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May 15 2006

The Great Russian Uterine Purchase Plan of 2006

Motherland swirling down the crapper? Just pimp out your women.

Mad Vlad Putin, facing a debilitating population shortfall, wants to pay Russian women to produce human meat on the hoof. Nine thousand bucks per live foal, plus an extra bucket of oats each month. Gosh, was there ever a social crisis that couldn’t be solved by governmental commandeering of women’s uteruses?

The NY Times observes that, because the Russian citizenry stands out among world populations as just one big mass of bodily decay, the dough might be better spent keeping current Russians alive. But patriarchies can’t stand humanitarian solutions—not enough dominance involved. Far better to encourage women to sell themselves. The idea has such a homely, comforting familiarity.

Putin’s nationalist broodmare plan is nuts not just in terms of women’s oppression, but because it won’t even work. Replacing the hundreds of thousands expected to die off in the near future from HIV, tuberculosis, cancer, violence, and assorted other nasty afflictions would, according to the Times, require “feats of fertility unseen in the industrialized world.” Not to mention the insanity, given the unsustainability of the world’s current population, of encouraging higher birthrates among Russians or anybody else.

While I’m at it, I must also wrinkle the Twisty lip over the stupid headline of the aforelinked piece: “Russians, Busy Making Shrouds, Are Asked to Make Babies.” Busy making shrouds? What is this, 1917? Are we on the set of Dr. Zhivago? If anyone even still uses shrouds, it’s a cert they’re made in China.

[Gracias, Sara]

51 comments

  1. saltyC

    I don’t know about this plan, but any money given to mothers will be very well spent. Probably the best allocation of resources possible.

  2. hedonistic

    Every time I witness Teh Patriarchs fussing over declining birthrates, this little alarm goes off in my head, and all I hear is “More White Babies!!! More White Babies!!!! The Master Race Must Prevail!!!!!”

    I suspect our comrades overseas (Europe, Russia) will just tell their governments to feck off. At least, one can hope.

  3. Kelda

    It’s like disposable plates. Yes, you don’t have to do the washing up, but you needso much more of them and they’re so much more expensive. But the patriarchy doesn’t even get as far as the analogy before the red mist of ‘breed! breed!’ comes down.

    However, ‘feats of fertility’ is a great phrase.

  4. teffie-phd

    They’ve been doing this in Quebec for years. It’s a sliding scale–more kids, more money at each birth. It’s to keep up the stock of “pure laine” or good ole’ white french speakers.

    What bugs me most is the idea that money is the only thing keeping women from having more kids. Instead of crazy things like trying to raise them in a world which has almost no respect for children or and doesn’t view child-rearing as WORK (that is, unless poor daddy is changing diapers).

  5. justtesting

    Strangely, I woke up this morning thinking about Russia, and how there doesn’t seem to be much on the blogs about the problems – and the problems in particular that women face there.

    From the Amnesty international website “Every day 36,000 women in the Russian Federation are beaten by their husbands or partners. Every forty minutes a woman is killed by domestic violence“.

    That’s around 14,000 women murdered a year out of a total population of around 145 million. If I’ve pressed the right buttons on my calculator that’s about 1 in 5000 of the female population killed outright by domestic assault (assuming 50% population split between the sexes).

    To compare these rates to the USA, a country with a population nearly twice the size of Russia, the figures I found (not necessarily reliable) give about 1,250 women killed a year for the USA: imagine if it were 28,000.

    As to the rest of it: apart from the cash incentive to breed the rest of the NY times article isn’t really new news. Putin et al have been agitating about population decline for a number of years, meanwhile doing sod-all to actually address the endemic health and social problems that the country is suffering from. Pretty grim all round, and glad to see some attention drawn to it.

    http://www.amnesty.org/russia/vaw.html

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/988723.stm

  6. Viveth

    Nothing strikes fear in the heart of the patriarchs like the suggestion of questionable studliness. The real proof of their studly accomplishments is babies, right? The women won’t do it willingly, so they’ll try paying them for it. How cliche. If that fails, they can always force them into breeding camps. That should seem shockingly impossible, but it doesn’t.

