Opinion Outpost: Nov 12

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The Opinion Outpost features opinions and commentary on the latest hot topics from national news sources. As much as you love hearing from The Universe, we thought you might like to hear from journalists around the nation.

China’s one child policy

… The end of the one-child policy is not the end of the government attempt to control reproduction, the most intimate and fundamental human right, by abortion and sterilization. The control is draconian.

… There’s a natural lobby for continued population control by a large bureaucracy with almost unlimited powers, operating even in remote rural areas. The two-child limit still requires official permission for the second child and the bureaucrats still have the power to say no and the authority to assign fines.

The Communist authorities changed the game, not for humanitarian concerns and continued foreign protests but because the inevitable demographic catastrophe was about to overtake the country. Demographic trends are notoriously hard to predict, but a turnabout in birth rates among Israeli and West Bank Arabs, for example, has dropped substantially, and birth rates among Israelis, and not just the religious Jews on the West Bank, have increased substantially.

… There’s an obvious lesson in Beijing’s madness and its inhuman, immoral and inoperative attempt to control population through government fiat. Untangling this Chinese puzzle would be a monumental task even if the 50 million bureaucrats — a bureaucrat for every 27 Chinese — wanted to untangle it. As long as the Marxist elite rules that’s unlikely.

— Editorial Board

The Washington Post

The abandonment of the one-child policy in China is a momentous change, and there is much to celebrate in the easing of restrictions on human freedom in a particularly private sphere of life. But we need to recognize that the big fall in fertility in China over the decades, for which the one-child policy is often credited, has, in fact, been less related to compulsion and much more to reasoned family decisions in favor of a new norm of smaller families.

This development has been particularly helped by the increasing empowerment of Chinese women through rapid expansion of schooling and job opportunities. What China needs now is further expansion of rethinking within families to overcome “boy preference,” which is still widespread, despite being at odds with the success of Chinese women.

… The removal of the one-child policy may, in fact, have been an easy choice. There is little need for the harshness of this coercive program, given the increasing role of reasoning about family decisions, and particularly the growing empowerment of Chinese women.

— Amartya Sen

The New York Times

Charles Joseph Gliniewicz

There is no way to fully process the betrayal by Charles Joseph Gliniewicz, a police lieutenant in Illinois who an investigator said Wednesday had committed a “carefully staged suicide” after years of stealing money from a local youth group that he ran.

…In the same way that not every black life taken is taken with malice, or without an awareness that it matters, not every police life taken is the result of a hostile policing environment in which calls for justice translate into a call for retribution.

Sometimes bad people simply do bad things. Not everything in real life fits neatly into a narrative. And indeed, trying to force everything pushes out the legitimacy from otherwise honorable pursuits.

The people who sought to politicize Gliniewicz’s death should feel chastened and embarrassed. Rather than simply mourning his death, empathizing with his family and waiting for the results of the full investigation — the very same thing they ask of those unsettled by the deaths of people at the hands of police officers — they pushed an association that didn’t exist.

So eager — or at least too recklessly willing — were they to add another tick mark to the tally of officers fallen in the supposed war on the police, and to ding protesters and the president, that they built a sham argument on a sham murder. Shameful.

—Charles M. Blow

The New York Times

His final, opportunistic villainy had Americans coast to coast wondering if rising antipathy to police officers had cost this one his life.

Nor was his most loathsome act the risk he created for the hundreds of officers who wanted justice for their fallen brother. Any frantic manhunt — with its speeding police vehicles, heavy weaponry and pumping adrenaline — creates myriad dangers for cops and civilians alike.

No, the apparently most loathsome act of this man whose death drew officers from 1,000 police forces to a funeral fit for a pharaoh was something investigators never will prove: Authorities suggested at the close of their news conference that, based on their analysis of surveillance video recording, Gliniewicz may well have seen two white men and a black man on the morning of Sept. 1 — and then put his plot into motion knowing they’d appear to be the killers.

For all of us perplexed by this charade, the lowliest reaction would be reconciling ourselves to cynicism, aloofness, doubt.

We shouldn’t let a con man harden us, make us suspicious of every situation in which we might make a difference.

We should instead let him be our reminder that the way to approach those mysteries is with our arms and hearts open. Some evidently needy people will be cheaters. But many others will require the trust, resources and love that G.I. Joe Gliniewicz stole on his way to the grave.

— Editorial Board

Chicago Tribune

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