Talking Points

From today’s TFN News Clips:

“The big message is that when it comes to children’s health, Texas kids are showing many signs that things are getting worse, not better.”

— Dr. Frances Deviney, Texas Kids Count director, discussing a new report that shows Texas has the nation’s third-highest teen birthrate, is experiencing a rise in the number of children living in poverty, and has a higher infant mortality rate. Read the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund’s 2009 report about the dismal state of sex education in Texas public schools.

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12 thoughts on “Talking Points

  1. And neither is Texas a state that teaches sex ed. We’re number 3 in teen births, and number 4 in teen pregnancies.

    Sorry Gordo, but that means Texas IS a nanny state. Teen pregnancies cost Texas taxpayers about $1 billion/year. But I guess that’s peachy-keen to you, huh?

  2. Gordo is “fat” in Spanish and is not an endearing term, under-tall is a more correct somatotype.

    And exactly where does the billion dollar figure come? Might it not be $976,345.25?

    Flinging phoney figuers about is more Rightwing hooey.

  3. Gordie the figure I read last week was a 2005 number. That year the total paid by Medicaid for births in Texas was just shy of $500 million. That covered in the neighborhood of 162,000 births. Teens accounted for about 10% of those births.

    I’m going to take a leap here and assume all those mothers that needed taxpayer assistance when they had babies didn’t suddenly win the big bucks lottery. And so the amount of further assistance required for both mother and child over the next year or 5 or 10 or 18 will be………….well gosh 162K in 2005, another 162K in 2006, another 162K in 2007, not to mention 2004 and 2003 and such……. gee that could start adding up after while. But there’s really nothing that can be done about it because, just like God tapped George Bush on the shoulder and told him to liberate Iraq, God also shoulder-tapped all the good Christians in Texas and told them that abstinence-only sex education is the ticket. Those that don’t agree are either bad Christians or belong to a cult or something.

    That tap on the shoulder Bush claims he received from God? I’ve never been fully convinced that wasn’t a low flying bird dropping some droppings.

  4. “Rightwing hooey”? Gordon, you make SO many assumptions it takes my breath away.

    So make it $976,345.25 if you prefer.

    So according to Gordon, $976,345.25 is mere pocket money. Like I’ve said before, Gordon must be on top of the food chain.

  5. Rightwing hooey invents the numbers needed to prove a point; left wing hooey merely misrepresents the numbers. Decoding Rightwing hooey starts with the assumption that the numbers are bogus until proven otherwise whereas decoding Leftwing hooey is a matter of fieshing out the data filling in the missing parts.

    Plain ordinary malcalculation decoding starts with the statistical inference of the value of one (1) as diffeed from two (2+) or mnre. Is one apple and one banana equal two banapples?

    The data concerning the birth rates cited by James_Breck above make assumptions that the aferbirth expenditues are the same as the original pregnancy. Maybe it is, maybe not. It is imporant to sort out what other programs involving public funds apply. Even then, tracking expenditues by year may reflect the funding and not the costs including non funded. Another cost accounting method is the extended cost per individual or family for the duration of support.

    See also: How to Lie with Statistics, a classic work on the use and misuse of statistics:

  6. Gordon the data I cited comes from the Texas Department of Health website. They do not mention their accounting methods with the data. But regardless of the type of accounting used if 162,000 of women needed financial assistance in 2005 during pregnancy, including not just the birth but prenatal and postnatal care, then unquestionably a large percentage of those women and their new children are going to require further public assistance in the future. You can dispute the actual number of dollars spent all day long but the heart of the matter is that 162,000 taxpayer financed births a year is simply an unacceptable, a number the religious right retards have inflated with their anal retentive abstinence-only sex education nonsense.

    I believe the state of Texas has a responsibility to all Texas taxpayers to be wise custodians of state tax dollars and to do their very best to minimize the number of births by the indigent – preferably through, but not limited to, education and widely available, no hassle low cost or no cost contraceptives.

  7. What is missing in the discussion of why Texas is experiencing a rise in teen births, higher infant mortality rates, chiydren living in poverty, el al according to the report is the demographic data of this population in contrast with state wide demographics.

    The first issue that comes to mind is that these adverse results may be associated with undocumented aliens from the rural poverty stricken parts of Mexico and Central America. In those blighted parts of the world, children are bred to provide labor to work in the fields and to have enough children (6) to ensure that two survive to maintain the population.

    If this is the case, then Medicade and welfare is less relevant than deportation might be. If it is not limited to Hispanics, the adverse infant mortality rates, poverty, etc are homegrown but nevertheless tied to the economic lifestyle.

    It is also possilble that the affected demographic group is not Hispanic, but Auslander Cracker migrating from the Blue States. The geographic distribution throughout Texas might help putting the data in a more informative form. Is it related to the Valley, or to West Texas?

  8. Gordon, your post shows you care more for promoting your own opinion than in learning the real facts.

  9. Comrade Cyto. What “real facts” as stated in the original post makes an inference between lousy sex education and the statistics of low birth weight, poverty, and infant mortality rates. There are other more likely causes than lousy eduction, namely the quality of life of undocumented aliens to start with plus ethnic purging now in vogue in Conservative circles.

    Now it may be that the effects of lousy sex education causes illegal immigration, but I rather doubt it.

    The data offered by James_Breck addresses estimated costs if the medical care provided to the inidgent or other welfare recipient. That data does not deal with the original inference of a connection between lousy education and the adverse birth issues listed in the original post.

    What “real facts” are there to substantiate a causal connection between lousy sex education and the adverse results cited in the original post? And where one might find these alleged “real facts”?

  10. Why do you call me ‘comrade’? What the hell is THAT supposed to mean?

    As for “real facts,” I doubt you’d accept ANY figure presented to you unless it came from a source of which you approve….whatever source that might be.

    You seem to assume only poor teens and undocumented alien teens are having unplanned babies. News flash: white middle class and upper class teens have them too.

    And when did I ever say lousy sex education causes illegal immigration? I never said that.

    But what was your original point anyway? Oh yeah, that “Texas is not a nanny state.” Your statement remains to be proved. But no worries. Again, you’ve rambled and wandered on so much I no longer care.

  11. Personal attacks work well to cover a lack of facts and/or rationality, although that tactic is usually more prevalent on the Relgious Right.

    While it is reasonable to assume that better sex ed, like any form of practical education, would address many of problems reported by the TFN’s findings, it is not a panacea for the whole array of problems listed in the TFN report. Clean water, improved nutrition, and a modicum of better health care have startling impact on birth rates, infant mortality rates, and teen age pregnancies.

    A series of reports on aid to disaadvanted populations in the developing world show that primary education for girls gets the biggest boost for the buck. It outranks the clean water project, and other aid projsests for sustainable improvement of the subject population. Teaching girls to read gives the homemaker the ability to find out what choices there are.

    Microfinance to women, now an established program based out of India, has turned blighted areas into vibrant economies and societies. In many societies, the men are the peacocks requiring prestige building feathers.