Mike Kueber's Blog

October 27, 2014

Reproductive rights – what are those?

Filed under: Culture,Law/justice,Media — Mike Kueber @ 11:11 pm
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Local Express-News columnist Elaine Ayala wrote a column today extolling the virtues of fading feminist Gloria Steinem. Her column started as follows:

  • Gloria Steinem came to San Antonio last week and spoke for what was at best 30 minutes at the Women in the World Texas summit. In that short window, she talked about the status of women; the women’s, civil rights and anti-war movements, and the backlash they’ve experienced; the struggle for reproductive rights and the changing demography of the United States and the world. “Most women in the world,” she said to an audience hanging on every word, “are of color.” You don’t get to be an American icon without having the capacity to put the globe in perspective in one sentence.

Talk about drinking the Kool-Aid! Does Ayala really believe that the people of San Antonio go around thinking that the world is filled with white people? I know when I return to ND in the summer, I am struck by the abnormality of being surrounded by mostly white people.

Ayala’s column, as suggested by the passage above, was focused on securing women’s “reproductive rights.” As part of her argument, she described the death in 1977 of Rosie Jimenez, who had to travel to Mexico for an unsafe abortion because Medicaid wouldn’t pay for a safe abortion here in America:

  • Many websites pay tribute to her, and Rosie Jiménez Day is marked in several cities. In the mid-’90s, October was declared Abortion Access Action Month in her memory.

I was struck by the phrasing, “Abortion Access Action Month.” It seemed to me that that is exactly what feminists mean when they say “reproductive rights.  Why not call a spade a spade?

But I decided to do some research to see if the term might mean something more than abortion access. According to Wikipedia:

  • Reproductive rights are legal rights and freedomsrelating to reproduction and reproductive health. The World Health Organization defines reproductive rights as follows:
    • Reproductive rights rest on the recognition of the basic right of all couples and individuals to decide freely and responsibly the number, spacing and timing of their children and to have the information and means to do so, and the right to attain the highest standard of sexual and reproductive health. They also include the right of all to make decisions concerning reproduction free of discrimination, coercion and violence.

Amazing! Not only does the term include things other than abortion, but it does not even appear related to abortion. This reads like Newspeak from the dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. George Orwell was off by 30 years.

December 23, 2010

Big Brother in Bexar County

The leading Bexar County politician – County Judge Nelson Wolff – has expressed concern about “Big Brother” making an appearance in Bexar County.   

For those of you too young to remember, “Big Brother” is a concept described by George Orwell in his dystopian novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four.  In this novel, which was written in 1949, Orwell suggests that by 1984 modern technology might enable Big Government to create a totalitarian state by placing everyone under surveillance.  Although this concept caused grave concern to us liberals in the 60s (we were also apprehensive about subliminal marketing techniques), history has revealed that our anxieties were misplaced.  Americans are in less danger than ever of becoming subjects under a totalitarian state. 

Holdover hippies, however, like Nelson Wolff are still concerned.  Despite near universal support for Bexar County purchasing a technology that would enable county police cruisers to identify license plates on the road that are associated with outstanding warrants, Wolff opined:

  • It just seems like every time we turn around, our privacy rights — we’re losing them day by day and hour by hour … Big Brother worries me.”

Liberal Wolff’s concern mirrors that expressed months earlier by San Antonio’s liberal boy-mayor Julian Castro, who opposed the placement of (a) red-light cameras at problematic intersections, and (b) police officers at problematic bars shortly after their 2am closing.  Castro thought this was type of law enforcement was too heavy-handed. 

Interestingly, this appears to be a partisan issue, with Conservatives coming down on the side of law & order and Liberals favoring liberty/privacy.  I suspect the Liberals are going to lose this one.  The concept of privacy is undergoing a dramatic change in an internet-based America, and those holdover hippies from the 60s like Wolff, as well as politicians like Castro who were indoctrinated by holdover hippies from the 60s, will need to adapt to this new mindset.

December 11, 2010

Quotas vs. Goals in Great Britain

The New York Times had an article today that described a private initiative in Great Britain to increase the number of women on the management boards of large British companies.  Currently, 12.5% of the board members are women, and the goal of the so-called 30% Club is to increase that percentage to 30% by 2015.  The article noted that France, Norway, and Spain already have quotas, and that Great Britain hopes to accomplish the same result without imposing mandatory quotas.

The leader of the 30% Club asserts that the initiative “is a third way between doing nothing and introducing a quota.”   She is hopeful that private action can achieve the same result without government regulation.  Incredibly, she says that a “goal” will leave the “focus on merit,” whereas a quota “could create the perception of discrimination.”  Oh, really?

Even the British government seems to be endorsing discrimination.  According to the NY Times article, a high British government official has suggested that improving equality should be more up to the individual and less to regulation and using the concept of “fairness” rather than “equality.”  What’s wrong with equal opportunity? 

Back in college, I remember reading several novels that described abuse of language like this as doublespeak.  (Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell and Catch-22 by Joseph Heller come to mind.)  I can’t think of any better examples of double-speak than the 30% Club.  What used to be called a quota and then was called affirmative action and still later was called diversity is now called an objective.  Ultimately it is the same thing – reverse discrimination.