Rates of Young Sluts

There is nothing that gets the political right as excited as the sexual activity of the youth. They stay up late at night obsessing over all the teenagers having sex and worrying about how it is destroying our country. It’s almost as bad as Islamic terrorists or Obama, same difference.

I came across A few graphs about teen pregnancy and sex by Ampersand, over at the ALAS! A BLOG. This particular graph caught my attention:

age-of-having-sex-graph

I was born in 1975, the great and wondrous GenX. My generation, of course, was the most slutty as teenagers. I didn’t personally contribute to most of those numbers, but it is nice to know that my peers were getting it on at such inspiring rates. At age 14, one in ten of my cohorts had or at least claimed to have had sex.

Since that low point in American sexual depravity, the average age of early sexuality has been going up and up. It’s just like the violent crime rate, that also grew with my generation and then reversed course. It probably is another side effect of all that lead pollution that fucked with the young tender brains of my generation.

Anyway, it turns out kids these days aren’t so slutty. That is interesting as the kids these days are largely the children of those earlier slutty GenXers. But just going by the graph, leaving out the even lower teen sex rate of GenZ, there isn’t a massive difference between the teen sex rates of Millennials and that of Boomers and Silents. My parents were born in the 1940s, when even at that time at least half of my parents’ peers were having sex at some point during their teenage years.

My parents would be shocked by such data. They would deny having done any premarital hanky panky, and I have no reason to doubt it. But Jeez! their generation wasn’t all that different in rates of youthful sluttiness. The youngest generation right now isn’t particularly slutty or not necessarily any more slutty than those old people were at the same age.

Not only are the young’uns having less sex (with lower rates of pregnancies, abortions, and STDs), but also partaking in less alcohol, tobacco, and drugs. Kids are becoming boring prudes.

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20 thoughts on “Rates of Young Sluts

  1. I now understand why your lengthy north south piece, which despite a number of high points, generally revealed an inability to comprehend or understand that which differs from your notions and experience. A definition of liberal is open minded and tolerant. You may truly try to live up to that, but I think, unfortunately, you don’t.

    • It’s not clear from your comment that you understand. I would make a couple of points.

      First, I make my arguments and base my conclusions upon the data I know. That is as true for this post as for earlier posts. I notice that you offer no counter-evidence in your comment here. Also, in your only other comment to my blog, I responded with counter-evidence to your view and you never even acknowledged it.

      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2015/07/12/are-white-appalachians-a-special-case/#comment-14730

      I don’t mind disagreement. But I do expect a certain intellectual standard in discussion. If you disagree, then back up your view with relevant information.

      That brings me to my second point. I change my mind all the time. This happens because I’m constantly reading and coming across new info. Also, interacting with those of differing views challenges me, as I hope I challenge them.

      I wrote my lengthy North/South piece more than 4 years ago.

      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2011/03/07/americas-northsouth-divide-other-regional-data/

      I’ve read thousands of books, academic papers, news articles, and blog posts since that time. One of my main focuses in my reading are topics directly related to the subject matter of that older post.

      If I were to write that post now, I likely would use some different data, along with placing a different emphasis in my analysis and conclusions. My thinking changes over time. That is what it means to be open minded.

      As for tolerant, I’m not even sure what is the basis of your complaint. What is intolerant about this post? I even called my own generation the sluttiest, in an act of self-deprecation.

      It is simply a fact that the data shows that teen sex rates increased and then decreased again. Just as it is a fact that the same pattern in the same time frame happened with violent crime. I’ve written in great detail abut the latter and there is strong scientific evidence that a major cause, maybe the main cause, was the rising and lowering rates of lead pollution (with an approximate 20 year time lag for when the impacted infants and children reached adulthood).

      These are the kinds of facts that so many on the political right are ignorant of, willfully or unintentionally. Either way, they typically don’t acknowledge that these facts even exist, much less express a willingness to discuss them or God forbid change their minds. They simply want to judge young people or blacks as bad, without having to feel compassion or try to understand the real causes.

      To my liberal mind, that is lacking tolerance to an extreme. It is far from a helpful attitude and nothing Christian about it, that is for sure.

      Why do you think it means I lack an open mind and tolerance when I point out misinformation/disinformation and offer correct information in its place? Any analysis of data I offer is done in good faith. I’m fine with you disagreeing, as long as it is also done in good faith.

    • I just wanted to say that I don’t mind your criticism here. I welcome your views, both positive and negative. But I would prefer you to clarify. Your complaint, as presently stated, is rather vague.

      I’m sure you could articulate a more clear argument. I appreciated your much more extensive comment in my other post about white Appalachians. I found interesting some of what you brought up there, even as I disagreed or challenged other parts.

      Be patient with me and give me the benefit of the doubt, and I’ll do my best to treat you in kind.

    • That is the background to the argument I was making. But even without the larger context, the case is damning.

      Why is it conservatives complain the most so often when things are improving? I came of age in the 1990s, having graduated high school in 1994. The fear mongering about violent crime was going through the roof, even though the data showed that the trend was shifting downward.

      There seems to be at least a couple decade time lag for conservatives to acknowledge new information. Sometimes the time lag is a couple of generations.

      To put it in the larger context, it seems that conservatives complain about what is improving as a way of obfuscating the problems that are getting worse. Or maybe it is just mindless reactionary attitude being manipulated by demagogues. Whatever the case may be, the pattern keeps repeating and as a society we never seem to learn.

    • Some things are in decline, although seldom for the reasons that conservatives cite.

      A lot of it can be traced back to rising poverty, and ultimately, the right wing policies.

  2. First, an apology for not responding to your response to my earlier comments. Frankly, I failed to note the blog on which I made those comments. Then I stumbled across it again the other day but did not realize you made such a detailed reply. So, as you say, give me the benefit of the doubt and I’ll try to do better in kind.

    The issues raised are truly global and multifaceted. To start and to grossly oversimplify, my comment about not comprehending is based on my impression that you do an exceptional job of reporting the historical aspects but don’t seem to allow the connection between a people’s history and their behavior (and this is not a defense of such behavior) to affect your predispositions. For example, as Woodard points out, attitudes in the Tidewater have roots in the landed English class that originally settled the area. To see the world through such eyes does much to explain what folks from different cultural roots cannot grasp. Much of the violence in the South is based on the warring heritage of the early Celtic settlers for whom violence was often a way of life. The upper Midwest you note was settled by Germans and Scandinavians. The settlers of the two areas were as different as dogs and cats. I don’t expect agreement. But I would think there might be some compassion, even if it be based on sadness.