  7. BCollie49

    Remember Romania and the Ceausceaus? Sickening.

  8. Sylvanite

    One of my co-workers (an uber-Catholic) tried to tell me that the population decline in Russia was due to abortion. I disabused him of that notion, though I don’t know if I really got through to him. I’m kind of glad now that I applied to the peace corps before they really started sending folks to Eastern Europe. They had no idea what to do with a geologist in 1992. Now, I’d be sent to some radioactive, toxic-waste-saturated hell-hole in the former Soviet Union and be expected to try to find a source of clean water, I suppose. I wonder if Russia is even allowing the Peace Corps in to the country. I know someone who was sent by the Corps to Poland to help with environmental issues.

  9. TheGlimmering

    You sure don’t need to look far for baby mongering, wasn’t there an article in a major US paper telling us to “procreate not recreate” or some such? If generic white folks are concerned about the white to other ratio in the world, why not try educating the rainbow masses? We know that education reduces birth rates like clockwork, that way none of us have to do the hard labor. Of course, that would make too many people happier, so we can’t do that. Could someone explain to me what the problem with an undercut population is anyway? So people have to work until they’re 75 to get social security because there are fewer young’uns to fund them, thanks to modern technology we can do that. Or maybe we can spend some energy educating the aging population on the benefits of hospice care versus painful, pointless prolong-your-dying-not-your-living medical treatments instead of telling the younger generation to breed faster. Catch me at 75 with a degenerative disease and I’m blowing my savings on a hut in the Florida Keys, that’s the way to die!

  10. marie

    Here is the link to Media Matter’s coverage of Fox News’ “we need more [white] babies” creepiness, where I first heard about Putin’s fabulous plan.

    http://mediamatters.org/items/200605120006

    I am currently living in Europe and I can attest to the fact that people are reacting to “stagnant” birthrates by “doing their part”. Especially in Nordic countries. Denmark, notorious for its sharp turn to the xenophobic right, is a frightening place, every stroller is double-wide, every car has 2 childseats. Blue-eyed babies everywhere. Take that, Eurabia!

  11. Hattie

    Sounds like the Russians are losing it. I think all Russians should have the option to leave and start new lives elsewhere.

  12. Sara

    “If anyone even still uses shrouds, it’s a cert they’re made in China.”

    Well, here, sure, but I’m not sure they have any Wal-Marts in Russia.

    ***

    On a more serious note, let’s not forget that when they start paying women to bear children, fining women for not bearing children can’t be far behind. In effect, of course, it amounts to the same thing; ostensibly, the funding for the birth rewards derives from taxes collected off the general public. Nevertheless, it can get worse, much worse.

    Talk about your slippery slope!

  13. saltyC

    I thought there used to be a feminist notion that there should be payment for the free work women do. Of course, 9,000 is not enough, but if every mother got at least that I guarantee you will see alleviation of all the problems of our society connected with children growing up poor. I forgot how many children in the US frow up poor, but it’s a lot.

  14. sonofajoiner

    hedonistic said
    “Every time I witness Teh Patriarchs fussing over declining birthrates, this little alarm goes off in my head, and all I hear is “More White Babies!!! More White Babies!!!! The Master Race Must Prevail!!!!!”

    Russia is so desperate for population growth, that must be why it’s busily removing all it’s ethnic meskhetian turk population (who have absolutely no problems with the whole reproduction thing) and packing them all off to America. A recent documentary on Russia’s enormous problems implied that every single member of this group was being ‘re-homed’, whereas wiki sources indicate that it’s a voluntary programme. Those turks interviewed for the documentary were certainly under the impression that they were not being given a choice in the matter and were also under no illusions as to why they were being removed (they happen to be muslim).

