Saturday, September 27, 2008

Christianity Under Attack on All Fronts, even Science

You know, it's truly amazing to what extent anything that has any remote connection to Christianity or Religion is under attack, even within Science. It is not only in the area of the Government, due to the Separation of Church and State, but also in relation to Science.

I remember mentioning one time in the comment section of another Post, the whole scientific fiasco relating to Abortion and Breast Cancer. Perhaps I should get the Brochure on that sometime and do a complete Post on it, but for now, I just think that what I've already said in the comment section of a previous Post is worth repeating. The non-italics is what I've added to it today.

"No matter what the issue, if it is political, than there is research supporting both sides. BB-Idaho actually left a Link in the comment section on one of the below Posts supporting the 'Safe Sex' program."

I hadn't done the necessary research when he left this link, yet the next Post down, below this one, is at least in part, a response to that and illustrates very well how Abstinence, since it is also taught within Christianity, is Under Attack.

"It's just like the issue of Abortion and Breast Cancer. There is research that says there's a link and research that says that there isn't.

"A group of people who study research collected a bunch of the available research and analyzed it, applying high standards as to what was good quality research and what was not and they found problems with the research that supported no connection, yet most of the research that supported the connection passed the test.

"Unfortunately, all it takes in order for those who want to deny the connection and keep this issue in the 'Controversial Mode' is for them to keep repeating their faulty research results and this is listened too, whether there are problems in the research or not."

Aside from Abstinence Education and the Connection between Abortion and Breast Cancer, I've seen this same scenario going on in the Evolution verses Intelligent Design Debate. If one takes the time to listen to what is actually being said, the arguments in favor of Evolution are full of false accusations against those on the other side, such as the discussion that took place on one of the Posts at the "Bring It On!" blog, which came across to me as more accusations between the participants, than actual arguments offered.

Bring It On! - Academic Freedom Legislation: The Creationists Back Door?

Now that I've visited the site again, I've realized that there are duplicate copies of a lot of my initial comments. That's because I kept trying to submit these comments, but was given no message about them being held for moderation. They appeared to just disappear, but apparently, they all went through. Oh well.

If you want to review the Evolution verses Intelligent Design discussion that took place on my blog, just click on the Label for it to the right. Griper did a post on the subject as well and the Link to it is below.

The "Good News" Declared

Friday, September 26, 2008

Attack on Abtsinence Education: Fact or Fallacy?

I was going to post the link that's at the bottom of this post quite some time ago, yet wanted to make sure and read it first and it is quite lengthy; 17 pages to be exact. The other thing that I sort of wish I had the time to do was to give a more complete summary of every part of the document, yet since it has been awhile since I've posted anything political and also since I seem to have limited time these days, I will just do the best with the time I have and will have to just summarize the parts of it that stick out for me in my mind.

First, I'll start with the "Executive Summary" that starts the linked article. The link below is to a Technical Paper, written by a group of professionals for the "Medical Institute for Sexual Health", in response to a couple of Articles that were published in the January 2006 Issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health. The first is entitled "Abstinence and Abstinency-Only Education; A Review of US Policies and Programs" and the second one is entitled "Absinence-Only Policies and Programs; A Position Paper of the Society for Adolescent Medicine". Both of these were written by a team of authors headed by John Santelli and the Position Paper simply restates the arguments presented in the Review Article.

The authors of these articles claim all sorts of crazy stuff about Abstinence Education Programs, but offer very poor arguments to support their claims. They claim that Abstinence programs threaten Fundamental Human Rights to Health, Information and Life and that such programs are Unscientifically, Ethically and Morally Problematic. These authors are critical of any Educational Policies that are in any way influenced by Morality and accuse Abstinence Proponents of being primarily concerned with Religious and Moral Beliefs, whether than Public Health. They also accuse such of using Morally and Culturally Specific Definitions of Abstinence. They claim that Educational Policies that have Moral Components are Unscientific and that Abstinence Policies are in conflict with Public Health Principles, yet they have no evidence to support this point of view or opinion.