    You can find the counseling piece you asked about at http://www.counseling.org/resources/library/vista/2010-v-online/Article_69.pdf For where Appalachian Ohio is located, Google Appalachian Ohio county map – it offers several options. You also might find Voices at Ohio University speak about Appalachia of interest. I read a piece some time back by a young woman from Appalachian Ohio who was so ridiculed – and told she had a speech impediment – when a freshman at Ohio State that she withdrew from school. She ultimately succeeded, but offers an interesting story. I cannot locate it but it is somewhere in a variation of Googling Ohio accents, Ohio Appalachian accents, etc.

    I am very interested in different cultures and why they are as they are. I grew up in two polar places: 1) a county in Appalachian Ohio which now, thanks to the demise of the coal industry for the greater good, has fewer people than it did in 1840!! Talk about poverty. When a child, I helped a neighbor deliver coal for heating and cooking to folks in the hollows who were so poor they could only afford coal by the bucket and old newspapers glued to cabin walls provided insulation; 2) urban northeast Ohio where I was an ethnic minority among Jews and eastern Europeans. At that time, Catholic Churches were identified ethnically and inter-ethnic/religious dating was frowned upon by parents. I was the only person I knew of my ethnicity and were were not Jewish or Catholic. During my career, I traveled through much of Europe (including several weeks in the USSR in 1964) and Mexico on business. In doing so, I had to shed my Americanness as much as possible and become more mentally like the culture in which I found myself at any point in time. That’s not easy, yet if not accommodated to some degree can lead to judgments based on an American ideal which often is not relevant.

    While I adhere to a number of Judeo-Christian values, I am not a Christian by standard definition, though my wife and children define themselves as such. My defense of Christianity comes from the fact that the religion is condemned as a singular entity when there are hundreds of interpretations of the faith. It’s like claiming all white people or black people or whomever are the same when such a claim is patently false. We all come in many varieties. It is the behavior of individuals that deserve the condemnation. It’s akin to condemning Iowans for the bad behavior of some, especially those quite vocal. As Michael Harrington once wrote, socialism doesn’t work because people screw it up, just us people do the same to capitalism, religion, the neighborhood, etc.

    As to racism (or variations thereof), I have never been in a society that did not manifest some sort of racism or ethnic prejudice. In the UK, the Anglo-Saxons and Celts are considered different races. In Italy, the Sicilians are objects of derision. In France, it’s the Bretons. In Belgium, the Flemish and Walloons are at odds. The hate among Slavs and non-Slavs, Magyars and Romanians and toward the Roma people, among others permeates eastern Europe, and the Japanese consideration of Koreans as low life suggest but a few of too many to list. On and on it goes. I suspect that blacks are not the the only racial group that were enslaved. But my knowledge is limited. What I do know is that all kinds of people and ethnicities around the world have been enslaved and still are in slavery today in many parts of the world. What I find disturbing is that blacks are excused for a variety of anti-social and self-destructive behaviors because their people were slaves. I find that racist because it assumes blacks are not capable of taking responsibility for their own behavior. They are! I am not so foolish as to claim I have black friends, but in 1954 I rode with two blacks from Ft. Sill, Oklahoma to Cincinnati, Ohio because I needed a ride and they needed a few bucks. My job was to determine where we could eat, etc. For that objective, they did not become white. But I became black. I have been the only white on a work crew and discovered the difference in black attitudes based on age, place of birth, etc. That affected how I was treated circa 1951. I have supped in black homes and they in mine. I was a teacher for a time during the latter part of the last century and discovered how seeing oneself as a victim is used as an excuse for failure. Curiously, such a notion was not as common among females as it was among males. The women subsequently were much more successful by contemporary norms. Maybe that’s a factor in the high rate of male incarceration. Is there a reason that Caribbean blacks, also subjected to slavery, outperform native-born blacks? Incidentally, the welfare system, before the Clinton reforms, removed benefits for women with children if a man (husband or not) was in the home. That did more destruction of the black family than slavery, according to James Mason University economist Walter Williams. The net effect was that black males were relieved of their parental responsibility.

    These comments are not particularly well organized, but I hope they at least touch on some of your concerns about my posts. If more clarification and details are of interest, let me know and I’ll try to respond more clearly. I am, however, at a stage of life where I am disposing of many things thought no longer to be needed. So some of the particulars of support may be long gone.

    Thanks for the detailed response to my earlier post.

    • “First, an apology for not responding to your response to my earlier comments.”

      That is fine. I wasn’t really annoyed or anything. I’ve had many people leave comments and then not respond back. I’m used to it. I understand that people are busy, get distracted, and forget about things… or else they just feel unmotivated about getting involved in detailed discussion.

      There is no rule in my blog that you have to respond back to every comment I make, even if it is directed to you. I’d like to get responses back. But I won’t hold it against anyone for not doing so.

      “my impression that you do an exceptional job of reporting the historical aspects but don’t seem to allow the connection between a people’s history and their behavior”

      That seems a reasonable criticism, whether or not I agree with it. I’ll have to give it some thought.

      “The settlers of the two areas were as different as dogs and cats. I don’t expect agreement. But I would think there might be some compassion, even if it be based on sadness.”

      To my mind, criticism and compassion aren’t so far apart. As a liberal, I sometimes criticize liberals. My bias is toward liberals, but I also have biases in many directions, even toward conservatism, as I was raised by conservatives and have lived in more conservative parts of the country.

      I have lived in South Carolina and North Carolina, for example. If you look around my blog, you’ll find some of my writings are quite sympathetic to Southerners. Those are my people, after all. Most of my ancestry is Southern.

      My post about Appalachia wasn’t an attack piece. It merely pointed out that poverty sucks, whether one is rural or urban, white or black. It also gave the context that poverty is situated in larger issues of history, region, and culture. But if you are familiar with my views, you’d know I don’t blame people for the environments they are born into. Life is hard and people do their best for where they find themselves, a paraphrase of something my Southern grandmother liked to say.

      “You can find the counseling piece you asked about at”

      Thanks for the link. I’ll check it out.

      “I read a piece some time back by a young woman from Appalachian Ohio who was so ridiculed – and told she had a speech impediment – when a freshman at Ohio State that she withdrew from school.”

