Thoughts on the World

I’m not going to say much about the Boston Marathon explosions here, as I’ve written extensively about them as part of a piece I’ve submitted for publication elsewhere. I’ll link to it here should it appear online, or I will post it in its entirety should it be rejected. I will say I share the collective outrage of the nation and the world, and my prayers are with the victims. I also decry any attempts to use this tragedy, or any tragedy, to advance any specific political agenda.

I want to talk, instead, about weddings for just a moment.

Why weddings? Well, they’re big business. Americans fork out somewhere around $40 billion per year to get hitched. That figure is significant because it’s also the entire Gross Domestic Product of the misnamed Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. In other words, North Korea’s entire economy is only the size of what Americans spend on bridal gowns and wedding cakes.

To put that it in hard dollar terms, every year the United States produces nearly 50 grand in wealth for every man, woman, and child in this country. In North Korea, that figure is only $1,200. Granted, our wealth isn’t anywhere close to being evenly distributed, but we have forty-plus times more of it to distribute, and $1,200, no matter how you slice it, doesn’t go very far.

What does that mean? It means that, in a rational universe, North Korea wouldn’t even be thinking about going to war. For the most part, they’re starving to death. It also means that, even with their million-man-plus army, they’d last about fifteen minutes against us. They know that – or, at least, Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il knew that. Every time they rattled their sabers in the old days, they just wanted the West to come and feed them, and, after much rhetorical banter, we’ve always dutifully obliged.

When this latest fracas started, that’s what I thought was happening here, too, but this whole exchange is far freakier, because Kim Jong-Un is too young, too brash, too scared, or too stupid to act rationally. I don’t think this is leading to war, but I’m only 87% sure of that, as opposed to 100% sure when such silliness happened in the past. That means I’m 13% frightened out of my wits. Because if Korea blows up, we win, but a lot of people on both sides will end up in body bags.

Grotesquely speaking of body bags, I’d like to recall this story from a couple of years back that a friend of mine posted on Facebook. She read the headline and assumed that an abortion doctor had been killed by a rabid pro-life advocate, and her stated position was something along the lines of “These people are terrorists and should be dealt with in the harshest possible terms!” I pointed out that she had misread the story, and that the victim was an abortion protestor, not an abortion provider. Quietly and with no further comment, she pulled the story from her page.

I thought about that as I read the gruesome tale of Dr. Kermit Gosnall, the abortionist who routinely murdered infants born alive during botched abortion by what he called “snipping” them and storing them in Tupperware. (“Snipping” is here used as a euphemism for “beheading.”) These aren’t just late-term abortions – these are infanticides of babies no longer connected to their mother’s wombs. He’s justifiably on trial for mass murder – and next to nobody in the media is willing to talk about it.

During the presidential campaign, the Democrats repeatedly insisted that the country is just a hairsbreadth away from a theocracy where abortion will be a capital offense. Even the slightest inconvenience to terminating a pregnancy is viewed as a Talibanic oppression of the “right to choose,” because little things like mandatory ultrasounds are the first step on the slippery slope to burqas and female circumcision. But the Gosnall trial proves that we’ve already slid down the slippery slope – and in the other direction. The fact that we’re not even willing to talk about it shows just how far we’ve fallen.

Those are the depressing things I’m thinking about today. But tomorrow night, I’m going to the Bon Jovi concert in Salt Lake CIty! (Yes, in some ways, that’s even more depressing.)

Tolkien Grousing on Retro Friday
Lessons from Boston

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