Active Participation in Selection of New Mental Disorders for the DSM-V

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In light of recent "discussion" regarding the inclusion of "Liberal" as a bonafide mental disorder, I'd like to point out that the Icarus Project is leaps and bounds ahead of NOVATownhall blog readers in their advocacy for inclusion of new diagnoses.

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39 Comments

suburbanite said:

Kevin, I can certainly understand a support group of people who overpersonalize external events because of their own fragilities. Peace, and more power to them. If another thing the support group has in common (perhaps because of the tendency to make such loose associations) is their political preferences, then I can understand seeking to explain something over which they are personally powerless by applying the framework of diagnosis that has apparently often been applied to them. However, I feel it may be counterproductive to the world of medicine and mental health to have a recognized diagnosis of one, for anyone or anything. At the end of that road lies the wonderful bumper sticker "You are special, unique and different---just like everybody else". And imagine what that would cost us all to deal with! Stasis achieved!

Nice find, Kevin. Only Jack could do justice to that project. Let's hope at some point he will.

Kevin said:

Sorry, I forgot the ;) emoticon.

stay puft said:

anyone ever read Madness and Civilization by Michel Foucault? It's kind of heavy reading, but pretty intriguing. It's all about how society defines madness, dating back to the middle ages.

As you might have guessed, the perception of what is "Crazy" varies in time and place. It gets interesting when you start asking "who is defining 'madness'?", "Who is 'mad'?"

During the Renaissance, it was the Church, which was a real center of political power. They claimed that madness was, "an all-abundant phenomena because humans could not come close to the Reason of God."

it's pretty clever, really. "only God is not crazy, we are the only ones with the authority to talk directly with God, so you best do as we say"

More recently it's been people with PhDs. But even their methods change over time.

In the 1940's and 50's, schizophrenia was seen as a disorder that only effected middle class white female house wifes. It made them docile and complacent. But in the 60's and 70's there was a rise in the number of inner city black males being diagnosed with the condition. As these diagnoses increased, the illness came to be seen as causing not docility, but anger and psychotic rage.

There's was psych ward in a small town near Grand Rapids that specialized in treating schizophrenic patients. There is a powerful series of photographs of this hospital. As more black males were admitted, and the perception of the illness changed, the hospital transformed, over the course of about a decade. Flower wall paper was replaced with whitewash walls, carpeted floors and nice comfortable furniture was replaced with cold, utilitarianism stuff. Bars went up over the windows, a barbed wire fence and guard tower went up around the perimeter. be the 1970s, all of the patients in the "hospital" were young black men, the place had literally turned into a prison.

So did the nature of "Schizophrenia" change? or did our own perceptions? During the same time period (60s and 70s), racial tensions in the country were running high. Could it be that the dominant cultural group was defining the anger and frustration they were seeing in black youths as an actual mental disorder?

It mirrors the way the catholic church used "madness" to justify it's position of power during the renaissance, and it is a powerful tool. Once you "other" is defined as crazy, there is no reason to take them seriously.

More recently, extremists have used a similar tactic, claiming that they are the only ones who have understood the Truth, and all others must recognize that fact of be considered enemies of reason.

So Jack says that "liberals" are suffering from a mental disorder. In one fell swoop he's written off the thoughts of half of the population of his own country as (literally) being without reason. He is claiming that Conservative America only understands reality, and that liberals refuse to accept that fact.

By extension, he is claiming that everyone in the world is crazy if they do not agree with his way of thinking.

For much of the world, it's easy. Anyone who isn't Christian is crazy because clearly Christianity is the only rational faith. Even conservative Europreans want keep social programs in place. And since Jacks "facts" show that all social spending is ineffective, all Europeans must be crazy for thinking otherwise.

Interestingly, these traits which Jack exhibits, a belief in his own thinking as infallible, delusions of grandeur, etc. most likely qualify his as having a mental disorder, according to the DSM. But then, who is writing the DSM?

Jack said:

"So Jack says that 'liberals' are suffering from a mental disorder. In one fell swoop he's written off the thoughts of half of the population of his own country as (literally) being without reason."