      No one ever accused my mom of having a speech impediment, but she did have a slight Southern accent when she was younger. Oddly, she went into speech pathology where it was her job to teach students Standard American English (General American), which is how English is commonly spoken around Iowa.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_American

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_American#/media/File:Map_General_American.svg

      In the process, she taught herself to not speak with a Southern accent. It’s funny that by the time our family moved to the Deep South, my mother no longer sounded Southern. She spent her time teaching those Southern kids to also not sound too Southern. I remember not being able to understand some kids when I first moved to South Carolina, for their accent sounded like another language. After a while, I began picking up a slight Southern accent, which I’ve since lost.

      Accents are a strange thing. I’m sure my mother was self-conscious of being perceived as low class when she was younger. To have that Hoosier accent meant you were low class, as perceived by mainstream society. She probably sensed some condescension or judgment when she went to college, the first generation in her family to attend college or to have much education of any kind.

      “I am very interested in different cultures and why they are as they are. I grew up in two polar places: 1) a county in Appalachian Ohio… 2) urban northeast Ohio”

      We share that interest. And we share a similar contrast of experience.

      “While I adhere to a number of Judeo-Christian values, I am not a Christian by standard definition, though my wife and children define themselves as such.”

      We really aren’t that different in many basic details. I also adhere to a number of Judeo-Christian values and yet not a Christian by standard definition, though my still living parents define themselves as such. I’m actually at my parents house right now, where I like to visit. I often talk about religion with my parents. They are conservative Christians, but strangely they raised my brothers and I in a number of New Agey churches, including a New Thought Christian church (Unity Church) which was my main influence growing up.

      “My defense of Christianity comes from the fact that the religion is condemned as a singular entity when there are hundreds of interpretations of the faith.”

      I’ve written a lot about Christianity in my blog. Not so much recently, but it used to be a major focus. My interest is more along the lines of Gnosticism. That is partly because of the kind of Christianity I was raised in. I read A Course In Miracles in high school, which is an inspired text along the lines of Valentinian Christianity/Gnosticism. Valentinus was an early member of the Church, one of the initial followers and advocates of the Pauline tradition (his teacher learned under Paul). He introduced the trinity into Christian theology and supported a middle path between the mystics and ritualists.

      “It’s like claiming all white people or black people or whomever are the same when such a claim is patently false. We all come in many varieties. It is the behavior of individuals that deserve the condemnation. It’s akin to condemning Iowans for the bad behavior of some, especially those quite vocal.”

      I agree. But I get the sense that you think I would disagree.

      “As Michael Harrington once wrote, socialism doesn’t work because people screw it up, just us people do the same to capitalism, religion, the neighborhood, etc.”

      That is a good point.

      “As to racism (or variations thereof), I have never been in a society that did not manifest some sort of racism or ethnic prejudice.”

      I’ve discussed that kind of thing quite a bit in my blog. I’m fascinated by history and culture. I’ve often made the point that racism has taken different form in different places and times.

      “I suspect that blacks are not the the only racial group that were enslaved. But my knowledge is limited.”

      Of course, other racial groups have been enslaved. The very notion of racial groups and racialized slavery developed at the same time, and it was a cross-cultural development. Racialized slavery may have first emerged with the Arabs. They gave us the word ‘slave’ which referred to Slavs, because they were favored as concubines.

      “What I do know is that all kinds of people and ethnicities around the world have been enslaved and still are in slavery today in many parts of the world.”

      That is true. My point is that in recent history of the West the enslaved population was legally limited to blacks. Slavery is now illegal in the world, although it persists. Slaves are sometimes still found in the US, but the incidents tend to be rare and isolated.

      “What I find disturbing is that blacks are excused for a variety of anti-social and self-destructive behaviors because their people were slaves. I find that racist because it assumes blacks are not capable of taking responsibility for their own behavior. They are!”

      I think most Americans are ignorant and clueless about the issues of race, particularly in relation to issues of class. To put it bluntly, there is no rational non-bigoted reason to assume that more whites than blacks are in favor of personal responsibility. It is part of all American culture, not just a white belief.

      “I was a teacher for a time during the latter part of the last century and discovered how seeing oneself as a victim is used as an excuse for failure.”

      To the extent that is true, that is just as true for Appalachian whites, which is part of my point. But another point I often make is that we should equally criticize the average and above-average white who has unearned privilege and uses it as a rationalization for his or her success in a racist society. The latter is more bullshit than the former, as obvious as obvious can be. I don’t mince words about this kind of thing.

      “Curiously, such a notion was not as common among females as it was among males. The women subsequently were much more successful by contemporary norms. Maybe that’s a factor in the high rate of male incarceration.”

      It’s not curious, for those who know the history of racism. Black males were always a greater target of racial fear and oppression. That partly goes back to when blacks as slaves represented a real threat of revolt, such as when blacks were the majority in Antebellum South Carolina. This fear of black revolt was still strong through the Civil Rights Movement and, as recent news has shown, the fear is nearly as strong as ever. To many whites, the police are justified in targeting and killing blacks because blacks sometimes riot, despite the fact that most black activists are peacefully protesting against that very targeting and killing of blacks.

      “Is there a reason that Caribbean blacks, also subjected to slavery, outperform native-born blacks?”

      Is there a reasons some blacks out perform other blacks, just as some whites outperform other whites? You are asking a pointless question. They are different populations with different ancestries, cultures demographics, histories, political traditions, legal systems, social factors, and environmental conditions. Heck, they even had different forms of slavery.

      Even slight changes in external conditions can have massive changes in results, as studies have shown.

      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2013/11/12/heritability-inheritance-genetics-epigenetics-etc/

      “Somehow, though, invisible influences intervened. With the scientists controlling for nearly everything they could control, mice with the exact same genes behaved differently depending on where they lived. And even more surprising: the differences were not consistent, but zigged and zagged across different genetic strains and different locations. In Portland, one strain was especially sensitive to cocaine and one especially insensitive , compared to the same strains in other cities. In Albany, one particular strain— just the one— was especially lazy. In Edmonton , the genetically altered mice tended to be just as active as the wild mice, whereas they were more active than the wild mice in Portland and less active than the wild mice in Albany. It was a major hodgepodge.”

      That is mind-blowing! Our knowledge about so much is still in its infancy. Our ignorance is vast, but worse still we don’t even know how little we know. We are just freaking clueless, stumbling in the dark. The proper response to that insight is to be humbled. None of us ultimately knows what made us the way we are, rationalizations aside.