  15. jami

    i like these programs. it evens the playing field for women who want children but don’t make a lot of money or sell themselves to a husband, any husband. i wish i could get me $9000 when i’m ready to breed.

  16. Keeshond

    Oh Chee-rist. To think I just drove all the way from St. Paul to Duluth and back again today on highway 35 having to endure patronizing “Pro Life Across America!” billboards every flippin’ two miles (literally) only to arrive home and read this charming tale of Pooty-Poot’s uterine aspirations. Ack. It’s high time men got their own damn uteruses.

    Oh, need I mention all the cute little pro life billboard babies are white and clearly male? Should I also mention that they’re weirdly interspersed between all the STRIP CLUB billboards?

    I blame the patriarchy for Vladimir Putin. I blame the patriarchy for the invention of billboards. I blame the patriarchy for uterus envy. I blame the patriarchy for stupid strip clubs with stupid names like “Heartbreakers” and for the damn nerve they have in referring to them as “Gentlemans’ Clubs” as if anyone who frequents those establishments had an ounce of refinement. Hell, in the mood I’m in, I even blame the patriarchy for the bad coffee I had this morning, how quickly weeds sprout up in my yard and the fact that it rained all damn weekend.

    It’s bad today, folks. So bad I feel a full out multi-megaton nuclear blame coming on.

  17. kreepyk

    Keeshond-

    If it makes you feel any better here in the “inner city” of Mpls/St. Paul all our godbag propeganda/prolife billboards have cute black babies.

    I’m waiting for the Godbags to figure out 90,000 Hmong live in the Twin Cities and put an Asian kid on one.

    Meanwhile, condoms are locked up in Walgreens. Take that urban poor!

  18. hedonistic

    Gawdess, Keeshond, if you’re gonna live in Minnesota don’t leave the Twin Cities! Move to The Wedge in south Minneapolis. I think people are still cool there.

  19. RP

    saltyC, I do loads of free work that I don’t get paid for. A lot of it is more useful than increasing the human population on the earth. The living conditions are horrid in Russia and the patriarchy is stinkin’ strong there. To paraphrase Twisty, use the money to make things better for the people already living there, not to create even more people.

    I blame the patriarchy for the woman = mother equivalency.

  20. hkreader

    I saw a thing on the news the other night that in Japan, women are being offered money for bearing kids.

    In Singapore, they’ve offered the “Baby Bonus” for years:
    http://www.babybonus.gov.sg/bbss/html/menu/bb1.html

    But, no Singaporean woman I know says that the $ is anything useful, anything that would sway them to have a kid when they wouldn’t want one for other reasons.

    In Hong Kong the Govt. has been making ocassional noises that we are not having “enough” kids, because our fertility rate per woman is less than 1. Such a joke when across the border, women are being “discouraged” from having more than 1.

    It’s not a racial thing (almost everyone involved is Han Chinese), it’s just patriarchy: women should only have kids when and where the Men in Power (in this case the CCP and their flunkies) say they should.

  21. scratchy888

    Fools Russian.

  22. Ron Sullivan

    Bingo, RP. Six (or is it six and a half?) billion miracles are enough. Having a baby is not an altruistic act.

    As for governments paying for them — what, do they pay by the pound? What’s in that infamous government surplus cheese, anyway?

  23. jc.

    Us Swedes are as usual way ahead of everyone. We´re so progressive! We raised the child benifit payments in the nineties so that recipients get payed not only for each kid but also extra for having mucho kiddos.
    We had to do this so that our population would be large enough to sustain our progressive lifestyle and living standard in the future,when present lawmakers are on pension.
    We of course at the same time clamped down hard on immigration.
    What I love best about our monthly child benifit payments is that all families with children are paid them, irregardless of econmic situation. I think the King and Queen used the money as cat litter.