Perhaps my error is in confusing a lack of reasoning ability for insanity. Being an engineer, I often fall victim to the incorrect assumption that others have the same capacity for reason that typical engineers have.

My "way of thinking" is to assemble known facts into a logical conclusion. For instance, when I knew only that guns kill, my logical conclusion was that gun control would save lives. (That was John Lott's conclusion before he started his work, too.) As I got older and learned more, and came to a different conclusion.

Similarly, as Puffalump does now, I once thought that more money would "fix" public schools. As I gathered facts about the issue, I realized that there was no correlation between money and performance in the public schools.

As such, I do NOT consider my thinking infalable, but subject to revision by additional facts.

stay puft said:

"My "way of thinking" is to assemble known facts into a logical conclusion."

exactly, you begin with the conclusion and make the facts fit.

Jack said:

One cannot start with a conclusion, puffalump.

Kevin said:

Wow, that's a great long comment, SPMM. In fact, still today African American men are being diagnosed with more "severe" mental illnesses and given higher doses of medication then their counterparts because they are perceived as more possibly violent or aggressive. An example of a more severe diagnosis would be "Schizophrenia, Paranoid Type" over something like "Bipolar I with Psychotic Features, most recent episode manic"

Foucault, though I never read that particular book, had some good/interesting things to say. I'm positive Joe will tell you why it's all a bunch of hogwash. One good argument against Foucault's body of work (oeuvre? I think is how it's spelled) is that it runs into some of the same problems as Freud's in the sense that even if he's wrong about something he has included loopholes that make him right. The old double-bind. Foucault has a lot of good/interesting stuff to say though.

Jack, I seriously thought that engineers were more famous for their rigidity in thought? I'm not poking fun at all, seriously.

And it would be irresponsible to say one way or the other whether anyone here suffered from mental illness based on interactions over a blog. That's how I know Jack is either tongue in cheek or intentionally seeking to insult when he says liberalism is a mental disorder.

Plenty of people have mental illness (or have family who has), it does not discriminate along party lines.

And there is a huge distinction between personality characteristics and diagnosable mental illness.

Jack said:

Kevin:

Anyone who thinks engineers are "rigid in thought" does not know engineering, nor have they ever seen Scotty in Star Trek. As a rule, engineers often have to design what has never been built before, sometimes with materials that have never been used for such purposes before, and do it within a set time frame and a set budget. It calls for both technical expertise and vivid imagination.

Kevin said:

Well, Jack, I suppose you're right, I can't imagine the theory of relativity, special or general, could have ever been proposed had not a curious, creative individual stretched the limits of imagination a bit!

Still, I could have sworn it was the daughter of an engineer who said that. I'll have to get to the bottom of what was meant.

Jack said:

"Well, Jack, I suppose you're right..."

Just keep that phrase in your head, and you'll be fine.

Kevin said:

Ha! I don't find it as hard to say as some. Still, you should understand it was said with some caveats. . .

Jack said:

Yes, of course. But you'll get over that in time.

Kevin said:

I must say, it has been fun reading all the opinions that come up when you type "engineers" and "rigid thinkers" into Google.

It appears it may just be a stereotype. I did find one scholarly article that seemed to say that teachers needed to teach structural engineers how to think intuitively, which I found funny.

Anyhow, you don't strike me to be the type who needs that teaching (I don't know what type of engineer you are). And you don't seem fixed in your ideas at all ;)

I agree on Puft's comment - very interesting. It has the ring of truth.

As to Foucault, I read his Archeology of Knowledge in college but don't remember much except I did not agree with him. I still have the book on the shelf, maybe I'll check it out if time permits.

Jack said:

Aerospace.

You'll have to put up some links.

jacob said:

Marshmallow,
A quick question. Do you believe that any philosophical system is not predicated upon a set of assumptions? You speak of 'reason'. OK, what does this mean to you? Is it an assumptionless state?

Kevin said:

Don't take the bait, SPMM. I don't know what he's up to but I don't like it. Heh heh.

