Sunday, June 12, 2016

Freedom and the Sharp Edge

Jerry is about to steal my next post so I figured I would seize the moment.
"You don't fight cultural problems with bombs and missiles. And the "rape culture" of the Turner case is a cultural problem. I wonder something different. Are those outraged at Turner's "light" sentence wanting the harsher punishment as an example for others, so that the culture might be changed, or are they making him the sacrifice so they can continue the culture as it is?" Jerry
One of my many sources in the Turner post said the exact same thing.  It said something like...
The Judge is not allowed to issue a judgment on society through the punishment of one offender.  The Judge must make the sentence based on the individual case. Criteria: Severity of crime relative to similar, Damages to the victim, Likelihood of the Offender to repeat crime, Level of Offender's sorrow and understanding of the damages, etc.
Now I personally am a fan of our very free society. The reality is that a very free society comes with risks and dangers. And a very free society where organized religion and traditional values are on the decline is even more dangerous. Our youth are being raised in a world where freedom, pushing limits, drinking, drugs and sexual activity are normal. I mean if you want to see what the kids can access anytime, checkout redtube.com. (Warning: Content is EXPLICIT)

The irony of the Turner sentence debate is that many of the people who believe the punishment should be harsher are those who often argue against the religious values that our country was founded on...  As for an answer to Jerry's question.

Personally I think those wanting a harsher sentence are "making him the sacrifice so they can continue the culture as it is".  Of course this makes for a very sharp edge and sometimes young stupid Male and Female impaired people will fall over it.  The question then is do we ruin a young life full of potential because we / society set the Offender up for failure?

If you doubt me, think back to the days when courtships had to be approved by Parents and follow a rigid process.  Do you think Brock and the girl would have ended up on the ground next to the dumpster and not remembering what happened if the Parents were involved?

Thoughts?

54 comments:

John said...

I actually found something I liked in a Slate Article. Will wonders never cease.

Alcohol and Sexual Assault

Pornography and Violence

John said...

NIJ Risk Factors

NIJ Campus Assault Study

MJ Charts

Sean said...

You want to talk about liberal hypocrisy? What about your own hypocrisy? You don't say that society has failed poor African-Americans stuck in a cycle of poverty, even though there's hundreds of years of history of them being systematically discriminated against. You blame their bad choices.

Brock Turner wasn't discriminated against in any way. He was a world-class athlete at one of the world's finest universities who made a horrible, disgraceful "bad choice". Let's put the blame for his actions solely where it belongs: on him.

John said...

Actually I often say that society has failed poor people:
- Schools that put Teacher's wants before student's needs.
- Welfare checks that have few or no behavioral requirements
- Willingness to let Parents have and keep more children than they are capable of raising well.

Another case where freedom has led to poor choices being made by individuals. The big difference is that Liberals want to keep enabling that freedom of accountability / responsibility by continuing to have society bear the costs.

Whereas in Brock's case many people want the individual to bear the full cost of our societal choices.

John said...

So which is worse for the victim:

A poor immature Parent having more children than they can feed and care for properly? Leading to the children being neglected.

A stupid immature young man feeling up a passed out woman who does not remember a thing?

I am fine with punishing the young man. Are you okay with punishing the irresponsible Parent?

Sean said...

"Are you okay with punishing the irresponsible Parent? "

It depends. What would be the goal of the punishment you would apply and how would it achieve that?

Sean said...

"Welfare checks that have few or no behavioral requirements"

You keep saying this, but there are in reality very few programs for which this is true. Specifically what programs are you referring to?

John said...

First, which do you think is worse?

Free people getting drunk and a passed out woman be felt up? or
Free people having sex and bearing children they don't have the finances or capability to care for properly?

Which has a more severe impact on the victim?

What is your rationale for punishing one individual, and having society write checks to the other?

John said...

Ordered to learn Fellatio

Sean said...

"Which has a more severe impact on the victim?"

It depends on the circumstances.

"What is your rationale for punishing one individual, and having society write checks to the other?"

One is a crime.

John said...

"It depends on the circumstances."

Brock Turner's victim vs Angel Adams 15+ kids?

Sean said...

They're both bad situations, but that doesn't necessarily make one criminal and one not.

jerrye92002 said...

Since we have managed to conflate the sexual promiscuity and welfare issues, now is the time to ask WHY the cultural norms of the black community changed from being very family-centric to being composed largely of baby daddies and baby mamas? And why has the black culture changed more rapidly than the rest of American culture? Are we going to excuse that situation by blaming it on "society"?

John said...