      That said, we should honestly acknowledge that American racism is a unique phenomenon.

      The US implemented racial slavery at a larger level than probably any other country in history. It continued in legalized forms well into the 20th century with chain gangs manned by those imprisoned on trumped up charges, as described in Slavery by Another Name by Douglas A. Blackmon. That then transitioned into mass incarceration with more blacks in prison than were enslaved at the height of American slavery, as explained in immense factual detail in The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander.

      Mass incarceration is an institution peculiar to the US, no other country in history coming close to either the raw numbers or per capita of prisoners. As many studies have shown, this is highly destructive of the targeted communities, even if we ignore the issue that there is no correlation between those who commit crimes and those who are targeted (whites do drugs and have substance abuse problems at higher rates than blacks, and are more likely to deal and carry drugs; also, whites are more likely to carry illegal guns than blacks, and more likely to be involved in gang violence and crime; yet blacks get arrested and imprisoned more and more harshly for these crimes related to drugs and guns). Plus, it is simply unjust, as most of the increase of incarceration has come from victimless drug crimes and, with forced confessions under threat, studies show that at least 6% of those in prison are innocent of all crimes.

      To offer a mere glimpse into the impact, in Arresting Citizenship by Amy E. Lerman, it is pointed out that:

      “researchers estimate that incarceration predicts about a 6 percent decrease in employment rates and between 15 and 26 percent decrease in wages, that black-white disparity in marriage is cut in half without incarceration, and that incarceration explains 70 percent of racial health disparities.”

      Now consider some other data. Blacks without a criminal record are less likely to be hired than whites with a criminal record. Blacks with a college degree are less likely to be hired than whites with only a high school degree. Simply having a black-sounding name will make it less likely to even get an interview.

      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2014/09/01/are-blacks-more-criminal-more-deserving-of-punishment-and-social-control/

      Furthermore, segregation (redlining, sundown towns, etc) and anti-miscegenation laws left a permanent imprint on the entire society. So deep is the impact that no other country on the planet has such an extreme bimodal distribution of genetics among the races, not even seen in other former slave societies.

      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2013/11/23/eugenics-past-future/

      “Incidentally, the welfare system, before the Clinton reforms, removed benefits for women with children if a man (husband or not) was in the home. That did more destruction of the black family than slavery, according to James Mason University economist Walter Williams. The net effect was that black males were relieved of their parental responsibility.”

      Considering the proven racism of the legal system, the only moral response is to consider the impact of mass incarceration. Blacks are targeted by police and convicted more harshly by judges and juries. Once out of prison, they have a harder time finding work.

      It is also illegal for them to be on welfare or to live in government-funded housing, even if that means disallowing them to live with their wives and kids, assuming their time in prison hadn’t already destroyed their marriage. Or if they weren’t married before going into prison, being an unemployable ex-con will make them less likely to ever get married.

      All of this is common sense for anyone who has spent any significant amount of time looking at the data. We live in a fucked up racist society. No person, honest and informed, can deny that.

      http://www.sodahead.com/united-states/why-walter-williams-critique-on-black-americanswelfare-state-is-wrong/question-4218717/

      http://www.publiceye.org/jeans_report/marriage-promotion-part-2.pdf

      “These comments are not particularly well organized, but I hope they at least touch on some of your concerns about my posts. If more clarification and details are of interest, let me know and I’ll try to respond more clearly. I am, however, at a stage of life where I am disposing of many things thought no longer to be needed. So some of the particulars of support may be long gone.”

      I will debate this with you, if you so desire. But I’m sure that I’ve made it clear that I hold up a high standard of evidence. I will tear opinions apart when they are some combination of uninformed and misinformed. Truth-seeking is my religion, and I don’t necessarily mean that as an exaggeration. I really do worship truth more than anything else in the world. I have strong opinions on this matter specifically because I have strong evidence backing my opinions. I’ve spent years scouring data and analyzing it.

      Unless you read my previous writings, you can have no idea where I’m coming from. If you actually care about this issue, you should take it as a moral duty to inform yourself as best as possible, whether reading my posts or the type of material upon which my posts are based. I promise you that I won’t tolerate anything less from you.

      I know you are smart and capable of understanding all this. If I thought you were just another ignorant racist, I wouldn’t waste my time. I sense, however, that you are fully sincere in your views and genuine in your compassion. I hope my assessment of you is correct. I’m sure neither of us wishes to waste our time on anything less than an honest engagement in seeking to understand the truth, no matter how challenging and uncomfortable.

      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2010/03/29/six-degrees-of-separation-or-less/
      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2014/08/10/the-legacy-of-john-brown/
      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2012/11/12/whites-understanding-whites/
      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2014/09/01/to-know-racism/
      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2015/03/02/examining-our-racialized-lives/
      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2014/09/01/from-slavery-to-mass-incarceration/
      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2014/09/12/slavery-and-capitalism/
      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2015/09/21/gilded-age-heyday-of-laissez-faire-capitalism/
      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2015/03/01/union-membership-free-labor-and-the-legacy-of-slavery/
      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2014/11/18/facing-shared-trauma-and-seeking-hope/
      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2014/11/18/society-precarious-or-persistent/
      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2014/08/02/why-are-blacks-concentrated-in-inner-cities/
      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2014/10/02/southern-sundown-neighborhoods/
      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2015/02/23/the-privilege-of-even-poor-whites/
      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2014/09/09/white-violence-white-data/
      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2014/11/04/who-is-to-blame/
      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2013/09/16/racism-without-racists-victimization-silence/
      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2015/04/08/before-the-1890s/
      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2015/08/24/on-racialization-of-crime-and-violence/
      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2014/09/01/crime-and-incarceration-cause-and-correlation/
      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2014/08/31/the-unbearable-shame-of-being-black/
      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2014/10/21/to-be-poor-to-be-black-to-be-poor-and-black/
      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2011/07/30/race-wealth-gap/
      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2014/09/23/poverty-in-black-and-white/
      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2013/09/17/an-unjust-justice-system-victimizing-the-innocent/
      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2014/08/26/substance-control-is-social-control/
      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2013/12/13/equal-opportunity-oppression-in-america/
      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2012/12/28/the-cultural-amnesia-of-german-americans/
      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2015/07/13/opportunity-precedes-achievement-good-timing-also-helps/
      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2014/11/28/structural-racism-and-personal-responsibility/
      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2015/01/19/the-desperate-acting-desperately/
      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2014/01/15/social-environment-human-potential/
      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2014/02/01/immobility-of-economic-mobility-or-running-to-stay-in-place/
      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2014/07/12/whose-work-counts-who-gets-counted/
      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2014/07/12/working-hard-but-for-what/
      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2015/01/03/worthless-non-workers/
      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2010/07/24/conservative-moral-order-the-lazy-unemployed/
      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2015/03/01/no-the-poor-arent-undeserving-moral-reprobates/
      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2014/11/18/black-families-broken-and-weak/
      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2014/08/31/the-myth-of-weak-and-broken-black-families/
      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2014/07/20/americans-left-behind-iq-education-poverty-race-ethnicity/
      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2014/08/04/black-feminism-and-epistemology-of-ignorance/
      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2014/08/05/looking-the-other-way-willful-ignorance-and-intentional-blindness/
      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2013/06/30/knowledge-doesnt-matter/
      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2013/07/09/to-not-feel-to-not-care-to-not-know/
      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2014/05/24/the-moral-hazard-of-racism/
      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2013/10/22/racist-ideology-within-racial-terminology/
      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2014/12/14/race-is-not-real-except-in-our-minds/
      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2013/11/29/racecraft-political-correctness-free-marketplace-of-ideas/
      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2015/01/12/studies-that-offer-hope/