In the paper that I have provided a link to below, the authors respond to all of these accusations and show how the articles that they are responding to contain Serious Omissions of key areas of research that don't support their point of view; Misrepresentations to the point of acutually stating that a source says something that it does not; Deviations from Accepted Practices or Nonstandard Research Methods, Opinions Presented as Facts and Faulty Logic, such as concluding that the failure to prove an affirmative is proof of a negative. They say that the Scholarship is lacking in rigor, that their Key Points are based on Non-Peer-Reviewed Sources, that they site a lot of Secondary and Tertiary Sources, whether than Original Ones and Opinion Pieces and Editorials and On-line News Magazines, whether than Scientific Articles. They fail to inform the readers when their key point are supported by Non-Peer-Reviewed References and some of their Declarative Statements are not Referenced at all.

One interesting contradiction that was pointed out was how in the First Half of the Review Article, the idea of "Moral Beliefs" is rejected, yet in the Second Half of this same article, they talk about Human Rights in relation to "Ethics". This contradiction is an Unsound and Misleading, yet Clever, Plausible and Subtle Argument or Reasoning (Definition of Sophistry), or as the authors of the linked article put it, "The authors initial rejection of 'Moral Beliefs' and their later adoption of 'Ethics' as a guiding principle for sex education is the height of Sophistry."

In the Linked Article, one of the first things that the authors do is define a few terms including "Moral" and "Ethical", to show how similar these two words are, in that, part of the definition of "Ethical" is "Conforming to Moral Standards".

I don't want to leave this page in the Linked Article (Page 4) without mentioning that they mentioned the limited scope of this one particular study involving only one of the 50 states, which happened to be Texas. This caught my eye since one of my commenters to a previous Post also gave me a link to a Texas Study that showed Ineffective Abstinence Programs, yet it is not logical to conclude that the presence of one group of Abstinence Programs that doesn't work proves that none of the Abstinence Programs work.

The "Definitions of Absinence" section of the Linked Article (Page 4) is very good.

Later in the Linked Article, they state that "Despite having previously rejected Moral considerations to inform public health prevention messages, throughout the last 3 sections of this article, the authors tout internationally recognized Ethical obligations as the ne plus ultra of public health decision making. They appear oblivious to the fact that Ethics has to do with Conforming to Moral Standards or to professional standards of conduct."

The other word that the authors needed to define was the word "Virgin", for in the articles they were responding to, the word "Virgin" was claimed to be a moral term, yet a recent PupMed search of the term yielded 197 articles, so it is obviously a "Medical Term" and is defined in very simple, morally neutral, terms in Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary.

Gee! How in the world are we supposed to study the Medical affects of having sex or not having sex, if we keep removing words from the Medical Dictionary just because they are occasionally also used in relation to Morality? That's absurd!

One more point that comes to mind is a couple of Research Studies that were Omitted from the Evaluation done in the Articles that were written opposing Abstinence Programs. Starting with the Chart on the page marked page 9 at the bottom and reading on to the first 6 paragraphs of page 10, it is explained why "The Absence of even a remote allusion to these studies by Santelli et al is particularly Inexcusable." This is especially true in light of their statement that "Based on our review of the evaluations of specific AO(sic)E actual practice the efficacy of AO(sic)E Interventions may approach Zero." In response to this, the Authors of the Linked Article have said that "The conspicuous Omission of the Articles, coupled with the authors' Hyperbolic Declaration, demonstrates Systematic Misrepresentation of the Evidence."

There were many more good points made in the linked article. I've only had the time to touch on a few. Here is the Link.

The Attack on Abstinence Education: Fact of Fallacy?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Gaining Control over One's Life & One's Puppy

I know that Samoyeds, just like any other Alaskan or Siberian breed, are stubborn and difficult to train, but I had forgotten the full extent of the battle. It's just like battling with a 2 year old child. I tell our puppy, Shasta, "No!" and he rebels and complains and barks at me. I keep telling him, "Now look! You are not the boss. I am.", or in doggy terms, "You are not the head dog. I am and you WILL obey me!"