Aerospace. . .hmmm. I hadn't factored that into the equation but now I recall you stating that you were a "rocket scientist".

Crap. Give me some time to come up with something worthwhile. If I can't, I'll readily admit it. In the mean time let's agree on a set of assumptions. . .

jacob said:

Do take the bait Marshmallow. Please, throw us both into the briar patch!! Take the bait! You'll like it.

Kevin,
To agree on a set of assumptions with someone else is one of the more difficult things one can do. Hmmmm. Difficult, I retract that. Bloody near impossible in some cases. It is what makes us all different.

stay puft marshmallow man said:

I was talking about groups in society who assume that their assumptions are correct and that others are invalid.

ok. you can call reason a set of assumptions. By calling liberals crazy, it's assuming that there is one correct set of assumptions (which conveniently happens to be the same set assumed by the person calling the other sets unreasonable).

Cold hard logic is good at getting things to orbit the planet or making the internets work, but Jack might be trying to apply the same logical "assumptions" that allow rockets to fly to all of existence. "Physics is a logical, ordered discipline, so we should assume that human behavior and everything else is as well."

Well, I'd love for Jack to be the one to discover The Unified Theory. But from what I understand, things start to get weird at the edge of physics. The rigid logic starts to bend, One thing can be in two places at the same time, and the observer will see what the observer is looking for.

Jack said:

Puffalump -- it is clear you do not have any concept of Quantum Mechanics. If you really want an explanation for a layman, I'll be happy to provide it over a mug 'o Kevin's latest brew.

You have now gotten to the point of calling reason "a set of assumptions." It is not. Reason is a method of tying facts together. For instance, my pad of sticky-notes is yellow, therefore ALL sticky-notes are yellow, is not a faulty assumption, but faulty reasoning.

Reason, once learned, can be applied to any situation for which there is sufficient data. With human behavior, there is generally insufficient data. However, at a macro level, some human behavior can be predicted. For instance, we know that many people are bereft of reason, and so will vote for socialists who call themselves "Democrats." :-)

Macro-Economics and Political "Science" are studies in "pseudo-science" that try to explain, model, and predict group behavior.

As for the unified Field Theory, I think we have to deal with Quantum Gravity first.

stay puft said:

I think Jacob called reason a set of assumptions. I wanted to see where he was going with that.

I agree with your explanation of reason. It doesn't mean that there is One Reason. As you indicate, reason is a learned thing, which can be applied to other situations. So one's reasoning is informed by one's experience.

I think it's generally the case with the physical sciences that there can only be one outcome for some thing. Like, if you close the circuit, the light bulb glows. Having grown accustom to this level of certainty, it is understandable that you would apply such Reasoning to other aspects of the world we live in. So there is only one reasonable religion, only one reasonably sexual orientation, only one reasonable stance on a host of social issues. ...your experience, as a student of physics, informs your reasoning.

for the quantum stuff, I was referring to that wave-particle duality and probability waves and the ol' double slit experiment and the ol' Schroedinger's cat and all that good stuff.

jacob said:

Marshmallow,
I have never called liberals in general crazy, I have called a particular individual so, after they asked/begged for it. Einstein did define insanity as doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different out come. I have not seen too much insanity here on your part, but, you could be just fooling me up to now.

My point in this is that you have implied in your arguments in the past, on more than one occasion, that you use 'reason' and those who are opposed to you in lets say the abortion debate are operating on 'faith'.

I saw huge gaps in that logic stream and so I posed the question.

Your responce, that I am calling reason a set of assumption is incorrect. Try reading what I said again.

All of us do start with a set of assumption and the manner in which we then assemble those facts is 'reason'. Some patterns of reasoning are less cogent than others.

When we apply observed facts and seek repeatable results, in order to explain a dynamical system of some sort, that is called the scientific method.

Some facts are based upon observations, or, upon observing things that are not quite quantifiable in the numerical sense. Examples of this are good, evil, insanity, bravery, beaty, art. All, while observble, defy indisputable numerical description.

Some assumption are some are based on raw intuition. Since no one is omniscient, we all make such intuitive hypotheses/assumtions.

