- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 10, 2005

Declining births

“For a modern nation to replace its population … the average woman needs to have 2.1 children over the course of her lifetime. Not a single industrialized nation today has a fertility rate of 2.1, and most are well below replacement level.

“In Ben Franklin’s day … America averaged eight births per woman. American birth rates today are the highest in the industrialized world — yet even those are nonetheless just below the replacement level of 2.1. Moreover, that figure is relatively high only because of America’s substantial immigrant population. Fertility rates among native born American women are now far below what they were even in the 1930s, when the Great Depression forced a sharp reduction in family size.

“Remarkably, the sharp rise in American fertility rates at the height of the baby boom — 3.8 children per woman — was substantially above Third World fertility rates today. From East Asia to the Middle East to Mexico, countries once fabled for their high fertility rates are now falling swiftly toward or below replacement levels. …

“Humankind faces three fundamental choices in the years ahead: at least a partial restoration of traditional social values, a radical new eugenics, or endless and compounding population decline.”

Stanley Kurtz, writing on “Demographics and the Culture War,” in the February-March issue of Policy Review

Awaiting the call

“U.S. military recruiters are reportedly having a tough time persuading young men to sign up. …

“Young men need to be called. They need to be rallied. They need to be given a vision and a mission. … This is a time for another ‘Ask-not-what-your-country-can-do-for-you’ speech.

“But it has yet to be heard. …

“I believe young Americans, like everyone else, want to be part of something bigger than themselves. I think they want to be part of a grand cause. I think they want to enlist in noble missions and endeavors.”

Joseph Farrah, writing on “Who would want to serve?” Monday in WorldNetDaily at www.WorldNetDaily.com

‘Hitler’s fighter’

“Though he remains the only German to win the heavyweight championship, Max Schmeling’s place in history is less about a title he briefly held than about an era and a set of circumstances — the 1930s and 1940s, his relationship with the Nazis, and his two famous bouts with Joe Louis.

“Schmeling was an enormous underdog when he fought Louis in 1936. He was 31, an ex-champion past his peak. … [T]he 22-year-old Louis … was plowing through the heavyweight division like a steamroller. Schmeling … spotted in fight films of Louis the most fundamental of flaws: Louis tended to drop his left after jabbing, leaving himself open to Schmeling’s powerful right hand. After 12 rounds of battering, Schmeling put Louis down for good with one more right. It is still one of sports’ greatest upsets.

That victory made Schmeling into ‘Hitler’s fighter,’ and the Fuhrer had films of the fight shown across Germany. Schmeling was feted by Hitler and Goebbels, but he rejected urgings from Hitler to join the party. Many years later, when asked why he had dined with Hitler, he said, ‘I had turned der Fuhrer down four times, and you don’t turn him down five times. That did not make me a Nazi. I also had dinner with Franklin Roosevelt. That did not make me a Democrat.’ ”

Paul Beston, writing “The Mirror and Max Schmeling,” Monday in Slate at www.slate.com


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