  24. Alecto Erinyes

    Indeed, here in the land of Oz the government won an election in 2001 on the slogan ‘We decide who comes to this country, and the circumstances in which they come’ and then encouraged women to have children: “one for themselves, one for their husbands, and one for the country” – with a $3,000 breeding bonus per child.

    Shades of the early 20th century Australian poster with a blue-eyed blonde baby boy and the slogan “The Only Immigrant We Want”!!

    I blame the patriarchy for this time-warp we seem to be stuck in!

  25. hedonistic

    hkreader: I know next-to-nothing about far-east culture, but I wonder if the push for more babies in Singapore has something to do with the backlash against career-women?

    After all, if women achieve economic parity we’ll stop having sex with men. Or something like that.

  26. Wolke

    Sara said: “On a more serious note, let’s not forget that when they start paying women to bear children, fining women for not bearing children can’t be far behind.”

    This is more or less already happening in Germany where childless people pay slightly higher rates of care insurance since they don’t have children who may support them at old age. However, I find this reasoning plausible, just as the monetary support for families with children. Children cost a lot of money and having children poses an existential risk to underpriviledged families. Also, financial support allows the parents to pursuit their careers by being able to have the children looked after. I don’t have a problem with financial support for families, I would however prefer the support to be linked more directly to the children, e.g. by way of free child care, lower sales taxes for children’s products (diapers etc) and so on.

    What enrages me is the very wide-spread notion that it’s the women who are responsible for cuts in birth rates and that the reasons are women’s egoism, hedonism, individualism, career fixation, and incapability to engage in altruism and self-abandonment. In Germany there’s been a veritable flood of appeals, reproaches and insults coming down on young women over the last months.
    Interestingly, the most prominent critics are old men who – of course – didn’t participate in the upbringing of their children but presume to sing hymns on family.
    Fortunately, most young women can’t have patronizing old patriarchs tell them what is the most important achievement of their lives, nor do they accept that the upbringing of children and the housework are naturally their job.

  27. Keeshond

    Can we assume that if this doesn’t raise birthrates to Putin’s desired level that he’ll pull a Nicolae Ceausescu and simply demand that every woman have a minimum of five children whether they can afford them or not? Maybe not, but this sounds a little too much like it could turn into Romania of the last 1/3 of the twentieth century and a lot of women could end up dead from illegal abortions and a lot of kids could end up in orphanages, or abused, or neglected, or both. But I guess that’s the patriarchy for you – totally incapable of learning from history. (What, a man step out his ego for a split second and consider that his position might be wrong? Heaven forbid!)

  28. saltyC

    I guess the opposite of giving money to mothers is what Clinton did in the US when he did away with aid to families with dependant children,
    I supposed you anti-motherhood folks applauded that progressive act.

  29. saltyC

    RP, I am 100% sure the free work you do is nothing compared to the free work a mother does, or someone taking care of an elderly parent. Volunteering is nice, but not all-consuming.

    Ron Sullivan, if taking care of a child is not altruistic, nothing is.

    I think it is absolutely sexist to discount the work that mothers do. I hate the phrase working mother vs stay at home mom. All mothers work, and they don’t stay home all day.

  30. Twisty

    Salty, nobody here hates mothers. The objection is to governments using money to persuade non-mothers to become mothers, because their motives are racist, misogynist, greedy, xenophobic, and otherwise impure.

  31. hedonistic

    Shoot, probably half of us here are mothers. Enough already.

  32. saltyC

    But mothers need money, and there is a lack of interest in that fact among the left and among fiscally comfortable feminists. Yes I see the motives, but all we’ve been doing in the US since Reagan is take money away from mothers.

    The single biggest predictor of poverty in US is being a child or a single mother. More than any group, mothers with children are poor. The poverty rate for a single mother with two children is $15,205 per year.

    http://www.npc.umich.edu/poverty/

    I am radically for abortion on demand without apology. Giving a woman money to raise a child will actually give her more reproductive choice, because a she would not be coerced into abortion by fear of poverty.

