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August 24, 2011

Uh-oh, looks like the internet is a gateway drug for teeenagers..

based a new study reported in this Chicago Tribune article which details that teens who use "social networks are considerably more likely to smoke, drink or use marijuana than teens who don't visit the sites."  Here is more from the press report:

The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University in New York found that teens who spend time on the social networks are likely to see images of their peers drinking or using drugs — images that could help to convince them that substance abuse is a normal, acceptable activity.

"We're not saying (social media) causes it," said Joseph Califano, the center's chairman. "But we are saying that this is a characteristic that should signal to (parents) that, well, you ought to be watching."

The findings are in keeping with a new wave of research into how social networks might affect teen decision-making. Several studies have suggested that Facebook, Myspace and other sites have created a new form of peer pressure, exposing young people to risky behaviors they could be tempted to emulate.

That conclusion rings true to some teens and parents. "The Internet puts it in your head," said Dana Cichon, 16, a junior at Bartlett High School. "You think everyone else is having more fun than you."

But some experts warn that the research, like social media itself, is still in its infancy, and that the correlation between social networking and teen substance abuse could be disguising more relevant risk factors. Others contend that bad influences in the real world are much more potent....

The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse does an annual survey to track teens' attitudes on drinking, smoking and drug abuse, and this year it added questions about social media. It found that, compared to young people who avoid the sites, teens who regularly visit them are twice as likely to use marijuana, three times more likely to drink alcohol and five times more likely to use tobacco.

The survey also found that about half of those who use social media have seen online pictures of teens getting drunk or high or passed out, Califano said. Many saw the images before age 14. "I think there's no question there's a relation there," he said.

Other research has also suggested a link between social media and teen substance abuse. Dana Litt, a psychologist at the University of Washington in Seattle, did an experiment last year where she showed teens Facebook profiles that depicted adolescents drinking. "I found that even in a fairly brief exposure … individuals who saw these alcohol images said they were more willing to get drunk in the future and thought the type of person who got drunk was more favorable," she said.

While she cautioned that more research is needed — something other than social media could turn out to be the true risk factor — she said the sites might indeed have an outsize influence on what teens think is normal. "Instead of simply knowing what your best friends do, you can see what your 500 Facebook friends do," she said. "I think that it might possibly change their ideas of how common behavior is."...

Myspace did not respond to a request for comment, but a spokesman for Facebook said the site removes content that promotes illegal drug use when its reviewers become aware of it. The company also referred to the work of Mike Males, a researcher at the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice in San Francisco who is unconvinced of the link between social media and teen substance abuse.

Males said the research hasn't sufficiently controlled for other factors that could prove far more decisive, such as a parent's use of drugs or alcohol. "I'm not discounting that media may play a part … but you have to assess how important a factor that is when teenagers see drunken people in their real lives," Males told the Tribune. "That's something the studies don't address."

Obviously, with tounge-in-my-cheek, I think the only proper response to this troublesome study would be for legislators to make all social media illegal and also to create special sentencing provisions providing strict mandatory minimums for anyone who might seek to expose any teenagers to social media.  (Though I am joking here, my facetious legislative proposal sadly does echo how in other settings some lawmakers respond to any evidence that something new might be somehow hurting kids.)

August 24, 2011 at 11:02 AM | Permalink

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Comments

I love this post Doug! The single dumbest argument against marijuana is that it is a gateway drug! It is a gateway drug in precisely the way that the internet is – there is a correlation of some kind between the two. Looks like the internet is a gateway drug as well.

Posted by: dm | Aug 24, 2011 11:40:34 AM

Don't even joke about it, Doug. Reminds me of attempts to ban violent video games based on similarly short-sighted thinking. Now it appears likely video games actually reduce crime by keeping young men indoors and occupied. (E.g., the teenager playing "Grand Theft Auto" for hours on end isn't out on the street stealing my car.)

IMO if there's a true correlation here, the causation is more likely narcissism than social media per se. Self absorbed people who put their own desires over societal interests may be more likely to be self promoters on Facebook, etc..

Posted by: Gritsforbreakfast | Aug 24, 2011 11:43:42 AM

Grits stated: "Now it appears likely video games actually reduce crime by keeping young men indoors and occupied. (E.g., the teenager playing "Grand Theft Auto" for hours on end isn't out on the street stealing my car.)"

But he is stealing money from you (via welfare/social programs) for the rest of his life because he spent his formative years in the pursuit of brain rot rather than an education.

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Aug 24, 2011 2:55:49 PM

'because he spent his formative years in the pursuit of brain rot rather than an education.'

Actually many become employees of the government working as miltary UAV controllers, federal law enforcement domestic threats simulator program developers, intelligence analysts and federal agents used to track computer hackers and internet porn violators. In retrospect, I guess those positions might also qualify as taxpayer funded, federally approved social and welfare programs with minimal returns for the expenditures.

Posted by: james | Aug 24, 2011 7:26:13 PM

James stated: "Actually many become employees of the government working as miltary UAV controllers, federal law enforcement domestic threats simulator program developers, intelligence analysts and federal agents used to track computer hackers and internet porn violators. In retrospect, I guess those positions might also qualify as taxpayer funded, federally approved social and welfare programs with minimal returns for the expenditures."

Or they could become defense attorneys (especially PDs)and have even less of a positive impact on society.

Regardless of your opinion about the usefullness for those positions, "welfare with dignity" is still better than just "welfare." Also, I am quite sure most of those jobs require degrees/training on a resume beyond spending 6-8 hours per day playing "Grand Theft Auto."

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Aug 24, 2011 10:23:59 PM

TarisQtr:

Thank you for letting your true colors to be known,

You are an ignorant brownshirt who would make a great SS Leader!

Posted by: albeed | Aug 25, 2011 12:06:02 AM

When are we going to think of the children? It is time for federal legislation controlling the distribution of video games to minors. We should appoint a video game czar, and a VGEA (Video Game Enforcement Administration), provide block grants to local police forces to locate games and arrest people who play the games. We should scale back Constitutional protections, like the fourth amendment, so we can provide law enforcement with more effective tools to enforce game laws. And we should work to force foreign countries, especially Japan--the source of a lot of these nefarious digital drugs--to adopt similar draconian laws.

Yeah, that'll work.

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 25, 2011 12:11:05 AM

Albeed stated: "Thank you for letting your true colors to be known,..."

No need to thank me for that. I have no problem allowing my "true colors" to come out and will continue to do so.

You stated: "You are an ignorant brownshirt who would make a great SS Leader!"

Of course, an explanation of what part of my statements make me an "ignorant brownshirt" or "a great SS (sic) Leader" would be helpful. It sure beats a blanket ad hominem.

The ironic part is that totalitarianism is far closer (some would say synonymous) with your progressive outlook than mine. Hitler would love most of the progressive policies of the last century. Google the Nazi platform from the 30's. And it is not conservatism/libertarianism that ran headlong into the loving arms of dirtbags like GB Shaw, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Castro, Che Guevarra, Pol Pot, etc. Nor is it conservatism/libertarianism that was playing footsie so readily with Hitler and Mussolini during the 30's. No, it was the progressives/socialists like Shaw and Margaret Sanger who were singing their praises until it became untenable to do so. It is no coincidence that the Nazi flag was red.

You would know this stuff if you knew a little history. My guess is that you are a product of the public school system which was completely wrecked by Columbia University in the first half of the last century.

Sorry, but my decision to prevent my 5 year old from playing "Grand Theft Auto" all day is neither an act of an "ignorant brownshirt" or an "SS (sic) Leader." It is an act of a good dad.

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Aug 25, 2011 8:59:18 AM

TarlsQtr, maybe keeping your 5 year old from playing Grand Theft Auto makes you a good dad. But refusing to let your 16 year old play video games makes it more likely he'll be out driving drunk or committing other crimes. Besides, a lot of gamers are really smart folks, your slurs and ignorant stereotypes aside. The world has changed since you were a kid and short of an apocalypse, it's not going back.

Relatedly, though I never approve of comment strings which prove Godwin's Law (mostly because I know Godwin from college and dislike giving him the satisfaction), your revisionist history says more about you than it does about history and thus requires no rebuttal. Hitler = GB Shaw? Thanks for the morning laugh.