Jerry,
You often blame the "baby daddies and baby mamas" issue on welfare, social moral decay and the public schools. Instead of wanting to hold those individuals responsible for the choices they made. What am I missing here?

Sean,
My point is that you want Brock punished more severely for a crime that the victim would not have even known about if not for the 2 guys who "saved her". And yet Liberals often demand that poor irresponsible Parents should be allowed to have more kids to live in squalor with no negative consequences.

My only point is if we want a large amount of freedom for all, and severe consequences for those who do stupid irresponsible things. How and why are young Deadbeat Parents exempt from this philosophy?

Sean said...

"My point is that you want Brock punished more severely for a crime that the victim would not have even known about if not for the 2 guys who "saved her"."

What does that have to do with anything?

"How and why are young Deadbeat Parents exempt from this philosophy?"

Maybe this would go better if you tell me what sort of "punishment" or "consequences" you're envisioning here, because I don't really understand where this is going or why we're trying to compare rape to welfare.

John said...

Actually I am trying to compare the:

1. Freedom Women and Men have to get blitzed which results in high risk situations where one of them may become a victim. to the

2. Freedom Women and Men have to make a baby that they are not financially capable or mature enough to take care of.

Our society protects both of these freedoms zealously. Yet if there is a victim in case 1 many people believe in harsh punishments. Yet in case 2 if a baby is born to someone who can not afford to feed and care for it correctly, Liberals believe that offender should be given assistance, money and allowed to keep the infant.

To me both are cases that our society seems to enable, yet the reaction is hugely different. In case 1 the person inflicting the harm on the victim is punished. In case 2 the person inflicting the harm is supported and allowed to keep the victim.

My simple solution is that if you get pregnant while on welfare, the fetus should be aborted before wk 14 or the baby shall be given up for mandatory adoption. Seems like a logical consequence, I mean the person does not have enough money to feed their existing kid, how do they plan to feed the next one?

jerrye92002 said...

"Freedom Women and Men have to make a baby that they are not financially capable or mature enough to take care of. ... I mean the person does not have enough money to feed their existing kid, how do they plan to feed the next one?"

Here's where I have to part ways with you. WHO gets to make that judgment and arbitrarily impose harsh and irretrievable penalties, you? Isn't the cure for irresponsible behavior to force people to be responsible for their own decisions and endure the consequences thereof? In case 1 you have immoral/unwise behavior leading to a criminal act, with perpetrator and victim. In case 2 you have a possibly immoral act leading to at most a (moral and legal) obligation. What you want to do is make case 2 a criminal matter with 3 victims and the government as perpetrator. No dice.

jerrye92002 said...

"You often blame the "baby daddies and baby mamas" issue on welfare, social moral decay and the public schools. Instead of wanting to hold those individuals responsible for the choices they made."

Show me what in that list of probable causes were the "individual choices" they should be held responsible for making? Did they choose to be forced into failing schools, to be told that promiscuous sex was OK, or to be shown that government would care for them regardless of their choices? Where in their lives would they have learned what "good choices" were, and how would they possibly have been able to make them? If there is a parallel to the Stanford case, it would seem that it is your wanting to blame the victim.

John said...

Actually I don't usually blame anyone. I usually assign contributing factor and weight each.

Both examples have 3 key factors: societal norms, victim (i.e. Child, woman), & offender (i.e. Irresponsible parent or criminal man)

Anonymous said...

"Actually I don't usually blame anyone. I usually assign contributing factor and weight each."

What a great to never have to take responsibility for your position...make your opinions look like facts, all the while passing judgment on others.

Joel

John said...

Joel,
So who do think should bare the responsibility and burden for people having babies they can not afford to feed?

John said...

Does the mother carry all the blame?

Anonymous said...

"So who do think should bare the responsibility and burden for people having babies they can not afford to feed?"

You and jerry can continue your conversation without me.

Joel

jerrye92002 said...

What's wrong, Joel, can you not pick a side in the debate? I claim the people having the sex and the kids bear the responsibility for them, just like the shooter bears the responsibility for the shooting. Society didn't make them do it. You can pick that side, but it seems you want society, by guns or by hate for gays or somesuch, to be responsible but that isn't reasonable.

Anonymous said...

I don't have the patience to go down this rabbit hole again. I was merely pointing out how conveniently John puts his "position" out there without taking any responsibility for it.

Joel

jerrye92002 said...

Somehow, Joel, that sounds a lot like being either unwilling or unable to defend your own position, whatever it might be.

Anonymous said...

The only position I've taken in this conversation, which I've now defended twice, is on John's style of arguing.