      • My “dense” statement (should have been specific) related to the Pingback citation. I don’t see how that relates to our discussion. Now to your lengthy, detailed and thoughtful response which I truly appreciate.

        In a way, I regret starting this conversation because I did not intend to become involved in a long debate. Frankly, having spent the majority of my days in a “liberal” environment, I am a bit tired of the exercise. While we all have preferences, a democracy needs diverse perspectives to be a democracy. Thus, to polarize my point, both liberals and conservatives (and a willingness of both to compromise) are necessary for a democracy to work. I believe we need liberals to move us forward. I believe we need conservatives to keep liberals from pushing us over a cliff and to preserve what is beneficial from the past. Both views have intellectual legitimacy and, as such, deserve respect. So I won’t debate you at length, though there may be a point or two worth a follow up. I might point out, however, that the meaning of the words change with the times. By today’s standards as to the role of government, American revolutionaries were conservatives and the loyalists were liberals.

        Odds and ends:
        “claim all (of whomever) are the same . . . . false.” “But I get the sense you think I disagree.”

        Not necessarily. I thought, however, such a tendency popped up when criticizing some groups in your North-South
        essays. You’ll want examples. I need to go through pages and pages to find them. In the interest of my time, please accept that as my unsupported perception.

        Regarding the activity level of mice in different places.

        Some years back I saw a PBS program on a study of bird communication. The purpose was to examine how speech is learned. The researchers discovered that birds have accents. Though the basic sounds and chirp patterns are the same, how they were expressed depended on where the bird was raised. An Illinois sparrow, for example, has a different accent from a sparrow in California and so on. Combine that knowledge with the mouse study and it turns out animal species may be as varied (culturally influenced?) as humans. The study also found that prairie birds were less communicative than woodland birds. Why? Prairie birds could see each other most of the time, so they didn’t need to verbally check the location of other birds.

        American racism is unique.

        Well, South Africa comes to mind. And the manner of treatment was (is) not uncommon in the context of class. Consider the Untouchables in India. Even if granted uniqueness, it was not devised by Americans. It was a continuation of the behaviors of the English landed class toward the lower classes and its slaves in the Caribbean. That attitude was (is) common throughout the world. Consider the treatment of serfs and lower class by the Russian Lords before the revolution. After the revolution, the Communist Party replaced the Lords as the oppressor. I observed such during three weeks of minimally controlled efforts to develop a few business connections in the USSR in 1964. The trip was a failure because nobody was willing to make a decision. The prospect of the Party’s wrath for a decision thought to be an error was simply too risky.

        One thing lacking in our discussion of race is how it irrelevant it is because most people in the world are such a mixture of dna that to say one is this or that frequently is impossible. My children gave me a membership in the National Geographic Genome Society which is attempting to track human movement over time to see where who went and when by using modern day dna samples. My membership simply involved sending a dna sample to the Society which was analyzed, added to its data base and a report sent to me. My dna revealed that I am 41% British (not English), 40% eastern Mediterranean, most like the Greeks, 17% southwestern Asian, most like northern Indians (India) and 2% miscellaneous. If nothing else, it reveals some sexual activity on the old trade routes.

        Interestingly, given your background, I attend a small Unity inspired but not Unity connected fellowship which I find spiritually fulfilling.

        Southern/Appalachian accents

        Southern accents and Appalachian accents are not the same. The Appalachian accent is often used to quickly enable the listener to identify the speaker as ignorant and possibly married to his/her cousin. Ridicule of Appalachians (and business) is about the only ridicule of an identifiable group (and a minority, too) that is not politically incorrect. And within both accents are a number of different dialects. The Ohio girl noted in my earlier post researched the origins of her particular dialect. She wrote that it emerged from an amalgam of a number of foreign language accents and usages (especially eastern European) from workers who came to work the coal mines and the local Appalachian dialect. The result was a dialect that enabled a hodgepodge of speakers of different languages to understand each other. Outside the region, however, some of the words and sounds were considered signs of a speech impediment.

        A cousin was concerned that her son sounded “too Appalachian” when he spoke. She sent him to a speech and diction coach. Today, a close listen is necessary to detect the few traces left of his native dialect. The son now is a successful big city lawyer, a position he never could have achieved without the coach who “fixed” his way of talking.

        “criticism and compassion aren’t that far apart.”

        Depends on the criticism and style. I’ve heard many comments in person and seen lots of blogs (see Guardian USA for one) from self-proclaimed liberals who wish to see conservatives banished from the earth. (That’s a polite description.) I agree there is much of that on the other side, too.