Posted by: Gritsforbreakfast | Aug 25, 2011 9:46:05 AM

Grits stated: "TarlsQtr, maybe keeping your 5 year old from playing Grand Theft Auto makes you a good dad."

Well, it is one aspect of being a good dad.

You stated: "But refusing to let your 16 year old play video games makes it more likely he'll be out driving drunk or committing other crimes."

Hogwash. Were 16 year olds from the 1950's, with their absence of video games, more likely than today to be committing crimes? Of course not.

Grits stated: "Besides, a lot of gamers are really smart folks, your slurs and ignorant stereotypes aside."

And "a lot of" alcoholics and drug addicts also contribute positively to society in other ways but that does not mean that the same group is not many times more likely to be criminals, unemployed or underemployed, abusive to spouse or children, etc.

You cannot tell me that a 16 year old spending 6-8 hours per day reading Chesterton is not generally better off than one one playing "Grand Theft Auto." If you cannot see that, it was not "Grits" that you ingested with your breakfast.

Grits stated: "The world has changed since you were a kid and short of an apocalypse, it's not going back."

The world has indeed changed, and there you have your high incarceration rate. You may also be correct that there is no going back, but I can at least take a little solace in the knowledge that my 5 year old will enter the adult world with an enormous advantage in intellect, integrity, and work ethic over the majority of his countrymen.

Grits stated: "your revisionist history says more about you than it does about history and thus requires no rebuttal. Hitler = GB Shaw? Thanks for the morning laugh."

Of course I never said that "Hitler=Shaw" (one fantasized about mass murder, the other carried it out) but let's put your strawman aside and assume I did. They shared some really scary ideologies. Read Shaw's essays, especially those back and forth with Chesterton. Actually, you can watch Shaw expound his sick, Hitlerian fantasies with your morning laugh: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQvsf2MUKRQ

If you are still laughing, his love and praise for Mussolini: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m0fHMljbvLE

I doubt you will take the 2 minutes or so to watch these though. It is far more difficult to come to grips with the knowledge that these people are your ideological heirs and your public education was a fraud than it is to just ignore the facts.

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Aug 25, 2011 10:29:04 AM

For our generation, a young male that doesn't play video games is a weirdo. It's a good indication of social deviancy. Look at the VTech killer. Never played violent video games, or games period while in college, even though his roommates did. His roommates thought that was odd.

Posted by: Moron | Aug 25, 2011 11:07:32 AM

TarlsQtr --

What are you man, some kind of Puritan freak? Get with it. You're the kind of dolt who'd actually put your kid in the Scouts, take him to church, be happy to have him put up a lemonade stand and give the proceeds to cancer research, etc., etc. Gads, are you old fashioned! Don't you know that world doesn't exist anymore?

Better, when he's a teenager, to have him watch video games about the numerous joys of gang rape and good stuff like that. Plus make sure he has a good supply of joints. They're so, you know, GROOVY (or is it out of style to say groovy?).

Will you please listen to those better connected to the modern world? From the sound of it, you might even, at some point, take your kid to a L-I-B-R-A-R-Y.

You're just totally out of it. Get on board, for cryin' out loud. We all know that the real alternative to your teenager's doing video games is his knocking over the gas station.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Aug 25, 2011 11:49:10 AM

Sorry, Mr. Otis, it's way out of style to say groovy.

I'm not aware of any game, at least not one sold on mainstream consoles, that feature gang rape.

Raising a child who can appreciate a love of learning and books, versus one who plays video games, are not mutually exclusive.

Posted by: Moron | Aug 25, 2011 12:03:21 PM

Hi Moron,

The argument is not that a person should never play video games or that they are somehow inherently evil. My comments were directed at Grits after he stated that teens playing video games "for hours on end" is actually a GOOD thing because it keeps them from stealing cars. If it is a "good thing", it only is in the same manner that paraplegism is a good thing for teens. Both may prevent them from jacking cars but the other costs are immense.

And there have been games based on rape (although I am unsure if they were on "mainstream consoles.") That said, the game mentioned by Grits was "Grand Theft Auto." Going from the glorification of one felony to another is not that big of a jump, is it? Especially when the same game also features assassinations and bank robberies, correct?

And, I agree, books and video games are probably not "mutually exclusive." However, they are in conflict. Most teens are going to choose the video game over the book, given that choice. That said, I do not see video games as the problem. An hour in the evening of an appropriate game is probably fine. Parents who want to be a friend first and/or lack the spine to limit their children are the problem. Those that say playing a game that glorifies a felony for "hours on end" because it minimizes crime are the problem.

I will agree on one point, though. Bill Otis IS "way out of style." ;-)

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Aug 25, 2011 1:21:07 PM

Hi Bill,

I am a "freak" but an orthodox "Catholic freak" rather than a Puritan freak.

You know, one that believes in things like God, family, that we can know truth, good is good, bad is bad, and all of those parochial and outdated notions.

In fact, one could call me a living, breathing, anachronism.

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Aug 25, 2011 1:36:21 PM

Moron --

"I'm not aware of any game, at least not one sold on mainstream consoles, that feature gang rape."

Well golly, you must be missing out on latest super-dooper stuff! Hey, maybe they could make a game based on the British riots or the flash mobs here in the USA. Aren't you just sick of this goodie-two-shoes stuff?

I mean, honestly, let's move into the New Age. These people like TarlsQtr who're stuck on so-called "moral values" -- they're just so out of it.

The guy obviously wants to rear his son to be, to use your word, a "weirdo." What a dork!

Posted by: Bill Otis | Aug 25, 2011 3:25:47 PM

Actually, I don't know why anyone would quote a study done by Califano's organization. CASA, the non-profit organization founded by Califano, was never intended to provide evidence based research. It was founded as an organization to promote the war on drugs and to provide policy papers that would support that position. It is not an organization that is peer reviewed or under the scrutiny of Columbia University. Research protocol is flawed with few controls. It has been a giant fundraising machine and promotes Mr. Califano's many books on the topic.

Posted by: beth | Aug 25, 2011 6:34:26 PM

"Well golly, you must be missing out on latest super-dooper stuff! Hey, maybe they could make a game based on the British riots or the flash mobs here in the USA. Aren't you just sick of this goodie-two-shoes stuff?"

I am not sure if I follow you here. The gang rape was your example. Where is it? Look through the Xbox, Wii, Playstation catalogues and let me know when you find it.

"I mean, honestly, let's move into the New Age. These people like TarlsQtr who're stuck on so-called "moral values" -- they're just so out of it."

Find me the line where I mocked moral values.

"The guy obviously wants to rear his son to be, to use your word, a "weirdo." What a dork!"

Relax, Mr. Otis, I was being facetious. You know, with that hyperbolic VTech killer example, I thought that was a tip off. Groovy, huh?

Posted by: Moron | Aug 25, 2011 6:47:41 PM

TarisQts --

I understood Grits' point to be alluding to something that Prof. Berman posted on here a while back: http://sentencing.typepad.com/sentencing_law_and_policy/2011/05/could-violent-video-games-actually-reduce-violent-crimes.html

It's an interesting theory. Whatever we may think of an individual who plays games hours on end, there may be a net benefit en masse to society if there's a correlation to decreased overall crime. Now that may itself be outweighed by overall deleterious effects - for example, increased obesity and health problems among minors. Cost levels, however would be difficult quantify.

"And there have been games based on rape (although I am unsure if they were on "mainstream consoles.") That said, the game mentioned by Grits was "Grand Theft Auto." Going from the glorification of one felony to another is not that big of a jump, is it? Especially when the same game also features assassinations and bank robberies, correct?"

As found in Supreme Court's recent opinion in the ESA case (a brilliant opinion, featuring some of J. Scalia's finest argumentation), the link between video game violence and actual violence is highly attenuated. Rape games, I think, belong in some weird category of the generally weird stuff that comes from Japan that's marketed to adults like porn in Japan, and it's not released on consoles in America, where kids don't really want to play that stuff anyways.

"And, I agree, books and video games are probably not "mutually exclusive." However, they are in conflict. Most teens are going to choose the video game over the book, given that choice. That said, I do not see video games as the problem. An hour in the evening of an appropriate game is probably fine. Parents who want to be a friend first and/or lack the spine to limit their children are the problem. Those that say playing a game that glorifies a felony for "hours on end" because it minimizes crime are the problem."

