Wednesday, December 08, 2004

I held my nose and read the recent David Brooks column in the NY Times. Always a frustrating endeavor. It would work better if I hit myself over the head with a hammer before reading.

His "weighty" subject this time: parents who opt to have lots of kids. He treats such folks as if they're American heroes, to be heralded and applauded for multiplying at least more so than the typical blue state couple. He makes it sound as if those who've elected to have fewer than three kids are not as noble, or even righteous, than these so-called "natalists." As I've said before, it all simply comes across as an embarrassment for the Times, namely proving the wrong move was made when hiring Brooks. To say he's managed to dumb-down the op/ed page of this paper is to not venture too far out on a limb.

He spends paragraph after paragraph attempting to guess at who these natalists are, stating things that by all accounts are conjecture but are presented as near-fact. Example: "when people get money, one of the first things they do is use it to try to protect their children from bad influences." Huh? Says who? How does he arrive at this assertion? Did he conduct a study of all those people who lacked money who then won the Lotto and discovered that X% spent X amount on internet firewalls, etc., as their first purchase in an effort to shield their hapless offspring? You can tell that he's waxing poetic off of what amounts to far-less-than-conclusive facts.

He says things like "The people who are having big families are explicitly rejecting materialistic incentives and hyperindividualism." Perhaps, but again where's the gray? You can't make such a blanket statement -- it just sounds dumb. I know (first hand) that the Catholic Church strongly encourages procreating. During my time spent in Pre-Cana, the #1 message driven home through the multi-hour ordeal is to have many children. It's conveyed as an extremely holy act to do so. Therefore, the possibility exists that many of these parents creating multi-kid families are doing so to comply with church guidance, to properly perform their holy duty, to do what God wishes, etc. -- and nothing more. In other words, Brooks references the higher likelihood for spirituality in these people but then drops the ball when in fact it could also explain the high number of kids, as he opts instead to emphasize such virtues as rejecting greed and narcissism. Again, it's not black or white and while some do fall under this category, many fall under the wanting-to-please-God/church category.

To top it all off, TAPPED points out that Brooks cites an author, Steve Sailer, who has been universally deemed racist:
Who are some of Sailer's allies and what role has he served in his chosen intellectual community? According to the SPLC, Sailer has organized an invitation-only online discussion group called the Human Biodiversity Institute:

According to a list posted on HBI's Web site until last summer, this "elite" includes: · Jean-Phillippe Rushton, a prominent researcher on black genetic inferiority who is president of a pro-eugenics hate group, the Pioneer Fund; · Charles Murray, co-author of The Bell Curve, which purported to show black and Latino intellectual inferiority; · Kevin MacDonald, a professor at California State University at Long Beach who has written several books about supposed Jewish strategies to subvert "Euro-American" culture; and · Gregory Cochrane, a physicist who has suggested the existence of a genetic "gay germ."

Obviously, for shame Mr. Brooks, but even more so, for shame NY Times.

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