Patterico's Pontifications

5/9/2015

Big Media Eagerly Leaps at Bogus Story About Chlamydia Outbreak at Texas Abstinence-Only School

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:47 pm

The story swept Big Media this past week — and how could it not? The stupidity of those absurd West Texans, and the predictable and ironically horrific results . . . well, it was a story tailor-made for our betters in Big Media, and they lapped it up:

The Washington Post: Texas high school with chlamydia outbreak has abstinence-only sex ed

ABCNews: Chlamydia Outbreak Hits Texas High School With No Sex Ed

TIME: Chlamydia Outbreak Hits Texas High School With Abstinence-Only Sex-Ed Program

Amanda Marcotte at Slate: One in 15 Students at a West Texas High School Has Chlamydia

People Magazine: Chlamydia Outbreak at Texas High School with Abstinence-Only Sex-Ed Program

N.Y. Daily News: Chlamydia outbreak hits abstinence-only Texas high school, making officials rethink sex ed

AOL.com: An ‘abstinence-only’ Texas high school has chlamydia outbreak

Only one major blogger seemed to express skepticism: Instapundit. But aside from him, even “conservative” sites were not immune:

The Daily Caller: This Texas High School Is CRAWLING WITH VENEREAL DISEASE

There’s just one problem: the story was bogus.

A previously reported group of chlamydia cases at a West Texas high school is much smaller than initially thought, according to the state health department.

Reports of 20 confirmed cases among the 300 or so students at Crane High School drew national headlines this week and were largely based on comments and a letter sent by the small school district’s superintendent. On Thursday, a spokeswoman with the Texas Department of State Health Services said there have only been three confirmed cases in the county and those were not necessarily students.

What’s more, the news of only three confirmed cases in the county was known to local media on May 6. Yet several of the pieces above — such as the ones in the Washington Post and TIME — were published later, on May 7.

They should have known better — and if the story contradicted their innate prejudices, they would have checked.

Instead, they published crap, with a side helping of snark.

Christian publications are publishing the corrected story, but that’s about it. I don’t see a single correction appended to any of the stories linked above.

They had their agenda, and they weren’t going to let facts get in the way.

UPDATE: The Washington Post has now “clarified” the story since the publication of my post last night:

Clarification: The original version of this story quoting Texas media said 20 cases had been reported in the school, and did not reflect the superintendent’s latest comments saying there were eight this year in the county as a whole, not necessarily all in the school.

That’s all year. There are three or possibly four confirmed cases in the county right now. That’s out of a county of about 5000 people.

Darrell Issa: The Poor of the United States Are the Envy of the World

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 1:06 pm

Darrell Issa is being mocked for saying that the poor in this country are the envy of the world:

California GOP Rep. Darrell Issa was challenged by CNN Money correspondent Cristina Alesci on Thursday after he seemingly downplayed income inequality issues in the US.

“America’s the richest country on Earth because we’ve been able to put capital together and we’ve been able to make our poor somewhat the envy of the world,” Issa told Alesci. “If you go to India or you go to any number of third-world countries, you have two problems: you have greater inequality of income and wealth. You also have less opportunity for people to rise from the have-not to the have.”

“I don’t think the comparison is one we want to make,” Alesci responded. “We don’t want to compare ourselves to India. We want to set the bar pretty high.”

“Why shouldn’t we?” Issa countered, before telling her, “I appreciate your comment, but you’re wrong. You do have to compare yourself to the rest of the world. We compete with the rest of the world.”

He’s absolutely right.

Economic freedom benefits poor people. The poor in this country have lives that kings and queens centuries ago could only dream of: indoor plumbing, refrigerators, microwaves, cell phones, medical care, and so forth. That did not occur because government took money from rich people and gave it to poor people. It happened because of technological innovation and investment in capital.

And Issa is right to note that countries (rich or poor) with more economic freedom have less income inequality. As Antony Davies and James Harrigan have noted:

Countries with more economic freedom have more gender equality and less income inequality. And this isn’t because rich countries tend to be both more free and more equal. Even among the poorest countries, those with more economic freedom enjoy more equality.