I agree with this, although I don't think Grits was glorifying it.

I read lots of books and played video games when I was a kid. I liked the latter, but I wasn't obsessive about it like some of my friends. The big gamers I knew in college who did play hours on end - they've become engineers/comp programmers working either for the government or private firms, and have started out with high 5-figure salaries. For me, reading a lot of literature in college resulted in a law degree and a mountain of debt. Highly anecdotal, but just saying.

Posted by: Moron | Aug 25, 2011 7:10:43 PM

'And "a lot of" alcoholics and drug addicts also contribute positively to society in other ways but that does not mean that the same group is not many times more likely to be criminals, unemployed or underemployed, abusive to spouse or children, etc.'

And may I make a wish that your 'glass house' never experiences a crack due to the outside influences of living in a real world and being affected by the people close to you or events beyond your control....

Posted by: james | Aug 25, 2011 8:11:04 PM

james --

"And may I make a wish that your 'glass house' never experiences a crack due to the outside influences of living in a real world and being affected by the people close to you or events beyond your control...."

1. What happens in TarlsQtr's life does not affect the accuracy vel non of the propositions he advances here, none of which you analyse, much less dispute. It's just an ad hominem.

2. I'm not entirely sure what you mean to convey. Is it that crime is caused by "... being affected by the people close to you or events beyond your control"?

That's odd, because I have plenty of people close to me and (like every other adult) have had to deal with a multitude of events beyond my control, but oddly enough I'm not a criminal.

Do you really want to pooh-pooh individual responsibility for crime so easily as to not even mention greed, selfishness and willfulness, and just pass it all off on external influences? Is that what you tell your kids when they're not transfixed with "Grand Theft Auto"?

Posted by: Bill Otis | Aug 25, 2011 9:34:12 PM

Dear Friends:

I am ecstatic about the responses to my post to TarisQtr. Now we are getting somewhere meaningful.

Where am I coming from? My Dad died when I was 14 years old. I had a a 5:30 AM paper route, worked wherever I could evenings and summers through high school. When I was in college, I worked 2 jobs during the summer to help pay for my education (which was more liberal than I could tolerate).

I was granted a scholarship to a local private high school and have since repaid it ten times for my gratefulness.

I was a Chess Master in HS. My uncle was a Union Local President. He obtained for me a fantastically paying summer (temporary) job. I worked my physical butt off. I was also attacked while working by his eventual local president replacement for "working too hard".

I graduated in Chemical Engineering (pre-Law and pre-Med) were relativley easier. I had run out of money

I was able to contribute to society by working for a drug company and contributed to many discoveries and developments. The last 20 years of my work were based on challenging the FDA on many of their (useless and harmful) regulations. I helped re-write many of the current guidelines.

My overkill here Bill is:

Do not believe everything you hear in education (indoctrination), especially by your government leaders.

TarisQtr:

Mercy, (when appropriately applied), cures many of the ills in this world.

Posted by: albeed | Aug 25, 2011 11:23:27 PM

'Do you really want to pooh-pooh individual responsibility for crime so easily'

No I don't, but my point is when you lack compassion for others due to lack of personnel hardships or experiences affecting those close to you in similar situations as quite frequently discussed in this forum, you lack the insight to see other points of views fairly as viewed from the opposite side.

Posted by: james | Aug 26, 2011 12:29:40 PM

James,

I believe Bill Otis addressed your post from yesterday better than I ever could, so I will leave it at that.

Bill stated: "'Do you really want to pooh-pooh individual responsibility for crime so easily'

James replied: "No I don't, but my point is when you lack compassion for others due to lack of personnel hardships or experiences affecting those close to you in similar situations as quite frequently discussed in this forum, you lack the insight to see other points of views fairly as viewed from the opposite side."

And here is your poker "tell." You mouth the words that you DO believe in personal responsibility but then go right into a diatribe that proves otherwise. You see, you automatically ASSUME, without knowing me, that I have a "lack of personal hardships or experiences...."

The unstated, yet quite clear, premise of your argument is that successful people (whether morally or economically) are successful because they "lack personal hardships" and not by making the correct choices. The obvious corrolary is that unsuccessful people are so because they have had the "personal hardships", rather than the choices they have made.

The largest problem with your worldview is that it enslaves people. Give people an excuse and most will take it.

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Aug 26, 2011 3:37:21 PM

Albeed,

Thanks for the biography. I am not sure of its relevance to the discussion but thanks anyway. It is duly noted that you delivered papers at 5:30 AM, worked summers and weekends in high school, not to mention college. As you said, you worked your "physical butt off."

In other words, you prove my point. It did not take "Grand Theft Auto" to keep you off the street or prevent you from stealing cars. You were too busy working and, I am sure, studying to play video games for "hours on end."

Now if you would only elaborate on the parts of my statements that supposedly out me as an "ignorant brownshirt" or "SS leader" (like I already asked), perhaps we could get somewhere.

Albeed stated: "Mercy, (when appropriately applied), cures many of the ills in this world."

Unfortunately, the above is one of those beautiful but empty statements we hear so often. It is empty calories, making your tummy feel all warm and full but not providing any real nutrition. When I read it, I could feel the seratonin in my brain pumping as if I just ate a chocolate bar.

You talk about mercy but what exactly is it? Hey, as a Christian I am all behind that concept but expect you have a warped vision of what mercy is meant to be.

For instance, is it more merciful to keep a person's belly full enough so that he never feels the need to get a job? Or is it more merciful to let him get a little hungry, feel a little shame, and motivate him to search for a better lot in life? I see the first scenario as enslavement while I see the second as true mercy.

"I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I traveled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer." -Benjamin Franklin, On the Price of Corn and Management of the Poor, November 1766

Is it more merciful to allow a thug to get away with crimes over and over again with little more than a slap on the wrist or to punish in a manner where he may not want to spend one more day in prison? I find the latter much more merciful. And, if we choose your road of "mercy," is it not also an act of cruelty on the thug's past and future victims?

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Aug 26, 2011 4:06:27 PM

'You see, you automatically ASSUME, without knowing me,'

and surely most make the exact same assumptions of all who post opinions on this site. Assumptions are made everyday based on human interaction and contribute to form the basis of an individual's prejudices whether valid or not and influenced by first hand experiences.


'The largest problem with your worldview is that it enslaves people. Give people an excuse and most will take it.'

No, not at all. My point is that maybe a little more compassion for our fellow humans is in order and at the very least more forethought by those writing laws and enforcing them is in order because we've certainly lost that somewhere along the way. But I digress,I'd rather leave with a pessimistic thought and believe we haven't lost it completely but just need to rediscover the power of it.

Posted by: james | Aug 26, 2011 6:27:55 PM

James stated: "and surely most make the exact same assumptions of all who post opinions on this site. Assumptions are made everyday based on human interaction and contribute to form the basis of an individual's prejudices whether valid or not and influenced by first hand experiences."

Again, you do nothing but make my point. Your "no I don't" comment to Bill was nothing but window dressing for your REAL worldview, that success is based on hardships or lack thereof, not choices and effort. So, you assume that I must just be someone who was "lucky" not to have had hardships. You see, it is not a problem for you that you made AN assumption or even if it is right or wrong, your problem is you made THAT assumption. It tells us the truth when you will not.

I state: "The largest problem with your worldview is that it enslaves people. Give people an excuse and most will take it."

You replied: "No, not at all. My point is that maybe a little more compassion for our fellow humans is in order..."

Again, like Albeed, you fall into the bad habit of eating chocolate for dinner. It tastes great but there is absolutely no nutrition. What exactly is compassion? How compassionate is it to give people enough so that they never strive for more? Give me some substance instead of Fluffernutter. Instead of just giving your opinion of me and masquerading it as fact, tell us what part of my position is not compassionate?

You replied: "...and at the very least more forethought by those writing laws and enforcing them is in order because we've certainly lost that somewhere along the way. But I digress,I'd rather leave with a pessimistic thought and believe we haven't lost it completely but just need to rediscover the power of it."

You sure do digress...

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Aug 26, 2011 7:27:47 PM

James, Albeed, Grits, Moron, et al.,

The game that was originally mentioned as being played by a teenager "for hours on end" and defended by all of you was "Grand Theft Auto."

This game has auto theft, bank robberies, and assassinations (all felonies) as major components of the game.