Joel

jerrye92002 said...

OK, fine. Would you care to take a position on the issue itself? And frankly I'm not sure which side of that "society or individual responsibility" John is taking.

John said...

Joel,
I am fully taking responsibility for my position. Which is:

Rarely is one person a hero or a villain. Society, norms, mores, social programs, laws and the other participants are involved, and own some of the consequence in a free society.

jerrye92002 said...

And yet elsewhere you insist that these "bad parents" made "choices." I'm willing to concede that government welfare, failing schools, and moral decay may have somewhat constrained those choices, but in no case can we allow that to excuse the actual choices made. Now if we see enough people making bad choices because we as a society/government have not made good choices available or attractive to them, we should fix those things.

Here's an example: Suppose there was a strict policy or at least a crusade against binge drinking on campus? Suppose the hook-up culture was considered unwise/immoral/unsafe/takeyourpick? Suppose women on campus had a strict curfew of 11 or 12 PM? Don't laugh, it used to be the norm. The Stanford case could still have happened but it would have been far less likely and likely, the penalty more severe. "Good choices" would have been promoted and bad choices discouraged.

John said...

I agree if...
- every family/citizen taught good religious values to their children and the children followed/ sanctioned them.

- if cities/colleges cracked down on all illegal drinking and drugs, and people found excessive use as socially distasteful

- if our society was more sexually responsible and promoted marriage / family / responsible parenting as critical social norms

It is highly unlikely that Brock would have assaulted his victim, or that 72% of Black babies would be born out of wedlock. (many doomed to poverty)

The unfortunate reality is that "good religious values" are not that important to many, alcohol drugs & excess are acceptable for many, many pursue impaired sexual trysts, society is fine with single Parent households / weak parenting... We truly have a free society where people can sate most of their deepest & darkest desires.

Therefore it is much easier for drunken assaults to occur, and needy babies to be born to questionable parents... Bummer for both groups of victims...

John said...

So the Liberals and Conservatives seem to believe that Parents have the right to have as many children as they wish, whether they can house, clothe, feed or educate them. Of course Liberals want the tax payers to pay the costs, and the Conservatives want the Parents to miraculously find the money. The result is that many poor not so smart parent's keep birthing/ raising poor not so smart children. And the poverty cycle continues.

The Liberals want to see educational attainment for the poor improved as long as it does not inconvenience the status quo public schools power structure and comp policy. The Conservatives fight early childhood and parent education funding.

The Libertarians of course want everything legal. And apparently most of us are fine with house parties and excess since they are still rampant. And no one asked how the people hosting the Stanford house party were punished for all the under-age drinking and excess that facilitated the attack.

And don't even think about criticizing single parent households or poor parenting techniques... The Liberals will say you are judging these unfortunate people and the Conservatives will say government has no role ensuring that good parenting is enforced.

So I guess we will stay somewhat screwed up...

Anonymous said...



So the Liberals and Conservatives seem to believe that Parents have the right to have as many children as they wish, whether they can house, clothe, feed or educate them

I certainly do. The fact is having children in any number increases the demand on public services, and I am ok with that. Being pro choice means it's not my job to dictate to women and to men too, what their decisions should be in this area. What being pro choice does not mean is that it is a bad thing to have children. I think, in fact, that we should encourage the having children in many different ways, and to support the decision people to make to have children. Am I in agreement with pro life people in this?

--Hiram

Sean said...

"every family/citizen taught good religious values to their children and the children followed/ sanctioned them"

You do realize that 1.) we live in America and 2.) the portions of America that proclaim "good religious values" the most prominently are the ones that tend to fare the worst on the sorts of metrics (out of wedlock births, etc.) that you claim to try and prevent.

We need to develop public policy solutions that are free of religion. (And I say this as a churchgoing Lutheran.)

jerrye92002 said...

John, you sound like those crazy sex ed proponents who argue, "they're going to have sex anyway, so we should teach them to use a condom." What message does that send? Sometimes we say "Don't have sex before marriage, but if you do, use a condom." That's better, but what PART of that message do you think the kids hear? "Good values" and "good choices" need to be stressed and emphasized and, if possible, made easier than "bad choices."

Yes, it would be good if everybody passed on good religious values to their children. But what we need now is for the schools, colleges and other government programs and institutions to quit =contradicting= those values. Welfare mothers should be encouraged/required to name the father of their children, and fathers should be required to support them. Every means-tested government handout should have a strong work/education requirement. Public school sex ed should emphasize that premarital sex has dangers, without necessarily going into the religious/morals question, and "good values" should be emphasized in every class, along with strong academics which the schools are often lacking. They certainly shouldn't be handing out condoms. Colleges used to have "in loco parentis" policies that were probably a bit rigid, but this sort of hedonistic free-for-all should be counter to, if not official policy, at least the established and well-known expectations.

