follow your lead in marriage. Granted, such women may be hard to find in this day and age, but if a fellow dares to marry, and I think some fellows should,** her worth will be far more than rubies.

* I was a nominal Protestant at the time, paired with an east-Coast (i.e. lib/fem) nominal "jack" Catholic. Uh-oh.

** I think that only Believing men should marry. Non believers should avoid Marriage 2.0 religiously, if you pardon the pun.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

In Memoriam

Ten years ago, at 8:46 AM Eastern, a collection of Saudi jihadists steered their hijacked Boeing 767 into the north World Trade Center tower.


This post is made in remembrance of those who perished that sunny morning, and honors those who work to ensure that those who do the yeoman work of building, not the comparatively easy work of destroying, carry the day.  May the Light of Truth prevail over Darkness.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

eBay and PayPal: DV Only Happens to Women and Children

Don't take my word for it, take theirs:

Saw this today while paying for an item from eBay

Needless to say I didn't donate. I saddens me that this blatant sexism on the part of eBay / PayPal would reinforce the feminist agitprop of DV as a "women's" issue...as opposed to a mere crime, one among many others.  Clearly this advert was targeted toward women, why else would one have the ubiquitous pink ribbon meant to entice the mentally languid to crack open their purses and wallets?

Oh, and don't forget the "women and children" meme either...apparently "men" and "children" still don't belong together in the same sentence except when accounting some crime or misbehavior of the former toward the latter. But this case is worse than others...it's  not "women and children", it's "women and her children".  Men apparently don't have children, and neither are they ever victims of women and their equivalent tendency toward violence.

Blech.

/ rant

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Problem Is Choice



Helmut Bakaitis as The Architect
Ed note: this article first appeared at The Spearhead on August 28, 2011.

I have been critical of Kay Hymowitz in the past, most recently for her "manning up" shaming language missteps, but I have to say that she did an excellent job in a recent article for the Wall Street Journal where she adeptly dismantles "pay gap" agitprop for the lies, damn lies, and statistical manipulation that it really is:
...the 75-cent meme depends on a panoply of apple-to-orange comparisons that support a variety of feminist policy initiatives, from the Paycheck Fairness Act to universal child care, while telling us next to nothing about the well-being of women. In 2007, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 27 percent of male full-time workers had workweeks of 41 or more hours, compared with 15 percent of female full-time workers; meanwhile, just 4 percent of full-time men worked 35 to 39 hours a week, while 12 percent of women did. Since FTYR men work more than FTYR women do, it shouldn't be
surprising that the men, on average, earn more. [Also], proofers often make the claim that women earn less than men doing the exact same job. They can't possibly know that. The Labor Department's occupational categories can be so large that a woman could drive a truck through them. Among "physicians and surgeons," for example, women make only 64.2 percent of what men make. Outrageous, right? Not if you consider that there are dozens of specialties in medicine: some, like cardiac surgery, require years of extra training, grueling hours, and life-and-death procedures; others, like pediatrics, are less demanding and consequently less highly rewarded.

[W]hen you control for such factors as education and hours worked, there's actually just a 5 percent pay gap.

[Y]ou can't rule out discrimination. Neither can you rule out other, equally plausible explanations for the gap...for instance, it's extremely difficult to find accurate measures of work experience. [In
addition], men had taken more finance courses and received better grades in those courses, while women had taken more marketing classes...women had more career interruption [and]...mothers worked fewer hours.

