China Syndrome. Speculation continues that China will soon be ending its barbaric birth limit policy, which has resulted in the forced abortion of tens of millions of children. For forty years, the country enforced a one-child policy, and since 2016 has had a two-child policy. However, the country is facing a demographic disaster. China’s population is aging so fast that the country now has a shortage of productive workers. Because many more girls were aborted than boys, the country now has 30-million more men than women. Because people are also living longer, China’s population has continued to grow. However, demographers predict that China’s population will peak at about 1.3-billion in the next 10 years and begin a steady decline – to about 1-billion by the year 2100 — if the current two-child policy remains in effect. Such a decline will cause dramatic economic and social disruption. Officials from Shaanxi province in northwest China published an unprecedented report in late June calling on the government to do away with its two-child policy as well.
Idolizing Pets. We’ve written regularly that the anthropomorphizing and idolization of pets is a sign of deep pathology in our culture. We too often elevate pets above humans. A Minnesota company is taking that trend to a new level. The marketing company Nina Hale said it will now offer employees “fur-ternity leave.” Employees who purchase or adopt a new pet can work from home for a week to house train and bond with the new pet, The New York Times reported.
Simon-esque. If politics is downstream from culture, it is worth noting the death of playwright Neil Simon. He died Sunday from complications of pneumonia. He was 91. Simon was not America’s best playwright, but he was perhaps its most prolific and successful playwright. His own family life was checkered. He was married five times, twice to the same woman. But he nonetheless valued family and often made family drama the center of his plays. “I don’t write social and political plays because I’ve always thought the family was the microcosm of what goes on in the world,” he told The Paris Review in 1992. For a time in the 1960s, he was called “The King of Broadway,” with four of his plays running at the same time. Many of his plays were also adopted for the movies and television, including “The Odd Couple,” which was both a successful movie and a long-running television program.
Papal Culpability? An influential archbishop has released a report saying Pope Francis has known about sex abuse problems for decades and failed to do anything about them. Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò was the Vatican’s ambassador to the United States. Archbishop Viganò said Francis and his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, specifically knew about accusations against Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, former archbishop of Washington, D.C. The accusations included the sexual abuse of minors. Viganò claims that Pope Benedict enacted sanctions against McCarrick, which Pope Francis subsequently lifted. The statement by Viganò has increased the call for Pope Francis to resign. Most Vatican-watchers think getting this pope or any pope to resign is a heavy lift, but Rod Dreher believes the allegations are credible. His thoughts are here.
Milestones. Van Morrison was born this week (Aug. 31) in 1945…. On this date in 1955, Emmett Till was brutally murdered in Mississippi. The event became a defining moment in the civil rights movement…. On this date in 1963, Martin Luther King delivered his “I Have A Dream” speech at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
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