We do NOT have to throw up our hands in dismay and we no longer have to be silent to please the gods of Political Correctness. You claim a right to be offended, so I claim the right to offend you.

John said...

Sean,
If the people who report having these values are getting pregnant before marriage. I am pretty sure they are not following or sanctioning them...

"good religious values to their children and the children followed/ sanctioned them"

I am pretty indifferent if they are Religious or non-Religious in origin... But they are pretty simple...

- don't get pregnant, give birth to the baby and keep it unless you are in a solid long term relationship (preferably married), are mature enough to handle the responsibility and you can afford to feed, house, cloth, etc the child.

- to do otherwise is unfair to the child and will likely doom them to a life of poverty like yours.

Are these logical and non-religious enough? Do you have any better ideas for stopping the epidemic of poor single Parents who then raise their children poorly to follow in their poverty stricken foot steps?

John said...

Jerry,
The schools do teach the dangers of being sexually active, and how to reduce the risk.

And I am pretty sure no college class teaches kids to go drink until you black out, and then have sex with multiple partners...

It is silly to trust Parents who deny their children this knowledge. "My little Jill will never get so hot for the QB that she will have sex... I told her to save herself for marriage..." Denial of teen hormones & "LOVE" is so IRRESPONSIBLE...

So as proof of my theory, Sean concerned himself with the source of the values... And Jerry said to leave this critical responsibility to the Parents, even though half of those are the irresponsible people who are making babies out wedlock.

Definitely no quick solution coming anytime soon.

Sean said...

"The schools do teach the dangers of being sexually active, and how to reduce the risk."

Only 18 states require that public schools inform students about contraception as part of their sex education guidelines. Only 13 states require that sex education content provided to students be "medically accurate".

Guttmacher Institute State Policies Brief

Sean said...

There's no quick solution, but we can do better than we are today. Elements of such a plan would include making sure that all public schools in the country offer comprehensive sex education and ensuring that the ACA's contraceptive mandate is as universal it can be under the law. We need to ensure that safety net programs provide the sort of assistance required to actually help struggling parents out of poverty, by ensuring that they get the sort of support (like child care and real job training/educational support) in order to improve their lives.

jerrye92002 said...

I feel like I'm watching a tennis match. One side wants the government to step in and punish people for making "bad choices" and the other wants government to give those poor people MORE resources. Has it occurred to either side that government is the problem?

I like Sean's suggestion of far more efficiently delivered and more effective, personalized help for "the poor." That is what private charity does; can government emulate it?

But the "just the facts" approach does not work in sex education. Teaching kids the mechanics without teaching them the underlying values (or secular ethics, if you prefer) simply begets a degraded society. And "unlucky kids."

John said...

And what would your "secular ethics" be?

How do we get the Conservatives supporting "Sex Education with Secular Ethics" across the whole country?

And preferably Long Acting Reversible Contraception, the hormonal form.

And though I agree that the War on Poverty made the situation worse by reducing the consequences of choosing the life of being a single parent.

As for shoving the free love / sexual revolution / hook up Genie back in the bottle, I don't see it happening. So how does society promote that babies only show up when they are wanted and the parent is mature enough and capable to care for them?

jerrye92002 said...

How do we promote it? How about we stop ENCOURAGING the opposite? Government must make doing the right thing easier than doing the wrong thing. And lately, has been choosing the wrong way to go about it.

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/436798/condom-distribution-programs-1990s-increased-teen-fertility-rate

John said...

Jerry,
I am concerned that a study by a Catholic school regarding birth control may be suspect. Do you have another source?

National Review Article

Guttmacher Teen Issues

jerrye92002 said...

There are several other sources referenced in the article itself, and I always like to do a "reasonableness" test on such things. It makes sense to me that enabling teenagers to have "safe sex" is going to make them MORE likely to have sex, and with that, the odds of undesirable consequences rise.

John said...

"enabling teenagers to have "safe sex" is going to make them MORE likely to have sex"

Apparently we have failed to make "sex safe" if girls are getting pregnant. Maybe we need to try harder...

That is an interesting logic... I wonder if all the safety devices we have placed in lawn mowers, snowblowers, chain saws, etc have increased the amount of times they are used?

jerrye92002 said...

You are reaching for an analogy that cannot possibly work. I don't WANT to use my lawnmower or snowblower.