Even you.

zimzo said:

Sorry, but I never asked/begged to be called crazy. Nor did I ask you to repeatedly call me a liar. You decided to do that on your own after I caught you in numerous mistakes, such as claiming that John Edwards had said he communed with the dead, that "more Republican Senators than Democrats voted for the Voting Rights Act of 1965," claimed Eisenhower and not Truman integrated the military, said Rove had nothing to do with Atwater (he worked for him), claimed ENDA would require religious institutions to hire gays (it doesn't) and the list goes on.

When you are losing an argument or you are exposed as misrepresenting the truth, you seem to resort to ad hominem attacks. I think it is possible to have a civil discussion on points we disagree on and I will continue to call you out when you present untruths as "facts" but it really doesn't help your arguments when you refer to someone as crazy or a liar. And that goes for Joe and Jack, too. And Jack I give you credit for rising to my challenge on the death penalty and surprising me by actually having an open mind for once. I hope this trend continues.

Jack said:

I must admit that much of my support for the death penalty is not based on logic, but emotion. When two men kidnap, rape, and murder a 14-year-old boy, I do not want them in prison for life, I want them in Hell forever.

jacob said:

Zimzo,
You are a gem. While you have never asked to be called a loon, your behvior in the past begs the question.

To wit: you are outraged when those who support abortion are compared to National Socialists, but, its OK to compare those who support ending illegal immigration to the KKK. Sauce for the goose, is sauce for the gander. And boy do you like to use the KKK/race sauce. You use that card every chance you get. You want to tell me otherwise?

This is holding me to a far higher standard than you hold yourself to. The usual reasons for this sort of double standard are either a. you are dishonest, and use this is a simple debating trick to put people on the defensive, or, b. you do not realise you do this because you are either crazy, or unaware.

Jack usually opts for dihonest I usally opt for crazy. Unaware is not really a choice in your case because we have pointed this double standard out numerous times. BTW, Joe usually opts for weasily.

This is a bed you have made for yourself. You don't like it? Good, then there is hope for you. I would prefer less rancour, but, if you insist (implicitely by your actions) I am ready to return to the trenches.

As for you inncorrect asserion regarding Edwards, he did commune with a dead boy in in a court room. Go look it up. Really.

A question: Have you EVER admitted to being factually/philosophically wrong on this blog? If so please point it out. I may have a stroke, so this should be reason enough for you to go look for this cosmic event.

Joe, Jack and myself have admitted to being wrong. As have SPMM and Kevin. But not you. Why are you so speacial and infallible. You remind me of a small boy in this regard, because men admit their mistakes but boys never do.

I have called you a liar. Probably three of four (maybe 5) times, go look it up. Jack and Joe do so continously not because you "point out our innacuracies" (I love the world you live in) but becasue you refuse to answer questions, and simple ones at that. Why? It looks like you duck these questons because you will have to then concede a point. Do you think we don't notice?

As for ad hominem attack, look up the passage on casting the first stone. You have some nerve to complain about this. I have said before, "heal thyself". Well(But), I have to admire you bringing it up. I like nerve.

zimzo said:

I never compared "those who support ending illegal immigration to the KKK." So your basis for calling me crazy and/or a liar is something you've invented out of this air. I wonder what most people would say about someone who imagines something and thinks it's true or just makes something up and says it's true.

I already corrected you on your Edwards mistake. Again I'm at a loss for words to describe someone who imagines something and thinks it's true or just makes something up and says it's true. There must be words in English for someone who does but I just can't think of what they might be.

I'm just going to copy my correction from the last time you made this mistake. You couldn't even get the sex of the child right this time:

Edwards won a malpractice case for a little girl who suffered brain damage and quadraplegia during birth. In his summation he said, referring to the girl, who was alive, "I have to tell you right now -- I didn't plan to talk about this -- right now I feel her, I feel her presence. She's inside me and she's talking to you ... And this is what she says to you. She says, 'I don't ask for your pity. What I ask for is your strength. And I don't ask for your sympathy, but I do ask for your courage." Hardly communing with the dead.