When working mothers can, they tend to spend less time at work. That explains all those female pharmacists looking for reduced hours. It explains why female lawyers are twice as likely as men to go into public-interest law, in which hours are less brutal than in the partner track at Sullivan & Cromwell. Female medical students tell researchers that they're choosing not to become surgeons because of "lifestyle issues," which seems to be a euphemism for wanting more time with the
kids.
Ms. Hymowitz is just warming up. What comes next is sure to make feminist heads explode, for Ms. Hymowitz lays the blame for the pay gap myth at the feet of women themselves and their maternal choices. Yes, she's referring to the so-called "mommy track", and claims that it's not some oppressive, omnipotent patriarchy making women shoulder all the burden at work and at home. Rather, the mommy track exists because, well, women want it that way, thank you very little. And not just in the USA, either, but in feminist paradises such as Sweden and Iceland:
Do women want to be working more, if only the kids-and their useless husbands-would let them? And do we know that more government support would enable them to do so and close the wage gap? Actually, there is no evidence for either of these propositions. If women work fewer hours than men do, it appears to be because they want it that way. About two-thirds of the part-time workforce in the United States is female. According to a 2007 Pew Research survey, only 21 percent of working mothers with minor children want to be in the office full-time. Sixty percent say that they would prefer to work part-time, and 19 percent would like to give up their jobs altogether. For working fathers, the numbers are reversed: 72 percent want to work full-time and 12 percent part-time. In fact, women choose fewer hours-despite the resulting gap in earnings-all over the world. Feminists can object till the Singularity arrives that women are "socialized" to think that they
have to be the primary parent. But after decades of feminism and Nordic engineering, the continuing female tropism toward shorter work hours suggests that that view is either false or irrelevant. Even the determined Swedes haven't been able to get women to stick around the office.
It appears that, once again, feminists have arrayed themselves in opposition to human, in this case their very own female nature, and are POed that they are losing their fight against the invisible hand of Intelligent Design. Again. Their denial of forces beyond their control and comprehension doesn't stop there though, for
the arguments about the pay gap and how women are supposedly paid less than men for doing "the same work" (a contention I demonstrate to be false here) appear to overlook one simple fact: in a free market system unperturbed by government intervention, businesses that hire more expensive labor cannot compete with ones who have cheaper labor. They either substitute capital for labor, or find cheaper/more productive labor. Putting this into the pay-gap myth dynamic, think offshoring of American jobs to China, only rather than jobs going from Detroit to Shanghai, the work flows from more expensive men to less expensive women. If it were true that women really were paid 75% of a man's wages, the economic invisible hand would ensure very few men in the country would be able to find work and there would be 100% feminine employment.

The problem, as the Architect put it, "is choice".  The choice that, Simone de Beauvoir notwithstanding, women choose to make.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Sad Fact I Didn't Know About...Until Today

Infanticide was and is a common feature of heathen cultures. That much is widely known. What's more, the practice continues today, even in supposedly "modern" countries in the post-Christian West, only we moderns clothe our deadly deeds with guilt-expunging euphemisms like "choice" and "selective reduction". All the better to make the masses feel better about the extinguishing of a helpless and vulnerable human life, I suppose.

What I didn't know about was that the accounting criteria of a great many countries in post-Christian Europe don't even acknowledge as a "live" birth those children born underweight or under-length. Call it "too small/short to live". It is also a pretty convenient way to provide psychological cover for what can only be viewed as the modern-day invocation of ancient habits of exposing babies thought to be not worth the effort:
According to the way statistics are calculated in Canada, Germany, and Austria, a premature baby weighing 500g is not considered a living child. But in the U.S., such very low birth weight babies are considered live births. The mortality rate of such babies - considered "unsalvageable" outside of the U.S. and therefore never alive - is extraordinarily high; up to 869 per 1,000 in the first month of life alone.

In the United States, all infants who show signs of life at birth (take a breath, move voluntarily, have a heartbeat) are considered alive. If a child in Hong Kong or Japan is born alive but dies within the first 24 hours of birth, he or she is reported as a "miscarriage" and does not affect the country's reported infant mortality rates. The length of pregnancy considered "normal" is 37-41 weeks. In Belgium and France - in fact, in most European Union countries - any baby born before 26 weeks gestation is not considered alive and therefore does not "count" against reported infant mortality rates. In Switzerland and other parts of Europe, a baby born who is less than 30 centimeters long is not counted as a live birth.
Granted, the article is a position piece opposing socialized medicine of the variety that Obamacare is preparing to forcibly impose on the American people. But the article is not off-base, not one iota. For economics is nothing more than the art and science of allocating scarce resources. People and governments make allocation decisions all the time, they do so by what car they buy, how much time they spend coupon-clipping, and in deciding whether or not seeing a doctor is worth the expense of time and money. Countries that feature socialized medicine make these economic decisions too...and pre-empt private choices of whether or not to invest scarce public resources on a preemie child..by defining many of these children as DOA. What better society-wide mechanism for dodging the guilt that would come from suspending medical aid to a baby born alive, than to declare such a child legally "dead" even though such a baby has a heartbeat, brain function, and can move?

The pagan practice of leaving for dead those infants deemed not worth the investment of live-saving care continues in this day and age, even as technology continues to slide left the point of viability. We moderns fancy ourselves as being so much more morally advanced than our (well, for those like me of Anglo-Saxon extraction, anyways) barbarian Freyja-worshipping forebears.

Some days I'm not so sure.