I don’t believe “income inequality” is a problem — indeed, it’s arguably a good thing, because (even with all the government interference we have) it’s still the case that the rich earn money by providing goods and services that help society. The rich earning more, then, is an indication of a happier society.

But if the left doesn’t like income inequality, there’s a solution: economic freedom.

But is it right to criticize India for not being economically free? Yes, it is. The Index of Economic Freedom assesses various factors such as rule of law, limited government intervention, regulatory efficiency, and open markets. The 2015 assessment shows that the U.S. is not at the top of the list — it is 12th.

But India . . . is No. 128.

The free market is nothing more than the aggregate of the individual decisions of individual people. It is the greatest engine for helping the poor in the history of the world. It’s a shame that the left can’t see this — but the blindness of the left doesn’t make the facts any less true.

Clapper: I Didn’t Lie . . . I Just “Forgot”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:45 pm

With this past week’s revelation that a federal appeals court has ruled the NSA program illegal, we now learn that James Clapper didn’t lie when he denied the existence of that program. He just . . . forgot:

Director of National Intelligence Jim Clapper wasn’t lying when he wrongly told Congress in 2013 that the government does not “wittingly” collect information about millions of Americans, according to his top lawyer.

He just forgot.

“This was not an untruth or a falsehood. This was just a mistake on his part,” Robert Litt, the general counsel for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, said during a panel discussion hosted by the Advisory Committee on Transparency on Friday.

“We all make mistakes.”

Whoops! He also “forgot” to send a follow-up letter correcting his “mistake” when he “realized” it.

Let’s remember the background here, as I explained it in this post from June 2013:

And there appear to be no criminal consequences on the horizon for James Clapper, who flat-out lied to Ron Wyden by answering this question:

Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?

by saying: “No, sir. There are cases where they could inadvertently, perhaps, collect, but not wittingly.” We have now learned that the NSA “wittingly” collects all kinds of data on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans. Wyden knew it, Clapper knew it, Clapper knew Wyden was going to ask the question, and Clapper declined an invitation to revise his answer afterwards.

They now claim Clapper didn’t know the question was going to be asked, but Wyden told him in advance.

Clapper lied under oath, and now he is lying about his lie.

And Obama, by leaving Clapper in his position, shows that he is just fine with all this lying.

Just so we’re clear.

Men, Stop Raping Us With Your Stares, Your Minds, Your Hearts

Filed under: General — Dana @ 12:33 pm

[guest post by Dana]

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I saw this on Ricochet writer Stephen Miller’s twitter last week. It led to a little dust-up between Miller and the self-proclaimed “kick-ass feminist” attorney who posted it (but has since removed it).

I have something to say about this. But first let me say, if this attractive young woman has a “nuanced” argument to make, I don’t care. Why should I? Clearly, her main objective is to demonize men. Nothing original there. And honestly, if you choose to smugly proclaim your nasty denigration of men, then you also choose to become a target inviting everyone who sees to take their best shot. And I aim to please.

So, what I want to know is, who gave the collective feminist permission to co-opt the word “*rape” and make it part of their whiny, self-serving lexicon and claim it as the gender’s universal badge of victimization – whether or not an actual rape has taken place?

What the feminist doesn’t seem to get is that every time “rape” is used to define anything other than the horrific sexual act of an angry, sick male who brutally shoves himself into the inner being of a woman and subsequently wounds her body, heart and soul, it’s not just the word itself that is diminished, but so too are the experiences of untold numbers of women whose lives will never quite be the same as before they were undone.

How dare they.

Men, sadly, are on the receiving end of this bullshit. Good, decent and kind men. Men like most of you, who respect women, who honor women and who know a good woman is hard to find and even harder to keep. Unfortunately in the eyes of the inflammatory feminist, you’re all one and the same. You have no choice in the matter because you are just one giant glob of rape-loving flesh who, when you aren’t wallowing in patriarchal privilege, you are raping women – with your eyes, with your minds, with your hearts. You are rape and nowhere is safe from you.

