Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Mark Steyn and Thomas Sowell on “the knockout game”

First, Mark Steyn writing in National Review. (H/T Jay Richards)

Excerpt:

In his book The Abolition of Man, he writes of “men without chests” — the chest being “the indispensable liaison” between the head and the gut, between “cerebral man” and “visceral man.” In the chest beat what Lewis calls “the trained emotions.” Without them there is no honor or virtue, but only “intellect” and/or “appetite.”

Speaking of appetite, have you played the “Knockout” game yet? Groups of black youths roam the streets looking for a solitary pedestrian, preferably white (hence the alternate name “polar-bearing”) but Asian or Hispanic will do. The trick is to knock him to the ground with a single punch. There’s a virtually limitless supply of targets: In New York, a 78-year-old woman was selected, and went down nice and easy, as near-octogenarian biddies tend to when sucker-punched. But, when you’re really rockin’, you can not only floor the unsuspecting sucker but kill him: That’s what happened to 46-year-old Ralph Santiago of Hoboken, N.J., whose head was slammed into an iron fence, whereupon he slumped to the sidewalk with his neck broken. And anyway the one-punch rule is flexible: In upstate New York, a 13-year-old boy socked 51-year-old Michael Daniels but with insufficient juice to down him. So his buddy threw a bonus punch, and the guy died from cerebral bleeding. Widely available video exists of almost all Knockout incidents, since the really cool thing is to have your buddies film it and upload it to YouTube. And it’s so simple to do in an age when every moronic savage has his own “smart phone.”

There’s no economic motive. The 78-year-old in New York was laden with bags from department stores, but none were touched. You slug an elderly widow not for the 50 bucks in her purse but for the satisfaction of seeing her hit the pavement. In response, some commentators are calling for these attacks to be recategorized: As things stand, if white youths target a black guy it’s a hate crime, but vice versa is merely common assault. I doubt this would make very much difference. “No justification of virtue will enable a man to be virtuous,” wrote Lewis — and, likewise, no law can prevent a thug punching an old lady to the ground if the thug is minded to. “A society’s first line of defense is not the law but customs, traditions, and moral values,” wrote Professor Walter Williams a few years ago. “They include important thou-shalt-nots such as shalt not murder, shalt not steal, shalt not lie and cheat, but they also include all those courtesies one might call ladylike and gentlemanly conduct. Policemen and laws can never replace these restraints on personal conduct.”

Restraint is an unfashionable concept these day, but it is the indispensable feature of civilized society. To paraphrase my compatriot George Jonas, punching a spinster’s lights out isn’t wrong because it’s illegal, it’s illegal because it’s wrong. But, in a world without restraints, what’s to stop you? If a certain percentage of your population feels no moral revulsion at randomly pulverizing fellow citizens for sport, a million laws will avail you naught: The societal safety lock is off.

Let’s hear from black economist Thomas Sowell about why this is not widely reported. (H/T Mysterious WGB)

Excerpt:

The main reason for many people’s surprise is that the mainstream media have usually suppressed news about the “knockout game” or about other and larger forms of similar orchestrated racial violence in dozens of cities in every region of the country. Sometimes the attacks are reported, but only as isolated attacks by unspecified “teens” or “young people” against unspecified victims, without any reference to the racial makeup of the attackers or the victims — and with no mention of racial epithets by the young hoodlums exulting in their own “achievement.”

Despite such pious phrases as “troubled youths,” the attackers are often in a merry, festive mood. In a sustained mass attack in Milwaukee, going far beyond the dimensions of a passing “knockout game,” the attackers were laughing and eating chips, as if it were a picnic.

One of them observed casually, “white girl bleed a lot.”

[...]Some in the media, as well as in politics, may think that they are trying to avoid provoking a race war by ignoring or playing down these attacks. But the way to prevent a race war is by stopping these attacks, not trying to sanitize them.

If these attacks continue, and continue to grow, more and more people are going to know about them, regardless of the media or the politicians. Responsible people of all races need to support a crackdown on these attacks, which can provoke a white backlash that can escalate into a race war. But political expediency leads in the opposite direction.

What is politically expedient is to do what Attorney General Eric Holder is doing — launch campaigns against schools that discipline a “disproportionate” number of black male students. New York City’s newly elected liberal mayor is expected to put a stop to police “stop and frisk” policies that have reduced the murder rate to one-fourth of what it was under liberal mayors of the past.