    I know about Ceacescu (sp?), and what he did to Romania is horrific. But just giving women money who want to have children, that’s great. One third of black children in America grow up poor. Giving mothers money would help children become better educated, healthier and happier and that will make life better for everyone even for people who don’t have children.

    And there is a resentment against having children because there are too many people in the world. There are good things that come from a lot of people. People are beautiful, with every mouth comes a pair of hands. Do you think if we didn’t have massive populations that there would be such things as washing machines or a feminist blog? Anwer: no.

  33. hedonistic

    Salty, if the Russian government were giving mothers with ALREADY BORN children money to get by, you’d have an argument for this thread.

    Unfortunately, PootyPoo has an entirely different agenda than seeing to the well-being of mothers and children.

    Try reading again more carefully this time? Russia doesn’t give TWO SHITS about women and children, or it would be channeling its assets and attention to the already-born, and already-dying.

  34. TheGlimmering

    So the reason there ought to be more people in the world is because they bring productivity with them increasing economic yield and allow us affordable luxuries through the principles of economy of scale? That’s nice for people, but what about the planet? Coming out, here: I’m a hunter. We hunters justify our hobby/recreation/what-have-you in a number of ways, but most commonly we point out that without natural predators natural populations get out of control spreading disease and consuming all the available food to dire consequences. Nowhere is this more readily apparent than among people, except we frown on hunting people. Instead, as populations expand and people become more alienated from one another, we get serial killers and wars. If these don’t keep our population in check, diseases follow. Once we really start eating up our resources, famines strike. And if we push past all those warning signs, natural disasters occur from our mucking with the atmosphere. What good is a washing machine or feminist blog then?

    But since we started this with economics, SaltyC, what about diminishing marginal returns? One loaf of bread to a child who had none is worth the world. A second loaf of bread is better. Six loaves of bread and they can’t eat them all without them going stale. A hundred is beyond overkill. With each additional loaf of bread, the value of the loaf to that child is reduced. People are no different. Too many people means each person is valued far less, hence the minimal impact of casualty statistics and the failure of wages to keep up with inflation. Even human lives are subject to the laws of supply and demand, and the bureaucrats would like to set the value of human labor artificially low in order to maximize their profits, so they agitate to increase the supply of human bodies. The more workers, the less effective any efforts to organize or unionize become, there’s an infinite number of scab workers.

    There is, of course, a fatal flaw in capitalist economics: they do not bother to reflect nature. Capitalism is an economic strategy of constant expansion born out of colonialism when there seemed to be limitless frontiers. Modern companies follow in those imperialist footsteps, expanding aggressively into foreign markets and dog fighting towards monopolies with one another. Eventually, however, they will hit a wall, there is no way to expand the market any further. At that point, the economic system we have will collapse. Our human population is no different, it is driven by the economy. Children are marketed to us because business wants larger populations to market to and larger populations to find the lowest bidder in. Those populations we built will be left destitute the minute the prevailing economic model folds. You cannot expand perpetually, eventually the population must contract just like the cycles of every population out there.

  35. Pony

    SaltyC: I think you’ve got your countries confused. There’s an ocean and a couple continents between the U.S. and Russia, as the crow flies. Giving women money to be breeder livestock in Russia so they don’t have to bring slaves in to do their work{Muslims} is not the same as giving American mothers on welfare enough money to properly feed clothe their American children. As has been pointed out to you, existing Russian children live like third world citizens. For all your angst over welfare mothers here, that’s not half how women are treate in Russia.

    The initiative in Russia is racist. The emerging grouip of immigrants to my country are Russians: Russians who are not viewed as “purely” Russian, capice? Canadians welcome them because there’s going to be another holocaust there soon.

    Anyway, you don’t have to look to Russia with your concern. There’s a similar initiative taing form in the U.S. American women are being urged to breed as their civic duty. 6000 more border patrol nazis have been hired to keep Mexicans out; Canada has voted to fund and supply more troops for the “peace-keeping” (Orwell rolling) in Afghanistan. Breed more racially pure kiddies here and bomb the wogs to hell over there.

