August 28, 2006


South Korea: Lowest Birthrate in the World (Peter J. Smith, August 28, 2006,

South Korea now claims the lowest birthrate in the world according to South Korea’s National Statistical Office, which confirms population data just released by an independent study.

According to the Korean Herald, the National Statistical Office (NSO) has announced that the South Korea’s total fertility rate dropped to 1.08 last year, and reports the number of newborns has also dropped nearly 8 percent to 438,000. The fertility rate is the lowest in the world, and broke South Korea’s 2004 record of 1.16.

In praise of abnormality: Current crisis faced by Israel result of crumbling Jewish identity (Elisha Haas, 08.28.06, YNet)
Most of the first generation of secular Zionism departed from this world in the 1970s. It was a generation that enjoyed an exclusive privilege: The maintenance of a clear Jewish identity despite their secular way of life, which did not support this identity. However, in the process of generational change, this privilege was lost.

The experiment by generation A to provide generation B with an Israeli identity as a substitute, or alternately, a new Jewish identity, failed, and Israeli society lost the source of its strength in its existential struggle.

The Jewish and Zionist mission was replaced by a normal Israeli mission, which is the natural default option. The current prime minister expressed it well in his speech on election night: "Normal life in a country that is fun to live in."

And so, the serving elites of generation A, which followed the light of the Jewish-Zionist mission, were replaced by exploiting generation B elites, and the phenomena of degeneration emerged.

This created the unprecedented phenomenon of citizens seeking normalcy while contending with a blurred Jewish identity and being imprisoned in a giant ghetto of a Jewish state, which is abnormal by definition. This is an intolerable contradiction that gave rise to proposals for a solution premised on forcing normalcy upon the entire ghetto.

Procreation Nation (Below the Belt: A Biweekly Column by NOW President Kim Gandy, August 1, 2006, NOW)
With our hearts and minds reinvigorated by a weekend away from the fray, it's time to respond to the most recent below-the-belt hits from the right-wing.

First, I'm compelled once again to point out the baffling government fetish about baby-making. This country already has the highest fertility rate in the industrialized world, and the population is growing by about 3.2 million people each year. But apparently that's not enough for our leaders, who have a serious preoccupation with procreation, which is apparently more important than, well, anything else.

Last week, Washington State joined 45 other states in denying equal marriage rights to same-sex couples. Why? Because procreation, sayeth the state Supreme Court judges, "is a legitimate government interest furthered by limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples".

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 28, 2006 10:34 PM

“And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel.” (Judges 2:10)

Posted by: Randall Voth at August 29, 2006 3:54 AM

South Korea is just making room for all the North Koreans when the 2 finally merge.

There was a Star Trek Next Generation episode where a group of people got split up and ended on different planets. 1 group stayed rural and had lots of kids. The other group became very high tech but kidless. To save the race they were put back together. Sounds like a similar situation.

Posted by: AWW at August 29, 2006 8:22 AM

Gandy's column pretty much encapsules the mindset of the NOW folks -- babies are just some evil plot by the male/religious-dominated society to deny women their true freedoms.

Posted by: John at August 29, 2006 11:01 AM

Note how she signs off, "May our numbers multiply."

Uh, Kim?

Posted by: rds at August 29, 2006 1:28 PM


Aren't all the North Koreans being starved to death? Sounds like that peninsula might be empty before long.

Posted by: Brandon at August 29, 2006 1:43 PM

From the column:

Using the U.N. and international law (and pressure) is another of our many tactics for achieving the goal of equal treatment and opportunities for women.

Twelve women in Pittsburgh have taken yet another tactic. All were ordained on Monday, eight as Catholic priests and four as deacons, in ordination ceremonies not sanctioned by the Catholic Church. According to United Press International, the women "are willing to risk excommunication in the hope of sparking a revolution of equality within an institution resistant to change."

So their top priorities are goofball stunts, toothless U.N. resolutions, and the promotion of planned barrenhood.

Older folks occasionally tell me that the country once took this movement seriously, but I have trouble picturing it.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at August 29, 2006 8:44 PM