- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 13, 2002

Out of step
"Others are concerned about the safety of the Amish children, too young to make up their minds about their religion. Surely they should be protected? Perhaps the Ebensburg, [Pa.], residents underestimate the depth of the divide between their neighbors' take on life and their own.
"For instance, intermarriage has brought to the fore certain genetic weaknesses in the Old Order Amish, including forms of dwarfism and mental retardation. As it is forbidden even to attempt to have any form of non-procreational sexual activity, it is common for Amish women to bear children who will develop these sorts of problems. Their attitude toward them is: 'Special children teach a family to love. They teach a family how to help others and how to accept the help of others. We should not assume that we would be better off without them.'
"It is difficult to imagine a way of thinking more out of kilter with the 21st century. Can such different world views co-exist for any length of time?"
Mary Wakefield, writing on "Sticking to Their Buggies," in the June 8 issue of the Spectator

Crustacean crisis?
"Animal rights activists are urging Florida restaurants to remove a game called Lobster Zone from their shops because it is cruel to the crustaceans, reports the Daytona Beach News-Journal.
"In the game, customers fork over $2 for a chance to navigate a metal claw over a tank of live lobsters with a joystick and hopefully catch a cheap meal. Customers see it as nothing more than harmless entertainment.
"'It's just like fishing,' says Don Crowell, a regular customer at the River Deck restaurant in South Daytona, Fla. 'I don't see anything wrong with it.'
"But People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals says the game is callous.
"'We're trying to get people to realize that lobsters feel pain,' said Kristie Phelps, a campaign coordinator for the group. 'It surely should never be considered fun to pluck animals out of a tank with a joystick-controlled crane. Some things are funny, some things are just callous.'"
Scott Norvell, writing in this week's Tongue Tied column on Foxnews.com

Won't listen
"[Sylvia Ann] Hewlett, an economist, has kicked up a storm of feminist ire by telling young women what every young woman once knew: Feminine fertility turns south around age 28, then plummets in the early 30s.
"So dangerous is this loosed tiger of biocultural information that the likes of the National Organization for Women wants to sweep it back into its cage. The New York Times recently launched the literati's most powerful salvo at Ms. Hewlett: Her book [Creating a Life: Professional Women and the Quest for Children], the Times reported on page A1, isn't selling.
"Maybe Hollywood was right: Single career women in their 30s and 40s prefer to spend their free time listening to their manic alter-egos on 'Sex and the City' giggle but only after earnest discussion of Bauhaus designs and Bruno Magli footwear. We all know plenty of exceptions, successful women who become new moms after 40, but that's the point: We only ever hear about the exceptions Madonna (43), Geena Davis (46), and Julianne Moore (41).
"Ms. Hewlett's book isn't selling because it tells women what they don't want to hear. Sure, they'll talk about fertility, feverishly so, but only in private, tense moments with other women. Ms. Hewlett's is much like a book that tells men how their sexual prowess will wane over time. Feminism, we see, has achieved its ultimate success; modern women, now as proud-crested as men, don't want to be told how they should feel or act."
Neil Seeman, writing on "Mothers, Babies and that Book," posted June 5 at National Review Online, www.national-review.com

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