        You are correct in your comments about the effect of things during your growing up. In that, I identify, at least to a degree, with mistreated minorities. My urban experience (the majority of my youth) was in a solid liberal/union town. Unions ruled. Intellectually I understand why unions were necessary for the establishment of safe working conditions, decent hours, etc. (I am old enough to have worked a 50-hour week on a factory production line; five 9-hr shifts M-F and a half shift – 5 hrs – on Sat.) But I grew up fearful of unions and their liberal benefactors. (My dad’s family was union – rubber (tire) workers, machinists, coal miners, steel workers.) If you did not follow the union/liberal line and did it too loudly, you put yourself and property at risk. Paint your own house without joining the union and your house was tarred. Be a scab coal truck driver and you risked being shot. Cross a picket line even if now part of management, long removed from your blue collar days, and your children were threatened. Park a foreign car in the wrong place and, if you were lucky, you’d escape with only slashed tires. If you know about the UMW clash between Tony Boyle and reformer Jack Jablonski, guys from my home town whacked Jack and his wife. And on it went. After an encounter with some union organizers 20 years after I left home, I had a nightmare about union toughs chopping off my children’s heads. So I suspect part of my conservative tendencies stem from a youthful rebellion against the political power structure of my youth. Incidentally, my home own went 83-17 for Obama the first time around. Never saw data for 2012. When I was a child, no one in that 17% would have been so foolish as to put a bumper sticker or lawn sign up admitting such.

        My Appalachian county, however, was solid Republican until the 1960’s because it was for the Union during the Civil War, while several nearby counties voted Democrat for the opposite reason. Those counties that opposed the war didn’t support slavery, but saving the Union was not considered worth the cost in lives. Our county also was a stop on the Underground Railroad. A local museum preserves the history of the UR stations. The county was a home for the first black professional baseball player, who was not Jackie Robinson, but Fleetwood Walker who was joined by several other blacks, including his brother, in professional ball. Robinson was the first black player in the Modern Era. Fleetwood played during the late 1800’s through the the turn of the century when club owners arbitrarily decided not to hire black players. For many years, Walker owned and ran the only theater in the county. The only reported conflict was an incident (I don’t recall the details) which led some to think whites no longer were welcome in Fleetwood’s theater. He ran ads in the local papers noting that all races were welcome and the problem appeared to be resolved.

        Facts and Truth

        I understand your claims in these areas. I am a bit of a data freak myself. However, the truth of the truth is that what is true today may not be true tomorrow. Medicine is a good example of that. What was true 10 years ago in many areas is not true today, having been replaced by a new truth. Historical truth is based on the reporting of humans. Humans are subject to error, incomplete reporting or a limited awareness. A candidate gets 100,000 votes. Were all votes cast for the same reason? Unlikely. So to say the electorate has spoken because of x may not be accurate. And numbers don’t always clarify consequences. Then there are variables. The truth is that we have have no clue as all the variables in any number of situations. So do I discredit so-called facts and truths? No. It’s the best we have to work with. But it is not always factual or truthful in the purest sense.

        Regarding criticism, I am reminded of a novel, “Covenant With Death” by Stephen Becker. A sentence at the end of the story addresses, in my view, what nature of criticism – in fact, our general attitude – is most appropriate:

        “Love. If you cannot love, have pity. If you cannot pity, have mercy.”

        That’s my outpouring for today. Thank you for stimulating my mind.

      • Before I respond to your last comment, I do feel a desire to apologize.

        I get irritated easily. I deal with depression and it often puts me in a bad mood. Life really pisses me off sometimes. It’s not just racism, but all that is unfair and unjust in the world.

        We have so much potential as a society, not just massive wealth and power as the leading global economic and military superpower. I do love my country, and it is for that reason I criticize so harshly the failings I see, and I realize that I’m complicit in those failings.

        I want to be a better person and live in a better world. So many or our problems are self-created. We go on just to get along and we normally try not to think too much about it all, because it can be overwhelming.

        It’s not just those other people who are ignorant and bigoted. It’s not just a system that is unjust and unfair. No, it is about all of us. This is our society. Every person whose life is destroyed, everyone who falls through the cracks is potential lost beyond imagination.

        From the above links, let me point out one in particular.

        https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2015/01/19/the-desperate-acting-desperately/

        I wanted to consider that one here because it involved a poor white guy in a white community. It is a town I happened to live in many years ago. It isn’t even a poor community—in fact, it’s a relatively well off college town. If that kind of thing happens even in a place like that, just imagine how bad life is for those in far worse situations.

        None of that is inevitable. We let that happen. Then we make excuses and immediately forget about it, until the next horrific incident. We rarely if ever connect the dots.

        I hope you understand. I don’t mean to be an asshole, but I can act that way at times. I’m highly sensitive to all of this. I know what it is like to struggle in life, to feel hopeless, and that comes from someone who has quite a bit of privilege and opportunity in life. My sympathy is immense for those with much more difficult lives. I will always root for the underdog and do what little I can to defend those who aren’t in a position to defend themselves.

        I don’t want you to feel that I’m attacking you. Please accept my apology if I made you feel that way.

      • Thanks for giving a thoughtful reply.

        “Thus, to polarize my point, both liberals and conservatives (and a willingness of both to compromise) are necessary for a democracy to work. I believe we need liberals to move us forward. I believe we need conservatives to keep liberals from pushing us over a cliff and to preserve what is beneficial from the past. Both views have intellectual legitimacy and, as such, deserve respect.”

        I agree with that as well. But maybe in a slightly different way. I’d actually take it further than that. Yes, we need a balance of conservatism and liberalism. We also need radicals as much as moderates. It does take a moderate sometimes to keep the balance. Yet sometimes the moderate just maintains the dysfunction. No major improvement has happened in society without radicals pushing for it.

        “I might point out, however, that the meaning of the words change with the times. By today’s standards as to the role of government, American revolutionaries were conservatives and the loyalists were liberals.”

        People forget how radical were the likes of Paine and MLK. We’d live in a very different world without such visionary radicals, certainly without the former we’d still be British subjects. Burke, on the other hand, was a progressive reformer, a mix of both moderate Whig liberalism and reactionary semi-conservatism, who wanted to maintain the social order. Paine was a different kind of weird mix in his being a radical defender of ancient British traditions of the Commons and the rights of the commoners who saw what had already been lost and sought something better to replace it. All of modern American progressive liberalism was built on Paine’s vision, from democracy to the welfare state (see “Agrarian Justice”).

        https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2014/10/05/natures-god-and-american-radicalism/
        https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2012/07/25/revolutionary-class-war-paine-washington/
        https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2013/12/16/paine-dickinson-and-what-was-lost/
        https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2013/12/14/7854/
        https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2014/11/02/the-radicalism-of-the-articles-of-confederation/
        https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2013/12/12/from-articles-of-confederation-to-the-constitution/
        https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2012/01/25/wickedness-of-civilization-the-role-of-government/
        https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2011/01/25/thomas-paine-and-the-promise-of-america/
        https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2014/01/07/pursuit-of-happiness-and-consent-of-the-governed/

        “Not necessarily. I thought, however, such a tendency popped up when criticizing some groups in your North-South
        essays.”