The potty training seems to be taking awhile, we've had Shasta now since a week prior to Yesterday and he still occasionally peas in the house, but I've noticed that he sort of does it when he's excited, so I guess it's not such a good idea to get him too wound up while in the house. The problem is that he has lots of energy to burn off. During the day, we can take him for walks and let him run in the yard, yet we keep him in at night because of the animals (Raccoon, Bear and Mountain Lion). He's way too small yet and thus, could be a target for such animals, so at night, we have a real problem. He can't run outside cause of the animals and he can't run too much inside cause it might make him pea in the house. If we discipline him and insist that he remain still, he may sleep too much during the day and than be too hyper at night, when it's time for bed. I'm not sure what the solution is. Oh well. I know it'll get better in time.

If you want to read more about our adventures with our dog, Shasta, there is more in the comment section of the next post down, as I'm sure there will also be in the comment section of this one. One of the things I was writing in one of my comments below the next post down, though, was about how the beauty of Alaskan and Siberian breeds (sled dog types) does not come without a cost. The long hair requires brushing. The floors require vacuuming. The high energy requires exercise and the stubbornness requires a lot of patience and persistence. I personally think that it is worth it, but there are some people I know that do not agree.

When I wrote out the title of this post, I was thinking about how the dog training books claim that puppies feel best when they are on some sort of a schedule. This probably is true. If the puppy has a normal "scheduled" play time, maybe we would be able to plan our lives better around his more quiet nap times, for he does sleep a lot. I just need to learn how to make use of the times in which he does.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Now, Isn't that the Cutest? (Our New Samoyed Puppy)

Now, isn't that the cutest and the prettiest thing that you have ever seen?

His name is Shasta. He is nine weeks old today. He has been so much fun.

We picked him up from the airport around 11:00 AM on Friday. He was a little scared and reluctant to come out of the travel cage at first, but once he did, he took to us really fast. In fact, he followed us everywhere.

At least one of our first impressions of him was "Imagine that! A Samoyed that actually comes when called!", for that was quite a contrast from our earlier Samoyed, Casper, that was so scared when we first got him that he ran away from us and we had to earn his trust. Casper turned out to be a very good dog, yet he was such an independent sort and wouldn't always come when called.

Shasta, the new one pictured above, was just the opposite at first and came across as a little clingy, yet as time has passed, and he has gotten more used to us, he is already becoming more and more independent, has began to take off on his own and explore and as he does that, I am beginning to see that typical Samoyed stubbornness emerge. Samoyeds are a little independent, stubborn and difficult to train, but that's part of their charm. They are very gentle and friendly and would never hurt a fly, as I can see, this one will be as well.

The other first impression that we had was that he didn't seem to have quite the energy level that we expected. Our other dog, Casper, just loved to run and was so incredibly fast it was unbelievable. Samoyeds are sled dogs and love to run. I guess Shasta was tired and a little shy around such a new environment, but that is changing as well.

When we first got him, we had to teach him how to go up and down these two small steps over a retaining wall in our yard and also up into the house. He liked it outside and didn't really want to come inside, though he is going to have to be a house dog because of the warmer climate in California. We are up in the mountains, making the weather cooler than in the valley's, yet it is still quite often in the 90s and it even breaks 100 degrees 2 or 3 days out of the year. Samoyeds are winter sled dogs and have very thick fur.

Friday and Saturday, Shasta mainly just trotted and only occasionally broke into a run when he was chasing us, yet yesterday, he was picking up speed and ran without needing to have anything to chase. Yep, he's a Samoyed alright. He was just taking his time getting started. He slipped on the dirt a few times, he's still just a puppy. He runs much better on the grass. I'm sure he will pick up both his energy and speed as he grows. It's so fun watching him learn.