I have admitted mistakes when I have made them. Please give me an example of a mistake I have made that I have not owned up to and I will. And you keep bringing up this question thing. I don't usually reply to anything Jack says for reasons I have outlined many times before. So what questions have I not answered? Now is your chance. Ask away.

stay puft said:

"Since no one is omniscient, we all make such intuitive hypotheses/assumtions.

Even you."

Eureka! I think this is the underlying theme of 99.9% of everything I've ever posted here!

Jack said:

That explains why you're a liberal: 99.9% of your opinions are based on intuitive hypothoses/assumptions, and 0.1% are based on facts and logic.

jacob said:

Marshmallow,
OK. Jacks exquisite sarcasm aside; I have not really gotten that impression from you. I kinda see it now that you write(profess?) it. Then I also see combativeness and rigidity, along with some tired mantras. I am sure you can say the same. Who knows we might agree on some more things as we go along. It will be a trip regardless.

Go pick a topic. We need a new posting.

Actually, you had nothing to say/write regarding my earlier posting 'Red Nanny'.
http://www.novatownhall.com/blog/2007/04/red_nanny.php


Jack,
You are a Baaaaaad boy. And so am I, I read your stupid comment, and I keep smirking. Incorrigible. Utterly Incorrigible.

stay puft said:

well Jack, if you want to be logical, I said that 99.9% of my posts have been on the theme that, "no one is omniscient, we all make such intuitive hypotheses/assumptions"

It does not follow that 99.9% of my opinions are based on intuition. That, my dear, is an assumption.

I can forgive this lapse in your ability to Reason (note the capital R). It's probably the alzheimer's


Jacob,

re: "no one is omniscient,"
You haven't gotten that impression? seriously? When I argued that no one ought to force others to accept their ideas of the moment life begins, or tell other people who they can marry, I was making the point that people need to make their own damned decisions, because no one knows The One True Way (note the capital T, O, T, & W). "No one can say, this is a Sin because God says so" without making all kinda assumptions.

When I see conservatives say, "gay is wrong" "abortion is evil" "this war is right" etc., I see a faction of our country who has gotten the impression that they have access to a set of universal Truths, and that they believe it is their duty to make the rest of society comply.

I think that kind of thinking has a bad track record. It's the same thought process the islamists use. Also, used to be in China that you'd be committed for disagreeing with the Party because It only acted on solid, irrefutable science, so to disagree with the Party was a sign of insanity (who does that sound like?)

Jack said:

Fine, puffalump. If 99.9% of your posts are on the same theme, perhaps you can intuit why people find your conversation boring.

Of course no-one is omnicient. Should we then ignore the facts that are presented to us? You certainly do.

Let's go back to the abortion debate. You ignored me there, and I am sure you will ignore me here, too. Life does not BEGIN. The sperm and unfertilized egg are alive. They cannot, separately, become a human being. When they combine inside a woman, then barring accident or malice, the fertilized egg WILL be a human, by YOUR definition of human, one year from now. You, too, will be a human a year from now, barring accident or malice. If someone takes an action that directly results in your not being alive a year from now, is that not murder?

On school funding, you insist we need more money, when the facts clearly show that money is not the problem.

On gun control, you insist that we need more gun control, when the facts clearly show that the problem is the people, not the guns.

We call one who ignores the facts an IGNORAMUS.

Yes, puffalump, we DO know The One True Way -- that is Jesus. There are a whole lot of very logical reasons for that, too. If you do not know the way, then there is no more important issue than to find it. Your eternal soul depends on it. (Yes, it is even logical to conclude we have one.) Agnostic, BTW, is greek for IGNORAMUS.

stay puft said:

Jack,

You think my posts are boring? You sure spend enough time reading them!

Please stop insisting that I ignore the facts. It is not true, and your insistence on repeating such inaccurate statements poses a constant threat to Reasonable (note the capital R) discussion.

I will address these accusations now. I don't think I'll bother next time, so please bookmark this post for future reference.