I think that the biggest cause of crime in this society is fatherlessness, which we not only refuse to judge on moral grounds, but which we actually subsidize with our taxpayer dollars.

Dr. Michael Tanner of the libertarian Cato Institute explains one of the causes of fatherlessness in his testimony to Congress:

Welfare contributes to crime in several ways. First, children from single-parent families are more likely to become involved in criminal activity. According to one study, children raised in single-parent families are one-third more likely to exhibit anti-social behavior.(3) Moreover, O’Neill found that, holding other variables constant, black children from single- parent households are twice as likely to commit crimes as black children from a family where the father is present. Nearly 70 percent of juveniles in state reform institutions come from fatherless homes, as do 43 percent of prison inmates.(4) Research indicates a direct correlation between crime rates and the number of single-parent families in a neighborhood.(5)

As Barbara Dafoe Whitehead noted in her seminal article for The Atlantic Monthly:

The relationship [between single-parent families and crime] is so strong that controlling for family configuration erases the relationship between race and crime and between low income and crime. This conclusion shows up time and again in the literature. The nation’s mayors, as well as police officers, social workers, probation officers, and court officials, consistently point to family break up as the most important source of rising rates of crime.(6)

At the same time, the evidence of a link between the availability of welfare and out-of-wedlock births is overwhelming. There have been 13 major studies of the relationship between the availability of welfare benefits and out-of-wedlock birth. Of these, 11 found a statistically significant correlation. Among the best of these studies is the work done by June O’Neill for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Holding constant a wide range of variables, including income, education, and urban vs. suburban setting, the study found that a 50 percent increase in the value of AFDC and foodstamp payments led to a 43 percent increase in the number of out-of-wedlock births.(7) Likewise, research by Shelley Lundberg and Robert Plotnick of the University of Washington showed that an increase in welfare benefits of $200 per month per family increased the rate of out-of-wedlock births among teenagers by 150 percent.(8)

The same results can be seen from welfare systems in other countries. For example, a recent study of the impact of Canada’s social-welfare system on family structure concluded that “providing additional benefits to single parents encourages births of children to unwed women.”(9)

So what can we do? We can bring back moral judgments. I think that we have to get to the point in society where we realize that all of this permissiveness about “forgiving” people who fail to be responsible with sexuality and marriage actually does harm to society. When you refuse to pass judgment on premarital sex and divorce, and even make it financially lucrative for the people who engage in it (single mother welfare, alimony, child support) then you get more fatherless children, not less.

Although it is tempting to want to be liked for being “compassionate”, we have to look beyond our feelings and our vanity and start to think about the big picture. We need to shame people who are unchaste. We need to shame single mothers. We need to shame people who divorce and blame them for marrying badly. We need to cut off all the subsidies for people who make decisions that deprive children of their fathers. We need to stop the normalization of premarital sex that occurs in our schools. We need to shame women who choose men for sex when those men are not capable of being husbands and fathers.

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Should college students be allowed to opt out of graphic sex education?

Life News reports.

Excerpt:

When 18-year-old twins Bella and Angelica Ayala found out that the sexual harassment session in their freshman orientation program included a graphic sex-ed presentation, they decided to opt out. The pro-life Catholic students respectfully voiced their desire to not partake in the program prior to its start.

Bella told the pro-life group Survivors, “My sister actually contacted the orientation program beforehand to request that we be exempt from attending this part of orientation, but was given an ambiguous answer.”

A week after Angelica called the orientation program, a mass e-mail was sent out from the New Student & Transition Programs citing UCLA’s policy codes and federal/state laws saying the presentation was mandated. Regardless, the Ayalas later received permission from their counselors to leave the program. The option to not partake in the sex-ed part of the program was not given to any other students.

Angelica was told she wouldn’t have to be present during the sex ed portion, but after she walked out, she was later reprimanded and told she’d have to make up the session. If she refused to make up the session, she was informed that the university would put a hold on her academic records.