This is so much fun and we are so in love with our new little friend.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

McCain and Obama Camparisons

The information on the below chart is really scary, especially in relation to Obama's plan in relation to taxes. He is going to totally ruin our economy.





Favors new drilling offshore US



Will appoint judges who interpret the law not make it



Served in the US Armed Forces



Amount of time served in the US Senate


173 DAYS

Will institute a socialized national health care plan



Supports abortion throughout the pregnancy



Would pull troops out of Iraq immediately



Supports gun ownership rights



Supports homosexual marriage



Proposed programs will mean a huge tax increase



Voted against making English the official language



Voted to give Social Security benefits to illegals





0% on home sales up to $500,000 per home (couples). McCain does not propose any change in existing home sales income tax.


28% on profit from ALL home sales. (How does this affect you? If you sell your home and make a profit, you will pay 28% of your gain on taxes. If you are heading toward retirement and would like to down-size your home or move into a retirement community, 28% of the money you make from your home will go to taxes. This proposal will adversely affect the elderly who are counting on the income from their homes as part of their retirement income.)



15% (no change)


39.6% - (How will this affect you? If you have any money invested in stock market, IRA, mutual funds, college funds, life insurance, retirement accounts, or anything that pays or reinvests dividends, you will now be paying nearly 40% of the money earned on taxes if Obama becomes president. The experts predict that 'Higher tax rates on dividends and capital gains would crash the stock market, yet do absolutely nothing to cut the deficit.')



(no changes)

Single making 30K - tax $4,500
Single making 50K - tax $12,500
Single making 75K - tax $18,750
Married making 60K- tax $9,000
Married making 75K - tax $18,750
Married making 125K - tax $31,250

OBAMA (reversion to pre-Bush tax cuts)

Single making 30K - tax $8,400
Single making 50K - tax $14,000
Single making 75K - tax $23,250
Married making 60K - tax $16,800
Married making 75K - tax $21,000
Married making 125K - tax $38,750
Under Obama, your taxes could almost double!



- 0% (No change, Bush repealed this tax)


Restore the inheritance tax

Many families have lost businesses, farms, ranches, and homes that have been in their families for generations because they could not afford the inheritance tax. Those willing their assets to loved ones will only lose them to these taxes.


New government taxes proposed on homes that are more than 2400 square feet. New gasoline taxes (as if gas weren't high enough already) New taxes on natural resources consumption (heating gas, water, electricity) New taxes on retirement accounts, and last but not least....New taxes to pay for socialized medicine so we can receive the same level of medical care as other third-world countries!!!

You can verify the above at the following web sites:

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Ramblings about Blogging

Sometimes I just feel the need to make another comment about blogging. Maybe I shouldn't. Maybe I should just keep the heat on in relation to some of the political stuff, such as my most recent; Abstinence, Safe Sex and STDs.

It's just that sometimes I feel frustrated and I don't know where to put my comments in relation to what I feel because so much of what's out there is political and let's face it, politics can be quite frustrating.

I do think that I've grown as a blogger. I used to get overwhelmed every time that my Email box fills up with comments relating to all the posts on all the blogs that I've made comments on. I click the "Sent Follow up Comments to my E-mail" boxes because that is the only way I know of keeping track of where I've been. I could keep notes, I suppose, but haven't gotten that organized. I know there are probably people who are going to tell me that I shouldn't check those boxes because it appears to be driving me nuts, yet I'm actually sort of proud of myself because I've been managing it much better that I used to.

Just as I was getting ready to say; I used to get overwhelmed every time that my Email fills up with comments relating to all the posts of all the blogs I've made comments on, yet more recently, I just shake my head and laugh at myself saying "Oh look, Lista! You did it to yourself again." lolol.