John said...

So your concept is that these young hormone laden frontal lobe lacking kids will hesitate to have sex because of fear. These people who typically feel immortal and are experts in saying "it will never happen to me".

And that by providing them with accurate complete knowledge regarding the very harmful risks and the proper safety equipment for the task, we will be promoting their going on a thrill ride that they normally would have avoided...

Are you kidding?

Maybe we should stop showing the "Death on the Highway" videos in driver's ed, get rid of driver's ed, get rid of seat belts, airbags, anti-lock breaks, etc. Just let the kids start driving because I am sure they will be OK...

jerrye92002 said...

First of all, I haven't seen a sex ed curriculum yet that talks about "all the risks" of teen sex, except for the one we teach at the church. The dangers to self-respect, respect for others, and sense of personal responsibility and "love" necessary for a good marriage, are never mentioned.

But let's just sum up the message you consider adequate: "These are all the risks of teen sex, but if you just use this condom you can avoid all these risks." To use your drivers ed example, it would be like telling kids "you don't have to drive carefully, within the law, or defensively, so long as you use seat belts and airbags." Sex Ed should be teaching that there are MANY risks and they SHOULD be avoided.

John said...

Who exactly do you think teaches this message? Source?

"These are all the risks of teen sex, but if you just use this condom you can avoid all these risks."

Here is some real discussion regarding the curriculum.

jerrye92002 said...

"Who exactly do you think teaches this message?" Until I see strong evidence to the contrary, I'm going to assume that all public schools deliver this message because they are not teaching "values." It's all scientific up to the point where it becomes PC. Weren't you the one (among many) who said, "they're going to have sex anyway, may as well make it safe"? How about trying to discourage it a little bit? Wouldn't that be safer still?

John said...

I am guessing you did not even read their links... Here are some of their reference curriculums...

"The Making A Difference curriculum has three major components focusing on goals and dreams; knowledge; beliefs and attitudes that abstinence can eliminate the risk of HIV, STDs and unintended pregnancy; and skills and self-efficacy for sexual responsibility and accountability. It covers negotiation and refusal skills, and provides time for practice, reinforcement and support."

"Focus on Kids is an HIV/AIDS prevention curriculum, and also covers topics and skills pertinent to teen pregnancy prevention such as: correct use of condoms; decision-making, refusal, communication and advocacy skills; abstinence; and sexual involvement and drug use pressures faced by youth."

"The Making Proud Choices! Curriculum has four major components focusing on goals and dreams; knowledge about the etiology, transmission and prevention of STDs, HIV and teenage pregnancy; beliefs and attitudes that abstinence is the most effective way to eliminate sexual risks and safer sex and condom use are essential for sexually experienced youth; and skills and self-efficacy for sexual responsibility and accountability. It covers negotiation-refusal skills and condom use skills, and provides time for practice, reinforcement and support."

John said...

Personally I wish someone had given me better sex education... Or I had actually listened... It would have saved me some embarrassing moments. :-)

I still remember having "the talk" with my uptight conservative Father. It went something like "Do you have any questions about sex?" I said something like. "No they covered something in school." He closed with "Good !!! It was nice talking..."

John said...

One more under Curriculum Evaluation

"Significant bodies of research repeatedly point to the same factors critical for successful, school-based HIV/STD and pregnancy prevention programs.1 Effective programs, as defined by researchers, impact
one or more of the following outcomes:
• Delay initiation of sexual intercourse
• Maintain or encourage return to the practice of sexual abstinence
• Reduce the number of sexual partners
• Support the consistent use of risk reduction methods (i.e., condoms, birth control) for those
who are sexually active
• Decrease cases of sexually transmitted diseases or pregnancy

As the district reviews curricula, consider the following key issues: research and best practice."

jerrye92002 said...

I looked at the links and didn't see anything you quote. I observe, however, "It covers negotiation-refusal skills and condom use skills, and provides time for practice, reinforcement and support." When both are taught, there is the obvious question of emphasis and on what might be called the "mutual message." Are "condom skills" taught as the alternative, or as a fall-back, or perhaps even the starting point for this "negotiation"? Much depends on the individual teacher and/or district, one assumes, but I think close scrutiny by parents is warranted, especially of that "practice." :-)

It does appear that "things" are trending in the right direction.
http://kff.org/womens-health-policy/fact-sheet/sexual-health-of-adolescents-and-young-adults-in-the-united-states/

Surprisingly, it seems that sex education has but a minor role in all this. Also interesting is the racial disparity. Those who do well in school and/or who have strong cultural restraints do far better. Coincidence?