For the record, are there any felonies that could be included in such a game that would make you withdraw your support for a 14 year old playing it?

What are those felonies?

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Aug 27, 2011 9:59:11 AM

TarisQtr:

When I was 5-6, I blew up plastic soldiers with firecrackers in my sandbox to simulate the killing of real people.

If I were to perform that same act today, I would be a felon in possession of explosive devices, and be perp-walked by ATF/DHS agents followed by a press-conference where Janet Napolitano would make me an example of the wonderful acts they are doing!

Posted by: albeed | Aug 27, 2011 9:04:36 PM


albeed --

"If I were to perform that same act today, I would be a felon in possession of explosive devices..."

Are you saying that you're a convicted felon??!! I have a hard time believing that.

P.S. It is quite true that the criminal law treats five and six year-olds differently from adults. I never heard of a sane person who wants to change this.


Posted by: Bill Otis | Aug 27, 2011 9:27:56 PM

TarlsQtr --

"What exactly is compassion?"

It's the liberals' word for someone else paying the price for their piety.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Aug 27, 2011 9:32:54 PM

Bill:

Thanks you for catching "MY" straw man.

I am not a felon, but I have seen such ignorance and hypocrisy in "MY" local LE and DAs (who really are not very bright, except for the politics of money gathering, misleading statements and FEAR MONGERING).

Thus, they have only self-interest, not interest in the total community.

I also emphatically claim, that anyone who works their whole lives with government strings attached directly or indirectly, cannot form independent rational thoughts. I discovered this a few years ago when I found myself gagging at the recital of the pledge of allegiance at my college daughter's volleyball game (which I had done mindlessly for all my life) - "with liberty and justice for all". I could no longer recite it when I realized how blacks were treated pre-civil rights, how many innocent are incarcerated, how you cannot record LE in their public acts and many more examples.

I called TQ a brown-shirt, because of his inflexibility to consider James, Grits or Morons opinions. Nothing else.

Our society has many problems in honesty. SC has something to say about the unequal treatment of men and women.

I'll shut-up now and encourage my grandson to blow up soldiers with firecrackers in his sandbox when he is old enough and can do it safely.

Generalizations in thinking and in law, are a lazy way out.

Posted by: albeed | Aug 27, 2011 9:56:23 PM

Bill:

My definition of compassion, is that I will accept the personal consequences of any mercy that is permissibly granted to and by me, AND MAKE RESTITUTION FOR IT!

My definition of totalitarianism, is that noone cares.

PS: There is NO Compassion in Law as currently practiced.

Here, take more money out of my wallet to subsidize ignorant thugs, i.e. current UNION police practices, DAs and UNION Teachers. They are a huge ignorant and dedicated voting populace.

Posted by: albeed | Aug 27, 2011 11:38:00 PM

Albeed stated: "When I was 5-6, I blew up plastic soldiers with firecrackers in my sandbox to simulate the killing of real people.

If I were to perform that same act today, I would be a felon in possession of explosive devices, and be perp-walked by ATF/DHS agents followed by a press-conference where Janet Napolitano would make me an example of the wonderful acts they are doing!"

Relevance?

You stated: "I called TQ a brown-shirt, because of his inflexibility to consider James, Grits or Morons opinions. Nothing else."

Three points.

1) Your statement is bullocks. Moron had not even entered the conversation yet when you made the comment.

2) Please show where I have shown any more "inflexibility" than James, Grits, Moron, or you. Keep in mind that I am the one who has been called a "brownshirt", "SS leader", and "ignorant." Are those the words of a flexible person?

3) Inflexibility=SS leader/brownshirt? Do you have any idea how ridiculous you look because of that statement? If I were to make an unkind statement to Grits, could I graduate to Hitler? Maybe wear a red suit and horns and be the devil himself if I throw an egg at James's car?

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Aug 27, 2011 11:56:44 PM

Albeed stated: "I discovered this a few years ago when I found myself gagging at the recital of the pledge of allegiance at my college daughter's volleyball game (which I had done mindlessly for all my life) - "with liberty and justice for all". I could no longer recite it when I realized how blacks were treated pre-civil rights, how many innocent are incarcerated, how you cannot record LE in their public acts and many more examples."

Know that I am not being sarcastic when I say that your above statement is truly heartbreaking. It is such because no person with such an unrealistic outlook could ever be truly happy. Just like a Christian will aim to be Christlike and knows that he will fail, the pledge (as well as the DoI)is a standard to shoot for that no country could ever truly achieve. To expect a country of 300,000,000 to be perfect is childish.

And you should take stock of your own failures prior to damning an entire country for its faults. Does calling people an "ignorant brownshirt" and an "SS leader" live up to the lofty standards of perfection you apparently have for the country?

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Aug 28, 2011 12:15:23 AM

TarisQtr:

My original response to you was only because of these statements:

In your response to Grits:

"But he is stealing money from you (via welfare/social programs) for the rest of his life because he spent his formative years in the pursuit of brain rot rather than an education."

James responded:

"Actually many become employees of the government working as miltary UAV controllers, federal law enforcement domestic threats simulator program developers, intelligence analysts and federal agents used to track computer hackers and internet porn violators. In retrospect, I guess those positions might also qualify as taxpayer funded, federally approved social and welfare programs with minimal returns for the expenditures."

An excellent post by James!

Neither you nor Bill adequately responded to this post. You tried but failed.

If you are true conservatives, you should recognize that all current public education is brain rot.

But you continue to defend either Congress (Bill's God), or refuse to give just a step that your thinking can and may be off by just a smidgen!

And recognize the problems that can create:

Posted by: albeed | Aug 28, 2011 12:26:35 AM

Albeed stated: "My original response to you was only because of these statements:

In your response to Grits:

"But he is stealing money from you (via welfare/social programs) for the rest of his life because he spent his formative years in the pursuit of brain rot rather than an education."

And as I pointed out, there is absolutely NOTHING in my comment that would make me a "brownshirt" or "SS leader." You cheapen the truly evil nature of what a brownshirt or SS leader was when you use those words to describe someone who disagress with you about if a teen should be playing "Grand Theft Auto" for "hours on end." Your statement was infantile and morally bankrupt.

Albeed stated: "Neither you nor Bill adequately responded to this post. You tried but failed.

Well, guess what, in MY opinion, I more than adequately answered it. And I find it especially ironic that you would make such a comment since it is YOU that have been asked several questions that you danced right past. Let's say that you did NOT try and you DID fail.

Albeed stated: "If you are true conservatives, you should recognize that all current public education is brain rot."

Wow, you are a caricature. You stated just 2 1/2 hours earlier, "Generalizations in thinking and in law, are a lazy way out" but then make the statement that ALL current public education is brain rot? Kind of a generalization, don't you think? Are you admitting that you take "the lazy way out?"

That said, I actually agree with the generalization. Public education as a whole is crap. If you had been paying attention to my posts rather than your moral preening, you would have seen: "It is far more difficult to come to grips with the knowledge that these people are your ideological heirs and your public education was a fraud than it is to just ignore the facts."

And with all due respect, I am not sure someone who would use the terms "ignorant brownshirt" and "SS leader" to describe the person who believes parents need to limit a child's video games should be too proud of his own education.

Albeed stated: "But you continue to defend either Congress (Bill's God), or refuse to give just a step that your thinking can and may be off by just a smidgen!"

Where the he!! did I defend Congress?

Also, where have you, james, Grits (who ran like a scared schoolgirl when confronted with facts about Shaw), Moron, et al. given "just a step that your thinking can and may be off by just a smidgen!?????"

Physician, heal thyself!

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Aug 28, 2011 10:04:00 AM

Albeed stated: ""But you continue to defend either Congress (Bill's God), or refuse to give just a step that your thinking can and may be off by just a smidgen!"

One more thing. Could you do me the favor of summarizing what YOU believe MY thinking is on this topic?

This should be fun...

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Aug 28, 2011 10:10:01 AM

albeed --

Just a few points:

1. "I called TQ a brown-shirt, because of his inflexibility to consider James, Grits or Morons opinions. Nothing else."

The word "brownshirt" has a definition, and it's not being too inflexible to consider other people's opinions. The definition is roughly "Nazi thug," you know, the folks who rounded up Jews and took them to the death camps. To use that word to describe a person who in your opinion does not adequately consider other views is just remarkable -- and "remarkable" is as charitable a word as I can find.