  36. saltyC

    Wow pony, I really didn’t know Russia was a different country than America. Thank you for the info, I must have been mistaken. You are so smart.

    Hedonist, I was reacting to several posts that suggest that giving mothers money simply for having children is wrong and that having children is not a worthy contribution. I think giving mothers money is great, and it should be done for all women regardless of race. It should also be given to women who already have children.
    I was bringing up facts about childhood poverty because it seems to be overlooked in this discussion.

    Glimmering, I am familiar with all the rationalizations hunters make for killing animals. But the truth is, they kill cause they like to violently take life. It makes them feel strong and glad they’re not the ones on the business end of their firearms.

  37. saltyC

    Also, I cited statistics for child poverty in america only because it’s easy to find. Being a mother is hard all over the world, but it’s easier where they have more resources.

  38. thebewilderness

    In the early eighties there was a huge push back against humanizing the poor. Personnel departments all over the country changed the signs on their doors to read “Human Resources”. The working poor were demonized as greedy. Those who needed assistance were demonized as cheats. The press ran stories about the disabled cheating the system, and of course there was the welfare queen story. While it is sick, twisted, and revolting, it is perfectly understandable for the patriarcy to promote production of human resources. They are spending their human resources at an increased rate, and so need the rate of production increased. I blame the stinking patriarchy for turning people into resources.

  39. Keeshond

    That’s an interesting point, thebewilderness. I hadn’t thought before how the change from the name ‘personnel’ to the name ‘human resources’ suggests that all an employee is, is his or her instrumental usage. I think that might correlate with the shift from referring to American people as citizens towards referring to them as consumers, again implying that all a person is good for is their instrumental usage to a capitalist economy..

  40. Pony

    In some cases the word *consumer* conveys benefit to the, well, consumer. The medical profession needs to be reminded where the cruises come from, and who’s REALLY in charge.

  41. Keeshond

    “The medical profession needs to be reminded where the cruises come from, and who’s REALLY in charge.”

    You must mean the pharmceutical companies, right??? (Just kidding — I see your point.)

  42. winna

    That money that is intended to ‘help women’? It’s a drop in the bucket. One child costs around 250,000 dollars from birth to age seventeen. That money is less than four percent of what would be required to raise a kid.

    It’s an ugly publicity stunt.

  43. thebewilderness

    Here’s a little eye opener from our federal govt. Women of childbearing years are to be considered pre-pregnant.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/15/AR2006051500875_pf.html

  44. Keeshond

    While I agree that the things the WaPo article suggests — not smoking, weight management, etc. — are good ideas, it pisses me off that the suggestions are made only for the benefit of some nebulous, would-be fetus and not for the benefit of women, who might enjoy a better quality of life by taking better care of themselves. Once again women are reduced by the patriarchy to fetal containers.

  45. Ron Sullivan

    SaltyC, with all due respect, you might want to reconsider mind-reading as a discussion technique. You blew it on the bet about Clinton’s welfare “reform” crap — you’re talking to at least one person who went to some trouble to oppose that when it was happening, and who still exerts her waning strength against the War on Poor People — and that one about what hunters feel is a bit suspect too. I myself have little sympathy for the usual rationales of hunters, but I also know from direct experience that they’re not The Enemy when it comes to keeping whole species and ecosystems alive.

    Know what the enemy is? Generally, in the past century or so, “development.” Which means building, paving, farming, flushing, storing, changing, diverting, exterminating, clearing, herding, to accommodate more human beings.

    You know how, at some point, “Support the Troops” gets annoying because it actually means “Support the War”? At a similar point, “Support Mothers” starts to sound like “Support Breeding More and More Humans.” And as “Support the Troops –Bring The Home” gets spread, so should “Support WOMEN by not drafting them to be mothers.” And that includes the economic draft, same as wrt the US “all-volunteer” army. And as the war will be over when the troops refuse to fight it, the human population tsunami will be dissipated only when people stop adding more people.