Gun Control: There is evidence (facts) to support both sides of the debate. Having said that, I have never here advocated for a ban on guns, as you have implied several times. Furthermore, you have repeatedly failed to provide real facts on this topic. When asked to show some facts that back up your claims, you say, "England." Yes, England is a country, go on...

Abortion: With all due respect, I think your concept of "human" is absurd.

As I've said before, you confuse being with potential to become. If an egg + a sperm should be considered human because it will become a human (baring accident), than an egg with a sperm swimming toward it should as well. As should the glint in the eye of some guy in a bar --baring accident or outside interference, it can become a person!

If a seven-month-old fetus is born, it has a chance of surviving in the world. If a fertilized egg is removed from the ovaries, would it survive? In my opinion, by insisting that an egg with a sperm in it is the same as a human being, you are redefining (and lowering the bar some what) the term "human being."

School Funding: We have discussed this one time, and you have repeatedly refered to this conversation rather than engaging in discussion of other issues. Your statements have been along the lines of, "You think inner city schools are underfunded, therefore everything you say is based on incorrect information"

In fact, inner city schools don't have the money they need. Just talk to a teacher. Maybe school systems are receiving money. It isn't getting to the classrooms. Lots of schools don't have enough books, paper, pencils, etc. Teachers are put in a position of providing these things out-of-pocket.

You found a nice chart from the Dept. of Ed. that showed that Detroit P.S.S. was more dependent on federal funds than any other public school system in the state. Where's the money going? I don't know. I'm not doing investigative journalism on this issue. I can say that it's tending not to get to the classrooms, which in Fact do need more money.

Religion: Are you seriously trying to argue that I am "ignoring the facts" by not being a Christian? Watch yourself!

Jews believe that when someone dies their body must be kept intact in order for them to get into heaven. Hindus believe that it must be cremated. Do you believe that applied logic can conclude that one belief is Correct and the other is logically inconsistent? Please show me a book (other than Mein Kampf, I don't read german) that points out the logical inconsistencies of Other religions.

If you can reasonably conclude that Jesus is the One True Way, then you have no faith.

As I've said before, I think you tend top begin with the conclusion and fill in the Facts afterward. You have to conclude that Christianity is the true religion, so you only look at stuff that leads you to that conclusion. In the same way, you have to conclude that abortion and gay marriage are wrong, so you look for "facts" that will deliver you to your desired conclusion.

So please stop acting like I'm "ignoring the facts." It's an accusation that is both tired and false. ...and arguably hypocritical as well.

Jack said:

Puffalump:

Obviously, you do NOT read my posts, or you would know that I have presented quite a bit of data comparing crime rates (including the murder rates) here and in the other English-speaking nations.

I was using YOUR concept of human. Anyway, a single sperm cannot get through the egg. Many are required for one to break through. Nonetheless, your argument is exactly why the Catholic Church opposes contraception. Thank you.

If a fertilized egg is in the ovaries, it will die, and the mother will, too. However, a fertilized egg implanted in the womb is another story. Removing it from the womb is malice, the result of which is that next year, a human will not be alive that very likely would have been. That is murder.

School funding: Your solution is to put more money into a failed and corrupt system. Is that logical? Funny how those failed, corrupt systems are run by Democrats and protected by Democrats.

Religion: 'Are you seriously trying to argue that I am "ignoring the facts" by not being a Christian?' YES!!

Hinduism -- last I checked they believed that the earth was supported on hte backs of eight elephants which in turn stood on a turtle. Most logical.

Faith is not required to believe. If I let go of a hammer, I believe it will fall. Faith is necessary to do what seems impossible, and to trust (have faith in) God to help you achieve that impossibility.

I did not start with the conclusion that Christianity is the true religion. The fate of one's soul is the most important question. I studied several religions for many years, and only became a Christian in my 20's. I also believed that abortion was not wrong, and that homosexual sex was OK. Two friend of mine in high school were gay. A good friend of my wife's was, too. He died of AIDS a few years ago.