Before the session, the twins distributed literature to their peers that discussed STDs and risks of having sex prior to marriage. A counselor seeing the students reading the literature said, “This is not the message we want to communicate.” The counselor told Angelica she knew she was responsible for passing out the literature and it wasn’t allowed because the talk was a private event and she’d need permission from the dean’s office to hand out information. A counselor took the pamphlets from the students by demanding they pass back the materials.

Jewish radio show host Dennis Prager often calls universities and colleges “left-wing seminaries”, and stories like this help us to see why. More examples can be found in Prager’s story on Florida Atlantic University and Prager’s story on the University of Southern California.

If you are going to college, I really recommend that you try to focus on STEM areas (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). You do not want left-wing radicals taking your money and using the power of grading to indoctrinate you in false views. University is not the place for you to critically examine the views of leftists. There is no critical thinking in a left-wing seminary. It’s better to get your degree in computer science, get a job, and then work on the big questions on your own without having to face coercion and narrow-mindedness.

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Is the root cause of crime poverty or fatherlessness?

If we were really serious about stopping gun crime, then we should go after the root cause of gun crime. So what is that root cause? The answer might surprise you.

Here is Dr. Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation to explain:

Census data and the Fragile Families survey show that marriage can be extremely effective in reducing child poverty. But the positive effects of married fathers are not limited to income alone. Children raised by married parents have substantially better life outcomes compared to similar children raised in single-parent homes.

When compared to children in intact married homes, children raised by single parents are more likely to have emotional and behavioral problems; be physically abused; smoke, drink, and use drugs; be aggressive; engage in violent, delinquent, and criminal behavior; have poor school performance; be expelled from school; and drop out of high school.[19] Many of these negative outcomes are associated with the higher poverty rates of single mothers. In many cases, however, the improvements in child well-being that are associated with marriage persist even after adjusting for differences in family income. This indicates that the father brings more to his home than just a paycheck.

The effect of married fathers on child outcomes can be quite pronounced. For example, examination of families with the same race and same parental education shows that, when compared to intact married families, children from single-parent homes are:

  • More than twice as likely to be arrested for a juvenile crime;[20]
  • Twice as likely to be treated for emotional and behavioral problems;[21]
  • Roughly twice as likely to be suspended or expelled from school;[22] and
  • A third more likely to drop out before completing high school.[23]

The effects of being raised in a single-parent home continue into adulthood. Comparing families of the same race and similar incomes, children from broken and single-parent homes are three times more likely to end up in jail by the time they reach age 30 than are children raised in intact married families. [24] Compared to girls raised in similar married families, girls from single-parent homes are more than twice as likely to have a child without being married, thereby repeating the negative cycle for another generation.[25]

Finally, the decline of marriage generates poverty in future generations. Children living in single-parent homes are 50 percent more likely to experience poverty as adults when compared to children from intact married homes. This intergenerational poverty effect persists even after adjusting for the original differences in family income and poverty during childhood.[26]

People on the left claim that poverty causes crime, but they don’t look for the root cause of poverty. The root cause of poverty is the decline of marriage, which produces fatherless children. Unfortunately, some people promote the decline of marriage because they do not like the “unequal gender roles” inherent in marriage. So what is the main tool that the anti-marriage people use to increase the number of fatherless children?

Dr. Michael Tanner of the libertarian Cato Institute explains one of the causes of fatherlessness in his testimony to Congress:

Welfare contributes to crime in several ways. First, children from single-parent families are more likely to become involved in criminal activity. According to one study, children raised in single-parent families are one-third more likely to exhibit anti-social behavior.(3) Moreover, O’Neill found that, holding other variables constant, black children from single- parent households are twice as likely to commit crimes as black children from a family where the father is present. Nearly 70 percent of juveniles in state reform institutions come from fatherless homes, as do 43 percent of prison inmates.(4) Research indicates a direct correlation between crime rates and the number of single-parent families in a neighborhood.(5)

As Barbara Dafoe Whitehead noted in her seminal article for The Atlantic Monthly:

The relationship [between single-parent families and crime] is so strong that controlling for family configuration erases the relationship between race and crime and between low income and crime. This conclusion shows up time and again in the literature. The nation’s mayors, as well as police officers, social workers, probation officers, and court officials, consistently point to family break up as the most important source of rising rates of crime.(6)

