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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 11/9/15

My Question to Planned Parenthood: "Why have kids?"

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Thus as it happened, I almost was a member of Vehement, without even thinking about it in such stark terms as human extinction.

I come from a family of seven, good Catholic that my mother was, and I can't even count how many families I've known who've have four or more children. My present very competent dentist has nine kids. One of my favorite authors has nine kids. A good friend of mine has five kids. There were nine kids in my mother's family. I have probably 100 or more first cousins. Here in Utah we breed kids like rabbits (though there has been some positive change in the past two decades or so, due to necessity and education).

I have no doubt that you could rattle off many folks you know who have done their share to add to the seven billion plus humans on the planet. Religious leaders of all stripes encourage propagation of the faith through propagation of the species, causing untold environmental damage and human suffering around the globe. Politicians are loathe to even talk about the problem, much less attempt to do anything about it.

I grew up on Long Island, and in my lifetime witnessed the destruction of forests, fields, marshes, streams, productive farmlands, and coastlines, as they were converted into Levittowns, condominiums, industrial parks, shopping malls, parking lots, and freeways. I moved to South Salt Lake and saw the same thing all over again, in even less time.

I moved to southeast Idaho and watched monoculture farms creep up the mountainsides, out into riparian habitats, over sand dunes, through sage brush, over patches of trees, and not uncommonly, over bulldozed buildings. Rabbits, foxes, badgers, weasels, skunks, raccoons, countless birds of many varieties-pelicans, white herons, sand pipers, meadowlarks, ibises, golden and bald eagles, barn swallows-salamanders, frogs, snakes, small lizards, and who knows what other plants and animals were rapidly dwindling while my kids were growing up. Flood controlling marshes with eons old ecosystems were eliminated to straighten out the flow of the Snake River. Elk and deer populations diminished as four wheelers and hunters roamed and wreaked havoc in the hills.

When noisy dust cropper planes flew overhead dumping insecticides and herbicides that blew with the wind across and into our house, I imagined I was in Vietnam. Farm chemicals were undoubtedly leaching into our 60 foot well. Farmers were complaining of wells running dry, even as they continued enlarging their farms (a common joke among them was, "I ain't greedy! I just want the land that's next to mine!).

When the fine-grained blow sand, caused by reckless farming practices in the delicate, ancient soil, went aloft in 40 to 60 mile an hour winds, I imagined I was on the Planet Dune. That blow sand found its way into houses and car engines and even your ears and clothing, if you happened to be outside. Families of six, seven, eight, and nine kids were not uncommon. One guy I worked with had 11 kids. So much for country living.

Clearly, there's too damn many of us, and study after study confirms the obvious: We're ravishing the planet, tearing asunder the web of life, collapsing entire ecosystems, and doing our best to make Earth look like Mars. Not to mention that we're being maximum pricks to each other in the process-who needs terrorists from afar when we do such a good job of terrorizing each other here?

Aside from parasite bankers who treat me like pond scum, I've had many drivers aim for me while rollerblading down the sides of streets. Bicyclers are an endangered species here.

Billions of people around the world live on less than two dollars a day. Human misery abounds wherever you look. This once Garden of Eden is rapidly transforming into the Bowels of Hell. Go visit the once Fertile Crescent, the cradle of civilization, now called Iraq, if you have the slightest doubt.

So why have kids? Do you want to punish them and put them through a worse hell than we're in? Is that your idea of fun?

I took a class several years back, in a school where I worked, from a psychologist I greatly respected, on childrearing. The first day of class, he posed the question to us: "Why do you want to have kids?"

We spent an hour or so arguing and debating and discussing what might be a good, logical reason for having children.

"That's what people do."

"So? Does that make it a good reason?"

"It's just natural."

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In my run for U.S. Senate against Utah's Orrin Hatch, I posted many progressive ideas and principles that I internalized over the years. I'm leaving that site up indefinitely, since it describes what I believe most members of our species truly (more...)

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