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Extreme measures

China turns to Russia for food as Democrats turn to extreme rhetoric on abortion

Extreme measures

In this May 8, 2019, photo, a pig walks through a nearly-empty barn at a pig farm in Jiangjiaqiao village in northern China's Hebei province. (Mark Schiefelbein/AP)

China last year was home to 440 million pigs, 57 percent of the world’s porcine total. As African swine fever—fatal for pigs, not transferable to humans—spread in early June, millions died. Farmers slaughtered millions more, hoping for sales before the highly contagious disease hit. Some say half of all pigs will die, and that’s particularly bad news in China, where more than half of all meat consumed is pork. The government even maintains a strategic pork reserve.  

What starts in Africa or China does not stay there. The disease has spread to Southeast Asia and Mongolia, and has now appeared in Europe. South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan are trying to keep it out by imposing heavy fines for bringing in pork products. Epidemiologists are using words and phrases like “unprecedented” and “biggest animal disease outbreak we’ve ever had on the planet.” 

With supply constricted, pork prices will rocket up and still-poor families outside of Shanghai and China’s other showcase cities may go hungry. That has international political implications. Chinese President Xi Jinping on June 7 completed his Moscow meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin. They jointly signed agreements that the South China Morning Post summarized: “Russia ready to fill China’s food gap. … China and Russia to close ranks in united front against American pressure.” 

While Xi called Putin his closest friend and gave the Moscow zoo two pandas, historians and huge crowds in Hong Kong commemorated the Tiananmen protests that ended on June 4, 1989, with Chinese government troops massacring thousands. Later that year the Berlin Wall fell, leading to Francis Fukuyama’s influential article on “the end of history.” He said liberalism had won and the world’s great ideological debates were done—but history did not end in countries liberated from communism, nor did sin.

Now Putin is the new czar, and even countries that clearly abandoned communism have trouble. On June 4 in Prague’s Wenceslas Square, 100,000 protesters demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Andrej Babis. He is one of the Czech Republic’s richest men and the object of numerous corruption accusations. No Edens have emerged in Eastern Europe.  But freedom is still better than atheistic autocracy.

The Hong Kong and Prague demonstrations were open to all, but an altercation broke out at the “DC Dyke March” in Washington on June 7. Organizers did not want Jewish participants to carry a rainbow flag featuring the six-pointed Star of David, which has been a Jewish symbol for at least a millennium. Oddly, a Palestinian flag was considered kosher, even though homosexuality is illegal in the Gaza Strip. Only after angry words did Jewish demonstrators gain reluctant permission to march with their flag.

Alejandro Alvarez/Sipa via AP

Hundreds of self-described dykes marched through Washington, D.C., on June 7, 2019, supporting lesbian and transgender equality. In this photo, Jewish counter-protesters confront DC Dyke March organizers on accusations of anti-Semitism for banning symbols associated with the Israeli state in the name of inclusivity. (Alejandro Alvarez/Sipa via AP)

Sin was present even at the top of Mount Everest. You may have seen the photo of the traffic jam there, with hundreds of ambitious adventurers lined up on the way to a spot at the peak that’s only the size of two pingpong tables. Tragically, 11 died as they ran out of oxygen or succumbed to altitude sickness, and others did not help them. Canadian Elia Saikaly climbed over bodies and said, “I cannot believe what I saw up there.”

He wasn’t the only one climbing over bodies. You’d hope that one of the 23 Democrats seeking ascension to our political peak would be pro-life. You’d think that one of the 23 might at least follow Bill Clinton’s mantra 25 years ago—abortion should be “safe, legal, and rare”—or the Japanese mizuko kuyo custom of placing toys or bibs or bottles of milk at commemorative spots for aborted babies.

