Okay, among the things on my widely-scattered mind today:
1. In researching other things today, I was looking into a set of stats put forth by David Barton about some of the negative trends in society since the 1962 decision to ban school prayer. You can look at them for yourselves if you like; I was drawn to the rebuttal by a chap going by the name of Abemore who accused Barton of "spreading twisted lies" by selectively presenting his charts. Of course, in the typical vein of evangelical atheists, he starts it out with the pronunciation that Barton "is an idiot" (that bastion of credibility of the liberal fringe- insult, insult, insult); then he goes on to select the one chart he CAN try to overthrow statistically- the spike in venereal disease since the decision. While he does make two valid points- first, that the spikes are closely tied to occurrence of major wars; second, that Barton did not show how those rates have since dropped off- he fails to note two other things that puncture his bubble. One, he does not note that the spike Barton referred to started after major involvement in Vietnam and second, that its peak came 3 years after we were OUT of Vietnam. Not to mention the fact that this peak ran MUCH higher and was already starting from a higher base.The fact that that indicator later ebbed does not invalidate Barton's hypotheses, it merely shows that the symptoms of societal debasement can be mitigated over time- if not the decay itself.
Abemore does not bother to contest anything other than the VD chart, stating that one chart overthrown is basically all charts overthrown- Apparently assuming that the "war" must also have been the cause of higher murder rates, higher teen pregnancy rates, and lower SAT scores. In a sidelight, he also references another of his statistical breakthroughs that claims a connection between being religious and higher rates of divorce. To manage this, he makes the assumption that because Christians have a special relationship with God, that if God exists they should have a supernatural protection from divorce. He sites stats that show that basically everyone has similar divorce rates, therefore Christianity is somehow invalidated. Not surprising since his assumptions about that special relationship between Christians and God are completely wrong; the nature of that relationship focuses on forgiveness and personal responsibility to avoid sin. Atheists refuse to grasp that the Nature of God is such that man's failure does NOT equal God's failure. Also, I find it curious that Abemore's VD chart only includes Gonorrhea and not AIDS, which would have eliminated the dip over the years involved. Mustn't slay our sacred cows, I suppose.
2. I also learned this morning that there is a strong statistical link between legal and Illegal immigration- they rise and fall together. The Center for Immigration Studies states that much of this is because increased legal immigration not only encourages others to try to enter, but the backlogs at INS because of this forced the impatient to cross the river without waiting. What started out this chain reaction? Well, you start with the Hart-Cellar act of 1965 which changed the requirements for immigration from being a person who can positively contribute to society (which, I might add, Mexican law still IS) to a basic quota system; since we were in the era of civil rights, let's give civil rights to everyone, whether they are citizens or not. And this abomination we can lay squarely at the feet of Ted Kennedy, whose first assignment as a Senator was to work this bill through. Being the prescient paragon of rightness that he was, Ted predicted,"First, our cities will not be flooded with a million immigrants annually. Under the proposed bill, the present level of immigration remains substantially the same.... Secondly, the ethnic mix of this country will not be upset...Contrary to the charges in some quarters, [the bill] will not inundate America with immigrants from any one country or area, or the most populated and deprived nations of Africa and Asia.... In the final analysis, the ethnic pattern of immigration under the proposed measure is not expected to change as sharply as the critics seem to think.... It will not cause American workers to lose their jobs."
This I find sadly amusing. Consider this from this very day's Journal Gazette article about the "diversity" in the McKinney-Hessen Cassel census tract in SE Ft. Wayne:
The official census tract breakdown is 653 whites, 726 blacks, 483 Asians, 183 Hispanics. While the tract's population increased 14 percent since 2000, it was mostly from Hispanics and Asians. Non-Hispanic whites in the area declined 28 percent, and blacks dropped to a lesser degree.
Again, not surprising from the man who wanted to put McDonald's out of business for making kids fat. What did you top out at before your illness, Ted?
Oh, and BTW, Illegals in the USA were estimated at just over 500,000 in 1969, shortly after Hart-Cellar passed. That amount had doubled by 5 years later; that number in turn tripled by 1980, and even that number more than doubled by 2000. But our "ethnic mix" is still the same as it was in 1965. That's what Ted said, and I believe him. ;<)
3. My ESPN baseball team got autodrafted this morning. Being a Reds fan (my second team behind Oakland), I was less than thrilled to see I got Adam Wainwright (who is not only a Cardinal but just got scheduled for Tommy John surgery and will miss the whole year) but his teammate Colby Rasmus (which should make KC laugh since he knows I cannot stand Rasmus). Needless to say, I am ejecting both of them ASAP.
4. Robbie Gordon just wiped out on lap 34. Good. That man should have his car impounded and be issued a tricycle in the name of public safety. Now he's weeping about Marcus Ambrose bumped him. Karma from last week's a bummer, huh, Robbie?
5. I see Quaddafiduck's sons told the UN that all the stories of massacres in Libya are "overblown". I think they got ahold of some of those drugs al-Qaeida is passing out to the anti-Duck protesters.