I have changed my opinion on things in the past, and will continue to do so. I have seen no indication that you are influenced by facts or logic.

stay puft said:

-I've only discussed gun laws one time with you, and over the course of about a week you failed to provide any studies or evidence beyond your own statement that crime was high in England because they have fewer guns (an assumption)

-you most certainly were NOT using my concept of human life, thank you very much. It does seem like you're twisting the meaning of the word "murder"

-That is one more reason why I am not a catholic

-I've said what I've said about education and funding. The money isn't in the classrooms. Like I've said, I don't know every detail about this. You blame Democrats, but given that you are in fact the Boy who Cried Democrat, I'm not very inclined to believe you.

-re: religion: you're an ass. Look at your own silly creation myth. In other words, take the log out of your own eye!

-"I have seen no indication that you are influenced by facts or logic."

coming from you, that means... practically nothing. For all your talk of your evidence-based reasoning and logic, it's been a long time since I've seen you contribute anything meaningful to a discussion. I don't have any more time to devote to this pointlessness right now

Jack said:

Let's look at the gun control issue for a moment. The U.K. implements draconian gun control, and the crime rates go up (including gun crime): http://www.reason.com/news/show/28582.html

Australia implemented draconian gun control, and the crime rates continued to go up: http://www.gunsandcrime.org/auresult.html

Canada implemented gun control (not as draconian as the U.K. and Australia) and their crime rates remained steady: http://www.statcan.ca/english/freepub/85-002-XIE/0050585-002-XIE.pdf

The violent crime rates in Canada are twice as high as those in the U.S. The murder rate for Whites is the same here as in Canada. The murder rates in Australia and the U.K. are even with Canada's, too.

The conclusion is that the gun control measures did not do anything in Canada and Australia, and may have been counterproductive in the U.K. Either despite or because of the proliferation of guns in the U.S., we are safer. What's your explanation?


To the abortion question:

I am using your definition of "human," unless you think a three-month-old baby is not human. An abortion results in a human's NOT being alive that otherwise would be. Answer the following question, which I have posed before, but which you refuse to answer:

If someone takes an action that directly results in YOUR not being alive next year, is that not murder?


On to the inner-city school funding:

Fairfax County spends about the same per pupil as Richmond:
http://www.pen.k12.va.us/VDOE/RichmondCityReport.pdf
http://www.fcps.k12.va.us/fs/budget/brochures/highlights06.pdf

Where would you rather send your children?

If not Democrats (who control the School Boards, the city governments, and the NEA, and who make up the bulk of the parents), who is responsible for the failure of the inner-city schools?


Moving on to Religion:

A point of agreement at last! I am an ass. However, my being an ass has nothing to do with the subject.

As for the "silly creation myth," stellar evolution theory tells us that light DOES precede the nuclear fusion that makes a star a star. That "silly creation myth" actually got it right!

"it's been a long time since I've seen you contribute anything meaningful to a discussion"

I am sorry you find nothing meaningful in the facts I have presented.

Kevin said:

Jack, why do you refuse to cede the point or factor into your equation that gun bans or restrictions are put into place in response to rising crime levels?

Seriously, argue furiously that the ban did no good.

Why you continue to argue that bans cause increases in crime is beyond me, other than that it doesn't fit in with your Gestalt on guns.

Jack said:

I cede that point, even if the "rising crime levels" are only imaginary, as with the Clinton Assault Weapons Ban.

Will you cede the point that such bans do not work?

The crime rate in the U.K. ACCELERATED after the gun ban. Elsewhere, it has been worthless, save to disarm the victims. Meanwhile, with the loosening of the gun restrictions in the U.S., our crime rate has dropped, and our violent crime rate is half the Canadian rate.

What's your explanation for that?

Kevin said:

"Will you cede the point that such bans do not work?" I believe I've said as much. . . I don't think I've read one thing that has convinced me that banning guns has ANY effect on violent or gun related crime. I think that is where our disagreement lies.

I honestly don't know enough to know how gun restrictions have been "loosened" here in the States. I would imagine that some states, over others, have different levels of crime, possibly even irrespective or even independent from their gun laws, rather than an FBI report that says, on average for the country, violent crime is down, and then suddenly attributing it to a general "loosening" of gun laws. But I don't know much about anything anyways.

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