At the same time, the evidence of a link between the availability of welfare and out-of-wedlock births is overwhelming. There have been 13 major studies of the relationship between the availability of welfare benefits and out-of-wedlock birth. Of these, 11 found a statistically significant correlation. Among the best of these studies is the work done by June O’Neill for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Holding constant a wide range of variables, including income, education, and urban vs. suburban setting, the study found that a 50 percent increase in the value of AFDC and foodstamp payments led to a 43 percent increase in the number of out-of-wedlock births.(7) Likewise, research by Shelley Lundberg and Robert Plotnick of the University of Washington showed that an increase in welfare benefits of $200 per month per family increased the rate of out-of-wedlock births among teenagers by 150 percent.(8)

The same results can be seen from welfare systems in other countries. For example, a recent study of the impact of Canada’s social-welfare system on family structure concluded that “providing additional benefits to single parents encourages births of children to unwed women.”(9)

The poverty that everyone complains about is not the root cause of crime. The poverty is caused by fatherlessness. The fatherlessness is caused by welfare. Fatherlessness is also caused by laws and policies that make it easier for people to divorce, e.g. – no-fault divorce laws. Again, it’s people on the left who push for no-fault divorce laws. So the left is pushing two policies, welfare and no-fault divorce, which cause crime.

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Miriam Grossman: a brief history of sex education

Miriam Grossman is a psychiatrist at UCLA who helps the students there. She’s written two books on sex and college students, and I’ve gotten both of them. Here’s an article from the Public Discourse authored by her.

First, she explains that sex education today is not about biology, it’s about advocacy:

Now we have comprehensive sexuality education. It includes discussion of identity, gender, reproductive rights, and discrimination. Children learn that they’re sexual from birth, and that the proper time for sexual activity is when they feel ready. They’re taught that they have rights to pleasure, birth control, and abortion.

The terms husband and wife aren’t used, the union of man and woman is one of several options, and morality? Well, that’s judging, and judging is not allowed.

You won’t find much biology in sexuality education, but there’s voluminous information on the varieties of sexual expression, the pros and cons of different contraceptives and abortions, and the harms of gender stereotypes.

Gender itself is a complicated matter. A boy might turn into a man, a woman, or something else. A girl might feel she was born in the wrong body, and want her breasts removed. This is all normal, children learn.

There are over two dozen sexually transmitted diseases, and infection with one of these “lovebugs” is considered by some to be a part of growing up. A doctor declares on YouTube, “Expect to have HPV once you become sexually intimate. All of us get it.”

And childhood innocence? Forget it! Material created for children makes most adults uncomfortable. On websites recommended to students, nothing is taboo—sadomasochism, polyamory, and what were once called “deviant” behaviors . . . they’re all good.

Here’s how it came to be:

[I]n 1964 Dr. Mary Calderone founded the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS). This is the group behind the sexuality education guidelines published by UNESCO, aggressively promoted to nations all over the world. Calderone created SIECUS with seed money provided by Hugh Hefner.

Like Kinsey, she was on a crusade to change society. Sex education has too much negativity, she insisted, too much focus on unwanted pregnancy and diseases. The real problem, she insisted, following Kinsey, was that society is puritanical and repressed.

There were too many nos in sex ed. The approach of SIECUS, Calderone promised, would be based on yesses. Proper sex ed would teach children that from the day they’re born they are sexual beings, and that the expression of their sexuality is positive, natural, and healthy.

She told parents, “Children are sexual and think sexual thoughts and do sexual things . . . parents must accept and honor their child’s erotic potential.” She also told them, “Professionals who study children have recently affirmed the strong sexuality of the newborn.”

What did it mean, exactly, to be open and positive, and to replace the nos of sex education with yesses? What did it mean to “break from traditional views”?

It meant more than premarital and extramarital sex. Much more. Modern sex ed was about breaking boundaries. There were officials within SIECUS who were so radical that they argued publicly for relaxing the taboos against adult/child sexuality, even incest. Wardell Pomeroy, for example, a disciple of Kinsey’s who served as president of SIECUS, argued, “It is time to admit that incest need not be a perversion or a symptom of mental illness.”