Nope. Nearly 90 years ago, Will Rogers, a Democrat, famously said, “I never met a man I didn’t like.” Now all 23 Democratic presidential candidates, even religious left candidate Pete Buttigieg, seem hard pressed to find an abortion they don’t like. At least Magda Denes titled her mournful 1976 pro-abortion book In Necessity and Sorrow. But in early June Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Ind., said an abortion business in his city should be able to operate without a license.   

As hot weather arrived, half of America seemed to be slip-sliding away faster than children at water parks. I never thought I’d yearn for the urging of feminist Naomi Wolf, who in 1995 asked her activist sisters to drop “a lexicon of dehumanization” and defend abortion as a form of homicide that “should be legal; it is sometimes even necessary.” But this month #AbortionIsNormal presented Hannah Dismer’s tweet: “Abortion is vital, life-saving, life-affirming healthcare.” #ShoutYourAbortion retweeted a comment by Sofia Jawed-Wessel, Ph.D.: “Abortion is not a problem therefore keeping abortion rates low is not the goal.”

Such comments, from voters “moderate” Joe Biden wants to attract, put him in a pickle. On June 5 the Biden campaign repeated what its man has been saying for 40 years: Government should not pay for abortions. Two days later he buckled and said the U.S. government should pay, because “I believe healthcare is a right.” Meanwhile, moviemakers pressured Georgia and Northern Ireland to abort laws designed to protect preborn children. Georgia gives terrific tax breaks to studios shooting films—last year’s overall economic impact totaled $9.5 billion—but on D-Day director Spike Lee issued a demand ignoring the cast of thousands who would be unemployed: “Shut it down.”

YouTube executives were also working for change: They said the company would remove thousands of videos and channels that “justify discrimination, segregation, or exclusion.” It seemed unlikely that YouTube would crack down on abortionists and their allies who exclude children from life itself.

Marvin Olasky

Marvin Olasky

Marvin is editor in chief of WORLD and the author of more than 20 books, including The Tragedy of American Compassion. His latest book is World View: Seeking Grace and Truth in Our Common Life. Follow Marvin on Twitter @MarvinOlasky.

Comments

  • TxAgEngr
    Posted: Wed, 06/12/2019 03:43 pm

    It is so hard being a radical leftist these days.  I mean, you never know from week to week who you are supposed to love and who you're supposed to hate.  These women, they're dykes, right?  But they have that funny star flag thing and that means they're Jews, right? And Ilhan says we are supposed to hate Jews, and Nancy seemed to agree.  So do we love dykes more than we hate Jews or do we hate jews more than we love dykes?  This is just so confusing!!!

  • E Cole
    Posted: Thu, 06/13/2019 01:25 pm

     I canceled my subscription several months ago, so I am sure my opinion is not important to anyone. But I miss a few of the writers, even though I think the magazine has become more an advocate for the Republican Party than for the gospel (just scroll through cartoons for easy confirmation), and of course the abortion issue gives the perfect cover for that.  I decided to visit the website yesterday just to see what was being written these days and I read only one article and saw the above comment by TxAgEngr. It immediately reminded me why I left this site.

    My first impulse was to close my browser and never return but I thought about the matter and decided that, having seen it, I have an obligation to say something about this. The fact that WORLD magazine is leaving this post up, despite the vile hatred and bigotry it reveals, confirms that I was not wrong to cancel my subscription.  The writer makes no point at all other than how much he hates liberals, and women in particular. It uses a slur that is inexcusable and I guess that is okay with you all as nobody else has commented and it hasn't been removed by the editor.  And please don’t insult our intelligence by saying that some of these women use that term for themselves. That is the same nonsense people used to offer in order to justify use of the N word and I’m pretty sure we have all come to understand that is no defense, and if you are not part of the group you are just a bigot if you use it.  But I guess a homophobic and misogynistic slur is okay here.  Good to know. I won’t bother you in the future so don’t bother insulting me.

  • Big Jim
    Posted: Sat, 06/15/2019 02:25 am

    E Coli,

    You have no sense of humor.