    Would I wash my clothes on a goddamned flat rock if it meant the return of Tulare Lake? You bet. Would I give up the Blogosphere if it brought back the dusky seaside sparrow? Hell yeah, and I consider it to be one of the few actual advances of the last few decades, along with microbreweries and the general availability of “world” music. But the idea that either is a consequence of human population density, well, that looks like the confusion of correlation with causation. It all correlates with the spread of the mid-Atlantic seamount ridge, too; why not explain it that way?

    If caring for children is altruistic, better give me a medal, because I’ve changed more shitty diapers than anyone here, and some of them were scary shitty diapers. I’ve been up to my elbows in infectious green babyshit, and that was a mere incidental. I’ve saved kids’ lives, and they weren’t even “my” kids. Wow, imagine, not a speck of “my” DNA and no hint of an obligation for them to take care of me when I’m old and feeble, not so much as a card on Mother’s Day. No tax breaks either. Yeah I got paid for it. Want to trade places? Break your heart and hand them back, half the time to the saintly mothers who screwed them up in the first place.

    Mothers have it hard. Women have it hard, to precisely the same degree. What’s the correlation there? Oh yeah.

  46. hkreader

    Hi Hedonistic,

    You wrote:
    “hkreader: I know next-to-nothing about far-east culture, but I wonder if the push for more babies in Singapore has something to do with the backlash against career-women?”

    No, in S’pore I think it has a lot to do w/ Lee Kwan Yew’s eugenistic program of wanting Singpaoreans (mostly ethnic Chinese) to keep up (or outbreed) the Malays and ethnic Indians (who are the other parts of the population). Of course, the givt. didn’t state it quite so baldly.

    This paper describes Singapore’s reproductive policies as three stages:
    1) Anti-natalist phase (1966-1982)

    2) Eugenic phase (1983-1986)
    They quote Lee Kuan Yew as saying in 1983
    “It is too late for us to reverse our policies and have our women go back to their primary roles as mothers, the crearors and protectors of the next generation. Our women will stand for it. And anyway, they have already become too important a factor in the economy”

    [Mr. Lee, the "Mentor Minister" is such a patriarch...]

    3) Pro-natalist phase (1987- present)

  47. Mandos

    Would I wash my clothes on a goddamned flat rock if it meant the return of Tulare Lake? You bet. Would I give up the Blogosphere if it brought back the dusky seaside sparrow? Hell yeah, and I consider it to be one of the few actual advances of the last few decades, along with microbreweries and the general availability of “world” music. But the idea that either is a consequence of human population density, well, that looks like the confusion of correlation with causation. It all correlates with the spread of the mid-Atlantic seamount ridge, too; why not explain it that way?

    Hmm. I have a wide techno-utopian and anthropocentric streak in me, so I’m really not sure I would.

  48. Chris Clarke

    Every mouth brings with it two hands. Unfortunately, those hands are wrapped around the steering wheel of a Ford Excursion.

  49. Ron Sullivan

    Hell, Chris, those hands are as much the problem as the mouth even without the giant Excretomobile. The one thing we seem unable to do with the world around us is to leave it the fuck alone.

  50. Cast Iron Balcony

    Commenting-on-the-run, so sorry if someone else has already pointed this out: (Peter Costello is the Australian treasurer):

    it was Peter Costello who advised families during the Budget session this year that they should have three children – one for Mum, one for Dad and one for the country.

    http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2004/s1261874.htm

  51. tigtog

    Yes CIB, once upon a time we Aussies laughed at the fact that our Federal Cabinet ministry included an Abbott and a Costello. Hahaheehee.

    But they’ve been running the reactionary routines for so long now, they aren’t funny any more.

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