        I’m critical about lots of things.

        I’m critical about the local government of the city I live in, specifically because I’m a government employee and see it from an inside view. I criticize Southerners from the perspective of having spent many formative years there. I criticize racism according to my direct experience of it in the world all around me. And, no, I don’t think racism is just a Southern issue or poor white issue:

        https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2013/10/17/the-shame-of-iowa-and-the-midwest/

        I criticize liberals from my experience as and among liberals. I criticize conservatives as having been raised by conservatives and as having spent many years in a conservative region. It is not unusual for me to criticize mainstream moderate liberalism as being too conservative(-minded) and mainstream reactionary conservatism for not being conservative(-minded) enough. I find it strange as a radically left-libertarian inclined liberal that, like Paine, I feel compelled to defend the ancient Anglo-Saxon-Scandinavian-British traditions of the Commons and the rights of the commoners, and the self-governance traditions that go with it.

        I criticize based on what I know, both in my experience and my studies, not based on what I don’t know. In this, I’m an equal opportunity critic. There is often a self-deprecating element to my criticisms, as in this post. It is easy for me to turn my critical eye on my own thoughts and behavior. Decades of depression has honed this ability.

        “Combine that knowledge with the mouse study and it turns out animal species may be as varied (culturally influenced?) as humans. ”

        The mouse study, however, complicates things. These were the genetically same mice from the exact same population. They hadn’t lived in these separate labs until the study began. It’s not as if these were established populations in the wild that lived in and adapted to separate areas for generations and centuries.

        In fact, unlike the other examples you mentioned, these mice were living under scientifically exact same environmental conditions, as far as anyone was able to tell. These are conditions of such precise scientific control that there is no equivalent in any species in a normal environment, humans included.

        Cultures develop because of responses to distinct environments, but that was not the case in this study. This overturns everything we think we understand. It blows our easy rationalizations out of the water.

        What is so important to understand is that culture can’t explain that. Or if it can, then everything we believe about culture is wrong. That would mean that cultures can instantly emerge for no known reason, not developed as traditions over time, but spontaneously erupt, no matter the genetic and environmental conditions involved. That goes against everything that we have thought culture means.

        Either way, it challenges us to formulate entirely new understandings and to be humbled in how this demonstrates our immense ignorance.

        “It was a continuation of the behaviors of the English landed class toward the lower classes and its slaves in the Caribbean. That attitude was (is) common throughout the world.”

        There are always continuations. The more things change the more they stay the same.

        The French Revolution was a continuation of what came before. There had been people pushing reform in French society and that is what made the revolution possible. Then after the revolution those reforms continued. Yet something new emerged as well.

        The same goes for American slavery. It was in many ways revamped feudalism with serfs and Commons removed and slaves and capitalism added, although admittedly that in itself was a major change. At the same time, as I pointed out in great detail, American slavery had many unique elements, unlike anything seen before or since.

        “One thing lacking in our discussion of race is how it irrelevant it is because most people in the world are such a mixture of dna that to say one is this or that frequently is impossible.”

        I’ve written about that endlessly. Race isn’t irrelevant, even as it isn’t biologically real. It’s just that race has come to mean many things in various societies. Countries that are former Spanish colonies have a different social order of race that acknowledges various degrees of racial admixtures, a hierarchical gradient of skin color and features. Mixing genetics has never ended racial perceptions. If so, racism would have died out long ago. In the US, there are more whites than blacks with African ancestry. It makes no difference. Race was never about genetics, despite what some claim.

        “My children gave me a membership in the National Geographic Genome Society which is attempting to track human movement over time to see where who went and when by using modern day dna samples.”

        My family took some of those tests. I was able to test the paternal and maternal lines on both sides of my parents’ families.

        We’re all pretty much full-blooded British and Northern European. Maybe that makes sense since all of my family lines have been in America for centuries. My most recent immigrant ancestor, as I recall, came to the US around the mid 1800s. And the earliest came in 1650.

        Not all of us are as genetically mixed as others. I may be an American mutt, but of stereotypical early American ancestry.

        “Interestingly, given your background, I attend a small Unity inspired but not Unity connected fellowship which I find spiritually fulfilling.”

        I don’t attend church anymore. I did go to a Unitarian Church for a while. There used to be a Unity Church here in town when I was a kid, but it is no longer around. The nearest Unity Church is in a nearby city, up the interstate a ways. I have fond memories of my Unity upbringing. My parents carry much of that religious worldview with them, even though they now choose to belong to a mainstream congregation.

        “Southern accents and Appalachian accents are not the same. The Appalachian accent is often used to quickly enable the listener to identify the speaker as ignorant and possibly married to his/her cousin.

        Hoosier accents aren’t the same as either Appalachian or Southern, not to mention the clear distinction between Upper and Lower Southern accents. And an Appalachian accent in southwestern New York is probably quite different from an Appalachian accent in northeastern Mississippi. But there is some crossover between all of these, as there is no absolute dividing line where one ends and another begins.

        “Ridicule of Appalachians (and business) is about the only ridicule of an identifiable group (and a minority, too) that is not politically incorrect.”

        That’s not true. There are plenty of groups that get ridiculed. Americans have always loved to ridicule all kinds of people.

        Plus, there is no singular political correctness. You aren’t going to hear much ridicule of Appalachians in Appalachia or even in the Upper South. But in those areas you are likely to hear ridicule of various non-white minorities, at least among close friends and family, which would be politically incorrect elsewhere. Blacks are still a favorite group of ridicule among a large part of the American population, along with Hispanics and Muslims.

        Ridicule of minorities and perceived outsiders, of the disadvantaged and poor is an American tradition.

        “Depends on the criticism and style. I’ve heard many comments in person and seen lots of blogs (see Guardian USA for one) from self-proclaimed liberals who wish to see conservatives banished from the earth. (That’s a polite description.) I agree there is much of that on the other side, too.”

        Yeah. That has nothing to do with particular ideologies, per se.