2. In any event, TQ did consider the views of those you name, and in fact responded to them virtually line-by-line. In what universe is that not "considering" them?

3. "Congress [is] (Bill's God)."

Yikes. albeed, you can't communicate with other people if you have your own private language. Like "brownshirt," "God" has an actual meaning, and neither I nor any other commenter has confused it with Congress.

Congress makes federal law, yup. Federal law has to be obeyed no matter how unGodly wrong it is, see, e.g., Obamacare. The idea that I consider the work of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid to be the product of God is so utterly preposterous as to be funny.

And please don't put out the lame excuse that you only intended to be metaphorical or provocative. When you call someone a brownshirt, what you intend to be is insulting.

To his credit, TQ, instead of merely dismissing you as a casually rude man who decides for himself how words are to be defined, tries instead to reason with you. More power to him, although I think the enterprise might exceed even his considerable intellectual power.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Aug 28, 2011 10:37:48 AM

Albeed yesterday at 9:37PM: "Generalizations in thinking and in law, are a lazy way out."

Albeed testerday at 11:38PM: "Here, take more money out of my wallet to subsidize ignorant thugs, i.e. current UNION police practices, DAs and UNION Teachers. They are a huge ignorant and dedicated voting populace."

Albeed today at 12:26AM: "If you are true conservatives, you should recognize that all current public education is brain rot."

In under 3 hours time, you made the above three statements. Isn't calling the police, teachers,and DA's "thugs" a generalization? Isn't calling " all current public education" "brain rot" a generalization?

Are you a hypocrite or completely lacking in self-awareness?

I'll let you decide.

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Aug 28, 2011 12:58:13 PM

You know, I can log on to this sight only so often even though I try to be on topic, it drifted terribly when TQ commented on 8/24 @ 2:55:49 PM to Grits post complaining about the brain rot of those playing GTA and inferring they were all on public welfare for the rest of their lives.

James had a great reply on 8/24 @ 7:26:13 PM that many were not on welfare but working for the government. He then likened this to welfare,

"I guess those positions might also qualify as taxpayer funded, federally approved social and welfare programs with minimal returns for the expenditures."

I agree with James that there are minimal real returns to taxpayers for most government jobs.

Both TQ and Bill refused to consider these questions and they continue to acknowledge that they are also guilty of the same behaviors they claim are all mine.

I am all done name calling for now and await the next thread where we can remain more on topic.

Posted by: albeed | Aug 28, 2011 9:32:32 PM

Wow, lots of strident comments here. Those who're most animated appear IMHO to be trying to convince themselves, not others (since name calling, etc., isn't a very persuasive tactic).

How much you wanna bet none of TarlsQtrs kids ever spend "6-8 hours per day reading Chesterton"?

Posted by: Gritsforbreakfast | Aug 28, 2011 10:25:26 PM

Albeed,

My comment related directly to whether or not there was a benefit to kids playing Grand Theft Auto for hours on end. In other words, right on topic.

Your post is a retreat of epic proportions. Were you ever in the Italian military?

Thanks for making my Sunday night.

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Aug 28, 2011 10:25:29 PM

Grits stated: "Wow, lots of strident comments here. Those who're most animated appear IMHO to be trying to convince themselves, not others (since name calling, etc., isn't a very persuasive tactic)."

Really? The most notable name calling has been "ignorant brownshirt" and "SS leader." That sure was not me.

I would also note that constructing a straw man (that I said Shaw=Hitler) and disappearing when you were shown to be entirely ignorant of Shaw's nature is not a "very persuasive tactic" either.

Grits said: "How much you wanna bet none of TarlsQtrs kids ever spend "6-8 hours per day reading Chesterton"?

You would win that bet but, of course, you knew you would. I already stated previously that my son is 5.

Now let me share with you a "proud pa" story. My son usually watches about an hour of TV per day. 7 o'clock is family hour before his 8 o'clock bedtime and we sit and watch an episode of The Waltons from our DVR as a family. While I was toggling through the 50 or 60 episodes choosing one for last night, my son says, "I want to watch 'The Estrangement.'" He read it on the screen. Do you know any 5 year olds that could read that? Do you think he reached that level at such an early age by playing Grand Theft Auto? Do you believe that he will have a significant advantage over other kids his age?

Now, I did not share this to brag (maybe a little). In fact, admitting that you watch The Waltons with your family every night is about as "uncool" as it gets. My point is that parents have to stop worrying about being "uncool" and realize that what we allow our kids to do and see is a huge factor in their development. It seems that about half of human parents are absent these days. Most of the other half are absent within the home (there, but more worried about their own desires). Guess what? In the absence of human parents, children will find other kinds. Instead of learning life lessons from you, they learn from "Grand Theft Auto", "TMZ", or the latest government program designed to pick up where you failed as a parent.

For some reason, I have much more confidence in my ability to raise my child than an anonymous programmer in Japan, Lindsey Lohan, or Michelle Obama and her idiotic school lunches.

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Aug 29, 2011 9:16:06 AM

TQ, I "disappeared" because I took my granddaughter to the beach for the weekend, not even posting on my own blog. The world does not center around you nor your commentary, for heaven's sake.

As for your 5 year old, what I notice is that though you're proud he watches little TV, you're even more proud that he read a polysyllabic word ON THE TV SCREEN. Except according to you anything with a video screen has no educational value except apparently old episodes of the Waltons. And no, I don't think your child has any advantage over those raised by any other caring parent, including ones who make different choices than you do. Your self congratulation fits my comment above that you seem to be trying to convince yourself, since no one else is congratulating you for your choices and you apparently feel the need to fill the void.

When your kid gets a little older, you'll have a (perhaps unpleasant, for a sanctimonious control-freak) realization, as all parents do, that you can't control everything they do the way you can when they're five. At 16 they spend time with their friends, not you. And when they do, my guess is you'd rather have them playing video games, of whatever sort, than drinking beer, smoking pot, knocking up his girlfriend, or any number of other far more detrimental activities. After you've actually raised a teenager, maybe you'll have more of a clue about how the world works and we can resume this conversation in a decade or so. Until then, your self righteousness has grown tiresome.

Posted by: Gritsforbreakfast | Aug 29, 2011 10:01:26 AM

BTW, TQ, you were the first one here who felt compelled to prove Godwin's Law: "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1." Once you go down that misbegotten path in an online comment string, it's disingenuous to claim surprise when others follow you.

Posted by: Gritsforbreakfast | Aug 29, 2011 10:14:37 AM

Grits stated: "TQ, I "disappeared" because I took my granddaughter to the beach for the weekend, not even posting on my own blog. The world does not center around you nor your commentary, for heaven's sake."

Of course then you returned and still did not address it.

Grits stated: "As for your 5 year old, what I notice is that though you're proud he watches little TV, you're even more proud that he read a polysyllabic word ON THE TV SCREEN. Except according to you anything with a video screen has no educational value except apparently old episodes of the Waltons."

Really? I said "anything with a video screen has no educational value?" Care to show me where? If you cannot, please apologize. In fact, I said, "An hour in the evening of an appropriate game is probably fine. Parents who want to be a friend first and/or lack the spine to limit their children are the problem." Aug 25, 2011 1:21:07 PM

Whatever you do, don't let the facts get in the way of a good strawman. What I DID say is that playing a game that glorifies at least three different felonies, Grand Theft Auto, (the game you chose) for "hours on end" (your words) is brain rot. Please argue against my words and not your artificially constructed ones.

Grits stated: "And no, I don't think your child has any advantage over those raised by any other caring parent, including ones who make different choices than you do."

Well the research disagrees with you. To quote: "Television viewing during childhood (ages 5-11 years) and adolescence (ages 13 and 15 years) had adverse associations with later educational achievement. However, adolescent viewing was a stronger predictor of leaving school without qualifications, whereas childhood viewing was a stronger predictor of nonattainment of a university degree."-Journal of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine http://archpedi.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/159/7/614

You see, you make the same, tired and old progressive argument that one choice is as good as the next. That one choice is not better, just different. That belief is completely destroyed by thousands of years of history and science, both of which prove that certain choices are better than others.