And you know how the smug, self-righteous feminist knows this? Because in her own non-raping eyes, she has become god . Plain and simple. The feminist is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent. She can divine the inner workings of man. Because who else could possibly know the motives and intent of man other than god? So there you go.

Rape is an utterly heinous crime. But what this feminist is talking about isn’t rape. It’s instead just more of the usual claptrap that continues to reinforce the stereotype of women being the fairer, weaker, and I might add, addle-brained sex.

It must be those hormones running amok.

My friend Vivian Louise wraps it up neatly:

Feminism doesn’t stop one damned rape. Good men stop rape. Teaching your boys right stops rape. Teaching your girls right stops rape.

(*Preemptive strike: In the context of this post, “rape” is referring to the act of a man assaulting a woman. This does not mean that rape by women does not occur. Of course it does.)

–Dana

Transgender Club Opens For Children Ages 5 To 12

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:41 am

[guest post by Dana]

To aid the growing number of gender confused kindergartners, Children’s Hospital in St. Louis has recently established a transgender club for children ages 5 to 12 years.

The club is referred to as TransParent:

Our purpose is to provide support, information and resources to help parents confidently navigate their gender independent child’s personal journey of self-discovery to authentic living.

As for the club members:

Some of the children don’t know their gender and are considered gender neutral. But all share the same emotional and physical uncertainties and feel at home and safe with the other children.

Kids fill out a name tag and use the name they want to be called that night. It may or may not be the name they use at school or with friends. They draw pictures, read stories, play dress us and dance. They laugh and smile and talk about anything that’s on their mind. Two of the children agreed to talk on camera about the time they knew they were born in the wrong body. They say they knew something was wrong around age 3 or 4. They didn’t like dresses according their gender. All are comfortable and much happier when they live as they feel comfortable.

So as issues of sexual/gender identities are continually being redefined (for societal and political purposes), we have these children being told that yes, they can choose while at the same time, the LGBT crowd has long insisted that people are born with these identities and cannot choose and insist that society recognize and accommodate accordingly.

What led to the realization of gender confusion in these children?:

[A] nine-year-old member of the group, spoke candidly about his personal experience.

‘I was born a girl and [at] about three or four I told my mom and dad that I didn’t want to be a girl; I wanted to be a boy,’ he explained.

Luke’s mom recalled going to her son’s pediatrician with their situation and being told that it was ‘just a phase’.

But two years later, Luke still wanted to be recognized as a boy.

His parents let him start dressing as a boy, and two years ago he legally changed his name.

‘There was a definite zest for life when he changed,’ Luke’s dad noted of his transition.

The family chose to only use their first names out of concern that Luke would get bullied at school or during extracurricular activities.

Luke also said he would prefer to keep his born identity hidden.

‘I think I would rather keep it a secret, so people won’t call me my other name or call me a girl,’ he explained.

On their website, St. Louis Children’s Hospital provided the following criteria used to diagnose whether DSM-V Gender Dsyphoria in a child exists, explaining that “a marked incongruence between one’s experienced/expressed gender and assigned gender, of at least 6 months duration as manifested by at least six of the following:

1) A strong desire to be the other gender or an insistence that one if the other gender (or some alternative gender different from one’s assigned gender).

2) In boys (assigned gender), a strong preference for cross-dressing or simulating female attired; or in girls (assigned gender), a strong preference for wearing only typical masculine clothing and a strong resistance to the wearing of typical feminine clothing.

3) A strong preference for cross-gender roles in make-believe play or fantasy play.

4) A strong preference for the toys, games, or activities stereotypically used or engaged in by the other gender.

5) A strong preference for playmates of the other gender.

6) In boys (assigned gender), a strong rejection of typically masculine toys, games, and activities and a strong avoidance of rough-and-tumble play; or in girls (assigned gender), a strong rejection of typically feminine toys, games, and activities.

7) A strong dislike of one’s sexual anatomy.

8) A strong desire for the primary and/or secondary sex characteristics that match one’s experienced gender.

And after puberty hits, these kids can look forward to expanding their gender identities to one or more of the hospital’s referenced 23 gender descriptors or better yet, the 58 gender options that Facebook has compiled. Any number, any combination, any time.

–Dana


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