        However, studies have shown that liberals do support compromise and empathy toward out-groups more than do conservatives. The weakness of mainstream liberalism is that it is nearly inacapable of escaping moderation and compromise. That is why conservatives correctly see liberals as waffling. Liberals don’t have the equivalent of those like Limbaugh, Beck, Palin, and O’Reilly. Or rather those liberals who are like that never become as famous, as wealthy, and as influential as those on the political right. The weakness and problems of liberalism are to be found elsewhere:

        https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2012/04/26/liberalism-weaknesses-failures/

        We should be honest about that. The left and right aren’t just mirror images with slightly different rhetoric. They actually measure quite differently on a number of psychological traits.

        “But I grew up fearful of unions and their liberal benefactors.”

        Knowing the history, I doubt that has anything to do with unions. That kind of behavior was found between Protestants and Catholics, between the KKK and the Black Hand, between various political groups such as working class volunteer firemen associations and businessmen associations, and even between ruthlessly competing business interests such as during the Gilded Age.

        The mid 1800s through the mid 1900s was a time of vast waves of immigrants and struggles for power. It played out one way where you grew up and played out differently in other places, depending on demographics and cultures involved. A lot of unionizing was done along ethnic or racial lines, as was other forms of organizing, from machine politics to civic institutions.

        This is the reason that in many cities a century or so ago ethnic whites were often more violent than blacks, as the data shows. Blacks were more established and not as direct of a threat as new immigrant groups. The struggle for group power and cultural assertion was mostly fought among whites at that time, and riots and mob violence accordingly mostly involved whites.

        It was only later after blacks were fully urbanized and generations of Jim Crow had its impact that the problems began to be seen among blacks. Before that, in the immediate decades following Emancipation, slaves had high marriage rates and low violent crime rates. They governed their own towns, ran their own businesses and schools, and printed their own papers. Then the backlash came that destroyed all of that. Still, as most remained rural and isolated, they were able to maintain some independence for quite sometime. The initial urbanization period was good for them, as the economy was growing and so was the middle class, but that didn’t last and as always blacks were the canary in the coal mine.

        Historical context is important. We humans tend to have short memories and narrow visions of the world around us.

        “My Appalachian county, however, was solid Republican until the 1960’s because it was for the Union during the Civil War, while several nearby counties voted Democrat for the opposite reason. Those counties that opposed the war didn’t support slavery, but saving the Union was not considered worth the cost in lives.”

        I believe that.

        Of course, the two parties meant something entirely different back then. Many Republicans early on were extremely radical, even left-wing in their labor politics and abolitionism. All the way up to the Southern Strategy, the GOP maintained a left wing that included many liberals and progressives.

        As for the Civil War, like everything in life, it was complex. Immigrants in particular were less interested in fighting for a conflict that seemed to have little to do with their lives. Those early mining towns were full of immigrants. I know of that from a book I read about a coal mining town in Southern Iowa.

        https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2013/10/28/centerville-ia-meeting-point-of-diversity-conflict/

        “Our county also was a stop on the Underground Railroad.”

        That was true all along the Upper South and Lower Midwest. Iowa was at the Western most edge of where slave territory ended. With the Mississippi running along Iowa, there were many Underground Railroad safe houses in the area. As I recall, John Brown may have been chased out of my town at one point. Before white settlers came and built this town, there was already two Native American villages and a small community of free blacks already here.

        “And numbers don’t always clarify consequences. Then there are variables. The truth is that we have have no clue as all the variables in any number of situations. So do I discredit so-called facts and truths? No. It’s the best we have to work with. But it is not always factual or truthful in the purest sense.”

        My sense of truth is deep and wide. It isn’t just about facts and data.

        https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2013/06/30/knowledge-doesnt-matter/

        “Love. If you cannot love, have pity. If you cannot pity, have mercy.”

        I like that. It is a good note to end on.

        • That is a good note to end on. But a few comments before the end.

          No apology is needed. I did not feel attacked, but appreciate your feelings in the matter. Sometimes I feel the same.

          When we lived in rural Illinois many years ago, we attended a Unitarian fellowship. In fact, I was treasurer. When we moved to a small/medium sized city, I was surprised at the difference in focus between our fellowship and the church. Subsequently, we tried another church but had the same experience. My conclusion was that a number of modern Unitarian churches are political groups disguised as churches. It was many years before I stumbled across the small Unity-influenced fellowship.

          The only substantive disagreement I have with your last post (and thank you for all the references; you clearly are a well organized person) is that the union experience was, indeed, related to union control and power (or Democrat control and power; they were one and the same then). Attacks occurred, regardless of the religion or ethnicity of the victim. Among those attacked or threatened in one way or another of whom I knew were (ethnically or religiously) a Jew, a Pole, an Irishman, an Evangelical, an Italian, a Lithuanian, an Englishman and me.

          Maybe because I spend so little time with conservatives (truly, all my close friends are liberals), I find close-mindedness and intolerance frequently is as common among liberals as it is among conservatives, quite contrary to the definition of liberal.

          One other point on racism. Yes, within races there often is a hierarchy of skin shade.

          Thanks again for devoting such time and effort and thought to my intrusion on your blog. Keep up the good fight.

    • To be honest, I’m not sure I can help you with that one. My reply to you was fairly straightforward, so it seems to me. I don’t know that there is any way to make myself any more clear on the matter, but I’m always willing to try. I guess I just don’t understand you not understanding. Maybe explain your confusion and I’ll see what I can do to clarify any miscommunications or whatever.

  3. I maybe should point out that this post doesn’t come out of nowhere. Sex and related issues have often come up in my blog. Here is an earlier one about abstinence (and in it I linked to a number of other posts):

    https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2010/09/29/abstinence-happiness/

    An even bigger issue for me is abortion. That has come up in a more general way, often in my posts about symbolic conflation.

    A point I like to make is that abortion rates either remain the same or increase when countries ban abortions. The only thing known to decrease abortions is that which decreases unwanted pregnancies: full sex education, birth control availability, family planning centers, women’s healthcare clinics, etc.

    This is more data that the political right likes to ignore. It makes honest discussion nearly impossible. That brings me to the many other posts I’ve written on ignorance, willful and otherwise, and on the strange phenomenon of people simultaneously knowing and not knowing certain truths. That then brings me to one of my main topics in recent years, race and racism, which I thoroughly discussed in a comment above.

    The issue isn’t really about rates of sluttiness. I honestly don’t see it as my place to involve myself in the sexual activity of teens, other than generally supporting public policies that promote public health. My only interest is in the information itself and how it is too often excluded from public debate and distorted by demagogues and ideologues.

    I’m uncompromising about the truth. In order for a democracy to function, this is a necessary attitude. We must put truth before our beliefs.

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