TIME magazine described Pomeroy as part of the “pro-incest lobby.” He wrote a book, Boys & Sex, for grades six and up. There he argued that “our sexual behavior…is like that of other animals….There is essentially nothing that humans do sexually that is abnormal.” Calderone provided a blurb for the book jacket: “As I read your manuscript, I kept saying to myself, ‘At last it is being said…’”

Another figure to know is Dr. John Money. In 1955, he introduced the radical concept that maleness and femaleness are feelings, separate from anatomy and chromosomes. He was convinced we are born without gender, then conditioned by society to identify either as male or female.

Money was a prominent psychologist; he’s well respected to this day. He described pedophilia as “a love affair between an age-discrepant couple.” Money was also part of the incest lobby: “For a child to have a sexual experience with a relative,” he wrote, “was not necessarily a problem.” Like Kinsey, Money had deep emotional wounds. His identity as a man was troubled, and he molested young boys.

What’s so astonishing is that these men, these very disturbed men, using fraudulent data and theories that have been discredited, succeeded in transforming much of society. Today’s sexuality education is based on their teachings.

Once I understood who the founders were—Kinsey, Calderone, Pomeroy, Money, and others—I understood how we got to today’s “comprehensive sexuality education.” I knew how we had reached today’s madness.

It came from disturbed individuals with dangerous ideas—radical activists who wanted to create a society that would not only accept their pathology, but celebrate it!

These men were pedophiles. It was in their interest to see children as miniature adults who enjoyed sexual contact, and had the right to consent to it, without other adults, or the law, interfering.

Why would they value childhood innocence? They didn’t believe that children were innocent to begin with. They also thought that restricting sex to husband and wife was unnatural and destructive. They weren’t fighting disease, they were fighting ancient taboos; they were fighting biblical morality.

The bottom line: sex ed began as a social movement, and it remains a social movement. Its goal is for students to be open to just about any form of sexual expression. Sex ed is not about preventing disease, it’s about sexual freedom, or better—sexual license. It’s about changing society, one child at a time.

I think that a lot of young people today are growing up in a household that is very different than what I grew up with. I grew up in a household where I had two parents biologically related to me who were married before they had me and are still married. People knew back then that the marital bond was stronger when two people had guarded their chastity prior to marrying one another. That stable marriage that I grew up with was an asset to my development. But thanks to sex education, which normalized recreational sex outside of marriage, children today are far less likely to have the kind of childhood that I had.

If you are growing up without a father, you should thank sex education. If you are growing up without a mother, you should thank sex education. If you were abused by a relative or your mothers boyfriend (or girlfriend), you should thank sex education. If you grew up fatherless and sought a boyfriend to have sex with before you could even vote, then thank sex education. If the premarital sex that your parents had caused them to divorce, thank sex education. If you are growing up in any household that is not a happily married long-lasting married household, thank sex education.

One last point. The fiscal conservative in me is appalled that this advocacy is all being taught in public schools with taxpayer money. You and I are paying these people to indoctrinate children in views that puts their safety, health and emotional well-being at risk. You and I are paying to have their sexually transmitted diseases treated. You and I are paying for their contraceptives and abortions. You and I are paying for the costs of teenage pregnancies and increases crime from fatherless boys. Thank sex education for all of these social ills.

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UK: Half a million new STI infections in 2012

From the left-leaning UK Independent.

Excerpt:

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are soaring among young people, with chlamydia the most virulent, health officials have warned.

Nearly half a million people were diagnosed with STIs last year, with those aged under-25 experiencing the highest rates of infection, according to new figures released today.

Health experts have warned that the rise in STIs shows too many young people are still putting themselves at risk by failing to practice safe-sex.

Last year there were 448,422 diagnoses, which was a rise of five per cent from 2011, said Public Health England (PHE).

Almost half of all infections were chlamydia, amounting to 46 per cent of total STI diagnoses.

The number of new gonorrhoea diagnoses increased by 21 per cent, which is a particular cause for concern among health officials as the global threat of antibiotic resistance grows.

People aged under-25 accounted for 64 per cent of all chlamydia and 54 per cent of genital warts diagnoses in 2012.

The UK has some of the most aggressive and early sex education of any Western country. But all of this effort to educate young people hasn’t reduced the amount of sexual activity at all. When young people learn about the mechanics of sex, and are taught that recreational sex is normal and healthy, then they have more of it. Young people aren’t able to assess risks like adults can. They think that nothing will happen to them. No amount of sex education can cure youthful recklessness.

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