I comment on most of what I read because it makes me feel like I'm more likely to remember what I've read, for why read it, if I'm moving so quickly in my reading from one post to another without really thinking much or trying to analyze anything or if I'm not going to remember most of it anyway? I'd rather analyze it to death. Than I not only remember it, but know what my opinion on it is as well. This slows me down, yet I'd rather read less and remember it, than read more and not feel quite sure what all I just read. That's just me.

Anyway, here's my short break from all the political stuff, but I'm Ok now. I'll be back to responding to all the many comments on various different blogs soon.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Abstinence Verses "Safe Sex"

I'll be adding a link soon relating to the research relating to Abstinence verses "Safe Sex" programs, yet for now, I'll just give you this one.

In my opinion, the main problem is not in the presence of teaching about methods of Birth Control, but in what is emphasized. Remember that Teens are greatly influenced by the messages that they receive about sex in school. Too often Abstinence is downplayed, whether than stressed, while sexual activity and condom use are encouraged. The idea that Children are going to have sex is assumed, whether than challenged. Surveys consistently show that parents want schools to include strong abstinence messages, not just a brief mention of it as an option.

Abstinence education does more than just tell teens to say no to unwed sex. It teaches young people the practical skills they need to maintain their purity. They are taught about Self-esteem, self-control, decision-making, goal-setting, character education and communication skills. Please do read the link and I'll be back with more soon.

More Abstinence and STD Statistics

This post may seem sort of similar to the previous one, but I have posted some additional statistics.

The last post I did on this, that is the next post down, was mainly about how the attitudes about Abstinence and Virginity before marriage have changed over the years and then I gave some statistics relating to STDs and explained how teenagers are even more susceptible to them because of an immature immune system.

Here are still some more statistics on STDs. These are taken from a brochure entitled "Is Sex Safe? A look at:Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)", put out by Heritage House 2006. The bold emphasis is mine. Consider these facts.

- STDs are the most common diseases in America next to the common cold and flu.
- More than 1 in 5 Americans are presently infected with an STD.
- 19 million people become newly infected with STDs yearly - 52,000/day.
- 1/4th of STD infections occur in teens and 2/3rds of them occur in people under the age of 25.
- 65 million Americans are infected with an incurable STD.
- 35 - 50 different kinds of STDs exist. 25 of which occur commonly.
- 20 different STds are rampant among the young. At least 25 STDs are spread primarily through sexual contact.
- STDs infect 4.75 million teenagers each year, over 13,000 new cases per. day.
- 80% infected with an STD do not develop the initial symptoms.
- STDs are contagious even though no sypmtoms exist.
- New strains of STDs are resistant to treatment.
- STDs often cause chronic pain and permanent damage.
- STD infection can increase the possibility of contracting AIDS.
- Some STDs are incurable, life-long infections. Some can lead to life-threatening diseases and even death.

Another thing that is mentioned in this brochure is five risks that the sexually active need to be aware of.

- Your partner may not know he/she has an STD. 80% infected do not know their condition.
- Your partner may not tell you the truth if he/she has been sexually active in the past.
- You can have an STD and have no symptoms for weeks, months, possibly years. STDs are contagious even though no symptoms exist.
- Teens are much more suseptible to STD damage because they have lower level of antibodies than adults.
- According to the Centers for Disease Control, condoms do not provide complete protection from any STD or pregnancy. Infection can occur in both males and females whether or not a condom is used.

The conclusion given is that the only way to avoid the risks is to Save Sex for Marriage.

That was a quick preview of what some of the brochures at our center are like.

The concluding statement in the previous post is worth repeating here...

Dr Teresa Crenshaw, past President of the American Association of Sex Educators, said "Saying that the use of condoms is 'safe sex' is in fact playing Russian roulette. A lot of people will die in this dangerous game."

Do we really want to play this game with our young loved ones by leading them to believe that sex is Ok as long as they use "protection"?

P.S. - If you find this page by doing an Internet Search, Please also check out my other page on the subject.  That One Also has more Comments below it; 29 to be Exact.

Abstinence and STD Statistics