Grits stated: "Your self congratulation fits my comment above that you seem to be trying to convince yourself, since no one else is congratulating you for your choices and you apparently feel the need to fill the void."

The only congratulation I need is seeing my child years ahead of his peers.

Grits stated: "When your kid gets a little older, you'll have a (perhaps unpleasant, for a sanctimonious control-freak) realization, as all parents do, that you can't control everything they do the way you can when they're five. At 16 they spend time with their friends, not you."

Nope, but I can give him the foundation based on God, love, values, and education to make him much more likely to make the correct choices when I am not around.

You speak the language of a parent that does not try or gave up.

If your 16 year old does not want to spend time with you, it is probably because you did not put in the time when he was 5. Just like any relationship, you get back what you put into it. My parents put in that time and it benefited me. Did I spend time with my friends too? Of course, but I also cherished the times with my parents canoeing, camping, or just sitting down for the family meal. Dollars to donuts that my kid will too.

Grits stated: "And when they do, my guess is you'd rather have them playing video games, of whatever sort, than drinking beer, smoking pot, knocking up his girlfriend, or any number of other far more detrimental activities."

The above sentence may be the mother of all false choices. Do I have your permission to use it as an example of a faulty argument in the Critical Thinking college classes I teach?

Grits stated: "After you've actually raised a teenager, maybe you'll have more of a clue about how the world works and we can resume this conversation in a decade or so. Until then, your self righteousness has grown tiresome."

Ah, yes, you close with even another logical fallacy. Grits, I have never swallowed Drano either, but I am reasonably sure that I do not want to. I can read about its caustic nature on the MSDS and observe the results of those who have ingested it to come to the conclusion that it is a bad idea. Likewise, I have seen the results of your parenting methods compared to those from 50+ years ago. I have seen the feral members of our society that came from "baby's daddies", "what about my fun" parents, and those that felt a teen should be playing Grand Theft Auto for "hours on end." Usually, they were either in my prison classroom or, if I met them on the streets, on that road to perdition.

A final point on this post, you stated earlier, "Those who're most animated appear IMHO to be trying to convince themselves, not others (since name calling, etc., isn't a very persuasive tactic)." You then go on, in this post, to call me "a sanctimonious control-freak."

Isn't that the same type of name calling you, ahem, sanctimoniously criticized last evening? As I asked Albeed:

Are you a hypocrite or completely lacking in self-awareness?

I'll let you decide.

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Aug 29, 2011 11:19:45 AM

Grits stated: "BTW, TQ, you were the first one here who felt compelled to prove Godwin's Law: "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1." Once you go down that misbegotten path in an online comment string, it's disingenuous to claim surprise when others follow you."

Uhhhh. Come on Grits. ALBEED brought Nazis into this, calling me an "ignorant brownshirt" and "SS leader." In fact, I have spent much of the thread telling him how ridiculous his comment was. Perhaps, I can have my 5 year old read the posts to you?

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Aug 29, 2011 11:27:31 AM

And, of course, I am sure the research into gaming for "hours on end" supports your thesis that those making "different choices" with their children are not putting my child at a distinct advantage (and theirs at a disadvantage).

"Amount of video-game play mediated the relationship between video-game ownership and academic outcomes. Results provide experimental evidence that video games may displace after-school activities that have educational value and may interfere with the development of reading and writing skills in some children." Weis, R., & Cerankosky, B.C.* (2010). Effects of videogame ownership on young boys' academic and behavioral functioning: A randomized, controlled study. Psychological Science, 21, 1-8

And: "Exposure to violent video games is associated with aggressive behavior among children (Anderson & Bushman, 2001; Carnagey, Anderson, & Bushman, 2007). Meta-analyses show significant associations between violent video-game play and aggressive thoughts (r = .27), feelings (r = .18), and actions (r = .20). These associations can be seen in experimental, correlational, and longitudinal studies involving children, adolescents, and adults (Anderson et al., 2008; Anderson, Gentile, & Buckley, 2007; Carnagey & Anderson, 2005). Furthermore, theoretical models based on learning, social cognitive, and neoassociative network theories have been developed to explain how violent video games might prime immediate aggressive behaviors and make them more accessible and appealing to children over time."

Oops. And I thought it was supposed to be conservative Christians that ignored science?

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Aug 29, 2011 11:52:32 AM

TQ, I didn't address your Hitler commentary because whenever someone brings Hitler into the mix on a non-Holocaust/WWII topic, as you persistently did throughout this string, it's entirely nonconstructive and not worth replying to. I don't take the bait just because some troll throws it out there. Take responsibility for your own failure to stay on point and don't fault others because they won't follow you into irrelevant, off-topic subjects.

After you've raised a teenager, you can lecture me about how simple it is to control all their choices. It's a lot easier to bully a five year old over TV show selections, I promise you. There's no need for me to educate you on the topic. You'll learn soon enough.

Finally, I just can't help myself. You want to give your son a "foundation based on God, love, values, and education," but you're apparently teaching him that compassion "enslaves people. Give people an excuse and most will take it." It blows me away that such statements come from someone who boasts that they're an orthodox Catholic hoping to teach his son about "God, love, [and] values." I grew up Baptist so maybe the disconnect is that in our church we actually read the Bible, but that view stands in stark contrast to any reasonable interpretation of Christian dicta. E.g.:

Matthew 5:42: "Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you."

Matthew 25:35: "For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me."

Proverbs 22:9: "Whoever has a bountiful1 eye will be blessed, for he shares his bread with the poor."

Proverbs 28:27: "Whoever gives to the poor will not want, but he who hides his eyes will get many a curse."

Romans 12:20: "if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head."

Luke 3:11: "And he [John the Baptist] answered them, “Whoever has two tunics1 is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.”

Luke 14:12-14: "He said also to the man who had invited him, 'When you give ya dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers1 or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”

All quotes from the ESV.

Posted by: Gritsforbreakfast | Aug 29, 2011 11:57:22 AM

Grits stated: "TQ, I didn't address your Hitler commentary because whenever someone brings Hitler into the mix on a non-Holocaust/WWII topic, as you persistently did throughout this string, it's entirely nonconstructive and not worth replying to. I don't take the bait just because some troll throws it out there. Take responsibility for your own failure to stay on point and don't fault others because they won't follow you into irrelevant, off-topic subjects."

Of course, I didn't bring Nazis "into the mix", Albeed did. Why do you persist on lying and saying that I did? I criticized him for it throughout this thread and pointed out the irony that the ones who are ideological heirs to Nazism are the first to accuse others of being one.

Grits stated: "After you've raised a teenager, you can lecture me about how simple it is to control all their choices. It's a lot easier to bully a five year old over TV show selections, I promise you. There's no need for me to educate you on the topic. You'll learn soon enough."

Translation: "Until you drink Drano yourself, do not tell me how bad it is to drink it." What a sorry excuse for an argument. Is it REALLY the best you can do?

Grits stated: "Finally, I just can't help myself. You want to give your son a "foundation based on God, love, values, and education," but you're apparently teaching him that compassion "enslaves people."

This AT LEAST the THIRD outright lie you have made on this thread. What I did say, "The unstated, yet quite clear, premise of your argument is that successful people (whether morally or economically) are successful because they "lack personal hardships" and not by making the correct choices. The obvious corrolary is that unsuccessful people are so because they have had the "personal hardships", rather than the choices they have made.

The largest problem with your worldview is that it enslaves people. Give people an excuse and most will take it."

In other words, I said that giving people the "personal hardships" excuse for being unsuccessful "enslaves people", NOT that compassion does.

If you keep lying this way, people may make you out for a liar.

Grits stated: "It blows me away that such statements come from someone who boasts that they're an orthodox Catholic hoping to teach his son about "God, love, [and] values." I grew up Baptist so maybe the disconnect is that in our church we actually read the Bible, but that view stands in stark contrast to any reasonable interpretation of Christian dicta. E.g."

LOL Attacking someone's faith is a sure sign you are losing the argument. In addition to showing your bigotry, you show the typical ability to quote scripture, without ever knowing WHAT IT MEANS.

None of your scripture quotes speak to WELFARE/SOCIAL PROGRAMS. They are PERSONAL calls for people with means to help those without. Amen! Nowhere does it say to give your money to a middleman (the government) to issue out alms for the able-bodied poor FOREVER.

