Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Not Since 1940

Over the last couple of days.....the Center for Disease Control and Prevention came up with this unusual report....that births by teenage girls.....had dropped again.

In fact, they got around to admitting that it's the lowest numbers for teen pregnancy.....since 1940.....when they started collecting data.

Course, along the way.....they had to admit that some states (especially in the south....are still way too high).  But there's this great numbers collection that makes the northeast states look like a pretty puritan type environment.

So what happened here?  The sexual education crowd would like to say that they've crossed the boundary and made a difference.

I've sat and pondered over things.  There's this funny economic thing that has occurred over the past six years....gas prices have gone up and the economic security of families have gone off into a ditch.  We've got this issue where teens are showing up on a Friday afternoon at Dad's chair, and hoping he'll front forty bucks for gas.  That will barely buy twelve gallons of gas.  The odds of going out for both Friday and Saturday night?  Zero.  You get one shot out....at best.  Toss in increased costs for movies, food, and 'fun'.....you've got a problem for teenagers.

Gas at $5 a gallon....I'd make a guess that the pregnancy rate would drop another percentage point or two. Gas at $6 a gallon....maybe five to eight percentage points.

We aren't talking about the rates of 1970 here....it's the rate for 1940....before World War II started.

For the folks talking about more government funding.....the truth is that we might be at a point where gas prices mean more than a $2 billion-dollar government grant to various education programs across the US.

Simply Observations

After this big mess with the GSA conference stuff in Vegas over the last week....the GSA folks woke up and decided that this one-day vendor show that they were sponsoring at the end of April.....was not a good idea. So they've cancelled the event.  The amusing side to this....which they won't admit in public?  They had to put down a security deposit, and I'm pretty sure that this bucket of money...figure a minimum of $10k....is gone.  It might even be as much as $100k....but I'm pretty sure that you will never know what they gave up on this cancellation.

The Latino guy....Zimmerman...in this Florida episode....has kind of disappeared over the last couple of days.  No one can say for sure they know where he is.  Me personally.....if I were the guy.....I'd be in a state of constant fear that someone will recognize me and I might be assaulted.  Even if the prosecutor comes to a decision not to charge him.....he will have to watch his back for the rest of his life.  You might as well anticipate moving overseas and getting a new name.  Things will never be the same.

There's this tattoo story out of China.  Over the past couple of months....a number of Chinese folks (mostly folks under the age of thirty, I imagine) are getting tattoos with English sayings on them.  It's kind of comical.  I noticed about eight years ago....these Air Force folks getting all these Asian tattoos with Chinese or Korean sayings on them, and I'd ask what the heck they meant, and they'd give you the Chinese saying or the Korean good luck symbol.  So we've come full circle now....with Chinese folks wanting English sayings on their butt.

Finally, a couple of weeks ago in Baltimore....just a stone's throw from my neighborhood....during St. Patrick's Day....there was this attack on this somewhat drunken white guy by a number of blacks.  They lightly beat on him (my belief from the video).....pulled most of his clothing off....and robbed him.  The whole thing was video-tapped and a number of local Baltimore residents felt this should have been classified as a hate crime.  Well....yesterday, the Baltimore city police chief said that he'd reviewed the episode and it just wasn't a hate-crime.  Instead, he called it a "drunken opportunistic criminality."  I sat and watched the clip, and eventually agreed with the police chief.  However, if we are going this way, then we need a fresh new law on the books.....kinda simpler to hate crime legislation.....to outlaw "drunken opportunistic criminality".  In fact, I believe you can use almost all of the hate-crime wording, and substitute "drunken opportunistic criminality" in its place.  I suspect in a hundred years....we will have forty variations of hate-crime laws....and we will wonder how this got started and how it might eventually end.