In fact, there is even a limit to Christian charity:

II Thessalonians 3:6-12, “Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us. For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you; Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you: Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us. For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.”

I Timothy 5:8, “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”

I Timothy 5:3-10,16 “Honour widows that are widows indeed. But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God. Now she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, trusteth in God, and continueth in supplications and prayers night and day. But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth. And these things give in charge, that they may be blameless. But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel. Let not a widow be taken into the number under threescore years old, having been the wife of one man, Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints’ feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work. If any man or woman that believeth have widows, let them relieve them, and let not the church be charged; that it may relieve them that are widows indeed.”

It is interesting how someone "who actually read the Bible" did not remember these verses and a Catholic who supposedly never does had to point them out to you.


Posted by: TarlsQtr | Aug 29, 2011 12:56:19 PM

TQ, accusing others of being "ideological heirs to Nazism" makes your commentary no better than albeed's, despite your sanctimonious claims to the contrary.

And as for "drinking Drano," which is an analogy so bizarre I really don't even know what you're talking about, I can only tell you that all parents learn (mostly from their mistakes) as their kids grow up. You will too. Some things you believe today you will later discover were fallacies and there are some lessons only age and experience can teach. Twas ever thus.

Further, you've consistently throughout this thread taken comments out of context and critiqued them in ways that failed to address their central points, starting to your reaction to my first comments. I could call you a "liar" for that habit (repeated throughout the thread), but really I just think you're so narcissistic you can't actually understand others' viewpoints because you're so obsessed with propounding your own.

On the "compassion" question, you earlier wrote "How compassionate is it to give people enough so that they never strive for more?" That seems to imply that tangible compassion for those experiencing personal hardship (which you view as a mere "excuse") harms people instead of help them, which is the opposite of Christian charity. In ancient Jewish society, church and state were not separate, so your distinction between personal charity and welfare from the government would have made little sense to Christ and his disciples, just as, for people today who are actually in need, it is a distinction without a difference.

Finally, you're the one wearing your faith on your sleeve while deriding "compassion" and anyone who would exercise it. Try looking in the red-letter sections of you Bible to see if Jesus made any of the caveats about charity that Pauline texts added later. Let me know what you find.

Posted by: Gritsforbreakfast | Aug 29, 2011 1:55:23 PM

Grits stated: "TQ, accusing others of being "ideological heirs to Nazism" makes your commentary no better than albeed's, despite your sanctimonious claims to the contrary."

Of course, this is what you said earlier (emphasis added: "...you were THE FIRST ONE HERE who felt compelled to prove Godwin's Law..."

Now, instead of putting forth the lie that I instituted Godwin's law you have retreated to the position that my comments are "no better" than his. It's a start!

As I have stated several times now and is obvious to even a reasonable person, it is a far different act to bring up Nazis IN DEFENSE after being accused of being one than making the accusation. Even worse, you lied about me saying that "Shaw=Hitler", so I defended myself against that canard. It seems that you and Albeed have the Hitler fascination, not me.

Grits stated: "And as for "drinking Drano," which is an analogy so bizarre I really don't even know what you're talking about, I can only tell you that all parents learn (mostly from their mistakes) as their kids grow up. You will too. Some things you believe today you will later discover were fallacies and there are some lessons only age and experience can teach. Twas ever thus."

Let me break it down for you in a manner that even you can understand. You do not always have to experience something to know something is "right" or "wrong." You do not drink Drano because you have read that it is bad for you, not because you drank it and it made you sick. Likewise, I can tell that allowing a 14 year old to play Grand Theft Auto for "hours on end" is a bad idea because I can read research (provided to you in an earlier post) and see firsthand the impact it had on other kids. Your entire premise is preposterous.

Grits stated: "Further, you've consistently throughout this thread taken comments out of context and critiqued them in ways that failed to address their central points, starting to your reaction to my first comments. I could call you a "liar" for that habit (repeated throughout the thread), but really I just think you're so narcissistic you can't actually understand others' viewpoints because you're so obsessed with propounding your own."

Of course, you never do get around to pinpointing where I have done such a thing. I could just as easily as say that you advocate molesting children and leave it at that. It is just as unsubstantiated and ungrounded in fact. You are either unable or too lazy to show where I did so " consistently throughout this thread." If you cannot/will not back up a claim, you are better off not making it.

Grits stated: "On the "compassion" question, you earlier wrote "How compassionate is it to give people enough so that they never strive for more?"

SPEAKING of taking "comments out of context and critiqued them in ways that failed to address their central points...," you do so right here.

I said: "For instance, is it more merciful to keep a person's belly full enough so that he never feels the need to get a job? Or is it more merciful to let him get a little hungry, feel a little shame, and motivate him to search for a better lot in life? I see the first scenario as enslavement while I see the second as true mercy."

I said: "Again, like Albeed, you fall into the bad habit of eating chocolate for dinner. It tastes great but there is absolutely no nutrition. What exactly is compassion? How compassionate is it to give people enough so that they never strive for more? Give me some substance instead of Fluffernutter. Instead of just giving your opinion of me and masquerading it as fact, tell us what part of my position is not compassionate?"

In other words, in no way do I say that we should have no compassion. What I DO say is that making people so comfortable in their poverty that they have flat screen TVs, cable/satellite, free housing, and so much food that they are disproportionately fat compared to the rest of society is NOT compassion. It takes away all incentive to earn a better lot in life and enslaves them to the government.

Notice that I NEVER said that people should be allowed to starve, be naked, or left out in the cold.

Grits stated: "In ancient Jewish society, church and state were not separate, so your distinction between personal charity and welfare from the government would have made little sense to Christ and his disciples, just as, for people today who are actually in need, it is a distinction without a difference."

Actually, there is a huge difference. We no longer have a church that acts also as our state (well, many liberals worship the god "Fedgov" but that is a different matter), so your point is moot. And my point would have made PERFECT sense to Christ and the apostles, because any Jewish government was toothless if you can say it existed at all. Do you think that when Christ said "Render unto Caesar" he thought he was paying taxes to the church? Too funny.

Grits stated: "Finally, you're the one wearing your faith on your sleeve while deriding "compassion" and anyone who would exercise it."

Of course I never said or did that but it's your strawman. I derided false compassion, or compassion that does more harm than good.

Grits stated: "Try looking in the red-letter sections of you Bible to see if Jesus made any of the caveats about charity that Pauline texts added later. Let me know what you find."

Any Christian I know says that we believe that the ENTIRE Bible is the inerrant Word of God. Are you claiming that Paul's epistles are not inspired scripture? You sure imply it.

And here is the most important point that your poor biblical education missed. Welfare is the FORCED confiscation from the haves and redistribution to those that are have nots.

Mark 10:22-"22 And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions." Did Jesus send the temple authorities, his apostles, or Caesar to chase him down and forcibly take the rich man's money for the poor? No? Does he ever call for such a thing in any of the "red-letter sections?"

Of course not. Because Jesus sees charity as a PERSONAL responsibility. We make the PERSONAL decision to follow Him and give or do not. We then either reap the reward or the alternative.

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Aug 29, 2011 3:03:55 PM

As to the Nazi-brownshirt discussion upthread.

The following is trivia, but it seems that calling someone a Nazi or brownshirt or Hitler is the insult de jour of current political debate. These insults are used indiscriminately by both liberals and conservatives.

The expression "brownshirt" was used to describe a member of the Sturmabteilung or SA, which came into existence before the establishment of the Nazi party. The SA was nothing more than beerhall brawlers and streetfighters, who provided security at Nazi meetings and parades. The SA also disrupted the meetings and parades of other political parties. In effect their goal was to ensure the unfettered political speech of the Nazis while squelching the political speech of their opponents.

The SA and the SS (which was established later) are two different organizations and were bitter political rivals. Eventually the SS persuaded Hitler to exterminate the leadership of the SA apparently because politically the SA was considered to be socialist.

Posted by: Fred | Aug 29, 2011 6:02:01 PM

Gritsforbreakfast....

'After you've actually raised a teenager, maybe you'll have more of a clue about how the world works and we can resume this conversation in a decade or so.

Can't say it any better than that, been there, done that. First hand experience is the only way to find out unfortunately, but the rewards are many when they reach there 20's and realize what a hard time they gave you. Same way I felt with my parents, and your kids won't find out till they have their own. The trip can be winding but the rewards well worth it :-)

Posted by: james | Aug 29, 2011 8:44:26 PM

Fred:

Thanks for the historical clarity! I misspelled SS, but my meanings were for those who conducted the "Night of the Broken Glass".

Posted by: albeed | Aug 29, 2011 9:17:38 PM

In my comment at 6:02 P.M., I was referring to the Night of the Long Knives. This was the decapitation of the leadership of the SA and it occurred between 30 June and 2 July 1934.

The Night of Broken Glass or Kristallnacht occurred on 9 and 10 November 1938 and was a series of attacks throughout Germany and Austria against Jews.

Hitler and his inner circle were responsible for both.

Posted by: Fred | Aug 29, 2011 9:58:13 PM

Fred:

Thanks again for the clarity:

I read "Is Paris Burning?" when I was in fifth grade.

I read "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" when I was in sixth grade.

Both are well over 45 years ago so I will check into an Alhzeimer's Clinic tomorrow.

Posted by: albeed | Aug 29, 2011 10:40:51 PM

I wasn't meaning to offend. German culture and history is something I have been interested in for a long time. Rather than both sides calling their political adversaries Nazis, we should consider how and why a society and culture that created such sublime art, literature, music, architecture, and religious and philosophical thought could also create such an abomination.

Posted by: Fred | Aug 29, 2011 11:15:03 PM

LOL @ James,

I'll remember this thread the next time you two decry "inhumane prison conditions." You know, because "firsthand experience is the only way to find out."

It's about the lamest argument I have seen anyone make on this blog, but now that it has both of your imprimaturs, it is fair game.

The funniest part is that you both ignore the big pink elephant in the room. It is the science. Despite my lack of raising a teenager, it supports me, not either of you with your supposed experience. I guess that doing something poorly does not make one more of an expert than one who has not done it at all. In summary:

1)Television viewing during childhood has a negative impact on student achievement.

2) Adolescent viewing is a strong predictor of leaving school without a high school diploma.

3) Childhood viewing is a strong predictor of not achieving a college degree.

Journal of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine http://archpedi.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/159/7/614

4) Video games replace activities with academic value and negatively impact reading and writing ability.

Weis, R., & Cerankosky, B.C.* (2010). Effects of videogame ownership on young boys' academic and behavioral functioning: A randomized, controlled study. Psychological Science, 21, 1-8

5) Violent video games are associated with aggressive behavior of children. (Anderson & Bushman, 2001; Carnagey, Anderson, & Bushman, 2007).

6) Significant association between violent video games and aggressive thoughts, feelings, and actions. (Anderson et al., 2008; Anderson, Gentile, & Buckley, 2007; Carnagey & Anderson, 2005)

7) "Furthermore, theoretical models based on learning, social cognitive, and neoassociative network theories have been developed to explain how violent video games might prime immediate aggressive behaviors and make them more accessible and appealing to children over time." (Weiss & Cerankoski, 2010)

Face it. The science supports my parenting strategies and is damning of yours. It also supports my original premise, that someone playing "Grand Theft Auto" for hours on end is more likely to be on welfare/social programs than someone who is not. Or, do you need me to quote the science that outlines the relationship between educational achievement and poverty?

Which leads us right back to "compassion." To me, the perfection of "compassion" is to raise our children in a manner where they never become impoverished and do not need a handout. Apparently, both of you feel that enslaving them into poverty and then providing for their basic needs indefinitely is the way to go.

That's not compassion, that's sick.

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Aug 30, 2011 9:03:39 AM

Fred stated: "Rather than both sides calling their political adversaries Nazis,..."

Fred, I would point out that only one "side" has called their "political adversaries" "Nazis" on this thread.

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Aug 30, 2011 9:06:22 AM

Mr. TarlsQtr at 9:06 A.M.:

"Fred, I would point out that only one "side" has called their "political adversaries" "Nazis" on this thread."

Correct. However, the insult against you did prompt a reply:

"Of course, an explanation of what part of my statements make me an "ignorant brownshirt" or "a great SS (sic) Leader" would be helpful. It sure beats a blanket ad hominem.

"The ironic part is that totalitarianism is far closer (some would say synonymous) with your progressive outlook than mine. Hitler would love most of the progressive policies of the last century. Google the Nazi platform from the 30's. And it is not conservatism/libertarianism that ran headlong into the loving arms of dirtbags like GB Shaw, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Castro, Che Guevarra, Pol Pot, etc. Nor is it conservatism/libertarianism that was playing footsie so readily with Hitler and Mussolini during the 30's. No, it was the progressives/socialists like Shaw and Margaret Sanger who were singing their praises until it became untenable to do so. It is no coincidence that the Nazi flag was red." TarlsQtr at Aug 25, 2011 8:59:18 A.M.

My point is not to take sides between you or Albeed, but simply to note that this insult is very common in current political arguments and is used indiscrimately by both liberals and conservatives.

The 1000 year Reich is recent history and there are many people still living who had some personal contact with its evil. Any one with the interest can study what happened, and form their own opinions as to how and why a society and culture that created such sublime art, literature, music, architecture, and religious and philosophical thought could also create such an abomination.

Doing so has value and is worth the effort.

Posted by: Fred | Aug 30, 2011 10:09:15 AM

Fred stated: "My point is not to take sides between you or Albeed, but simply to note that this insult is very common in current political arguments and is used indiscrimately by both liberals and conservatives."

Pointing out the ideological road to modern day progressivism (which I must point out was done to outline the irony of me actually BEING CALLED a Nazi) is a historical fact, not an insult or accusation. I never accused progressives of BEING Nazis. However, they ARE their ideological heirs,a cousin to the totalitarian ideologies (eg, socialism, communism, fascism).

Fascism has been incorrectly painted as "right wing" by the left-wing since it became unpopular to support it. In fact, it is only "right wing" to the very farthest left and is nowhere near the true right wing (Anarchy). The truth is that neither those holding "Bush is Hitler" or "Obama is Hitler" signs probably even know this.

Fred stated: "The 1000 year Reich is recent history and there are many people still living who had some personal contact with its evil. Any one with the interest can study what happened, and form their own opinions as to how and why a society and culture that created such sublime art, literature, music, architecture, and religious and philosophical thought could also create such an abomination.

Doing so has value and is worth the effort."

Not a single argument from me.

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Aug 30, 2011 11:23:29 AM

'Face it. The science supports my parenting strategies and is damning of yours.'

Wow, what a statement...quite frankly I could care less how you raise your kids, thats your choice. Mine are already adults. They were provided with parental oversight, a little freedom of choice and understanding the consequences of those choices which has evidentally provided them the social and mental skills to contribute, function and thrive in a society where respect and tolerance for opposing viewpoints, no matter how disagreeable, is a valued trait to have.

and to quote another,

'It's only in hindsight that you realize what indeed your childhood was really like.'

Posted by: james | Aug 30, 2011 2:20:44 PM

James stated: "Wow, what a statement...quite frankly I could care less how you raise your kids, thats your choice."

And therein lies the problem. We are far too willing to sacrifice other people's kids on the altar of "tolerance" in order to not be "judgemental." Guess what? This country could use some more judgementalism.

James stated: "They were provided with parental oversight, a little freedom of choice and understanding the consequences of those choices which has evidentally provided them the social and mental skills to contribute, function and thrive in a society where respect and tolerance for opposing viewpoints, no matter how disagreeable, is a valued trait to have."

I agree with the middle but two points about the first and last clause.

I have no idea if you actually did this with your children, but advocating or defending children playing Grand Theft Auto for "hours on end" is not in agreement with an homage to "parental oversight."

And the final clause? Tolerance despite how disagreeable someone's viewpoint is? That is relativist nonsense. Some things are "right" in this world and others are "wrong." It is "tolerance" that allows evils like totalitarianism to thrive.

And to quote another,

"Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions."GKC

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Aug 30, 2011 7:48:14 PM

TQ:

This is my absolute last post on this topic NO matter how you respond. There is a trail of extra-ordinary evidence already.

It is better to remain silent and appear intelligent than to open your mouth and remove all doubts.

"The mouth of the fool works its own ruin."

Proverbs

Posted by: albeed | Aug 30, 2011 9:05:03 PM

Coming from you? There is no higher compliment...

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Aug 30, 2011 9:10:30 PM

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