Category Archives: Social Issues


It’s real.  Too real.

Some stats:

• 1 out of 4 teens are Bullied.
9 out of 10 LGBT students experienced harassment at school and online.
• As many as 160,000 students stay home on any given day because they’re afraid of being bullied.
• 1 out of 5 kids admits to being a bully, or doing some “Bullying.”
• 43% fear harassment in the bathroom at school.
• A poll of teens ages 12-17 proved that they think violence increased at their schools.
• 282,000 students are physically attacked in secondary schools each month.
• More youth violence occurs on school grounds as opposed to on the way to school.
• 80% of the time, an argument with a bully will end up in a physical fight.
• 1/3 of students surveyed said they heard another student threaten to kill someone.
• 2 out of 3 say they know how to make a bomb, or know where to get the information to do it.
• Playground statistics – Every 7 minutes a child is bullied. Adult intervention -4% Peer intervention – 11%. No intervention –   85%.

Cyber Bullying Statistics

• 43% of kids have been bullied while online. 1 in 4 have had it happen more than once.
• 97% of middle schoolers are bullied while onine.
• 47% of of older youth 18-24 are cyberbullied.
• 35% of kids have been threatened online. Nearly 1 in 5 have had it happen more than once.
• 21% of kids have received mean or threatening e-mail or other messages.
• 58% of kids admit someone has said mean or hurtful things to them online. More than 4 out of 10 say it has happened more   than   once.
• 53% of kids admit having said something mean or hurtful to another person online. More than 1 in 3 have  done it more than   once.
• 58% have not told their parents or an adult about something mean or hurtful that happened to them online.


Jim C. Hines:

1. Bullying is not okay. Period.
2. Freedom of religion does not give you the right to physically or verbally assault people.
3. If your sincerely-held religious beliefs require you to bully children, then your beliefs are fucked up.


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Eight-Grader Battles Bullying

I despise bullies of all kinds, be they teenagers tormenting classmates in a schoolyard or adults spreading their particular brand of venom on the Internet. Vicious attempts at power control by way of abuse – verbal, written or physical – is rooted in the bully’s inability to empathize with their victims. I’m not sure much can be done with the adult version of these weak-minded degenerates but maybe teenage victims like Alye Pollack can make a difference with younger people.  I surely hope so.


A Thought on Politicians and Monogamy

Gail Collins asks an interesting question.

The presidential race is barely under way, but already we have had our first Big Thought. I am speaking, of course, of Newt Gingrich’s suggestion that he was driven into serial adultery by hard work and patriotism.


Gingrich is asked about his personal life more often than most politicians. If you’re on your third wife, cheated perpetually on the first two, and are running for the Republican presidential nomination as a social conservative, these things come up.


People, can we all agree now that men who spend their early and middle ages betraying women right and left are not allowed to get credit for discovering the joys of monogamy at about the same time that they receive their first Social Security check?

Agreed…and more so when their moral awakening just happens to coincide with their need to attract the support of social conservatives in their bid to become President.


Facebook Love Gone Amok

If the parents don’t soon regret this momentary act of joyful insanity, no doubt the child will the first time a classmate makes a friend request.

A young man in his twenties wanted to express his gratitude about the victories [in Egypt] the youth of 25th of January have achieved and chose to express it in the form of naming his firstborn girl “Facebook” Jamal Ibrahim (his name.) The girl’s family, friends, and neighbors in the Ibrahimya region gathered around the new born to express their continuing support for the revolution that started on Facebook. “Facebook” received many gifts from the youth who were overjoyed by her arrival and the new name. A name [Facebook] that shocked the entire world.

I imagine it could have been worse.  He could have named her Google Jamal Ibrahim.


Republicans Redefine “Rape”


Janine discusses Republican plans to redefine rape.


House Speaker John Boehner is introducing legislation in the House via  Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) to terminate federal funding for abortions for women who become pregnant by rape or incest. Mother Jones has a great article that discusses how the bill will impact federal funding for abortions and the end of a truce between pro and anti abortion activists on the matter of funding. I’ll look specifically at the rape redefinition portion of the bill.

Lucas Spiegel, writing on why definitions of key words matter…

“The way we define a given word, and more specifically, who does the defining, has an enormous impact on how we think about that word and what it represents. It also dictates the nature of our relationship to the thing or concept the word symbolizes. This could not be more true for the word rape.”

I agree.

This bill wants to redefine rape and limit its scope to “forcible rape.” While the bill uses tax funded abortions as it’s cover, it’s effect is to impose a new definition of rape onto the States. Thus, John Boehner and his GOP cadre want to ransack and pillage the individual State defined rape laws.

I am of the opinion that rape, by its very nature, is forcible.  Sometimes brute force is used; sometimes force of another kind is used by feeding drugs to the victim to make them less resistant.  Other times persons in authority take advantage of the mind of a younger person and then insidiously rape them.

Victims of rape are violated and invaded; their very sense of self is damaged.  What John Boehner wants to do is victimize them further by taking away choices for them to obtain assistance after being victimized.  The bill would, in essence, force a woman who was drugged and raped, and who may be economically struggling, to bear her rapist’s child.

Sexual assault agencies, first responders and pro-choice activists are opposed to any bill which does not include in the definition all the different types of rape. The GOP speciously counters that concern by saying they are only redefining rape as it applies to federal government monies used for abortions.  This is yet another short sighted and slight-of-hand position by the GOP because if this bill somehow makes it into law then States will be forced to litigate it at the State level and then take it up before the Supreme Court to protect that State’s definition of rape.  The GOP does not consider the public money that will be spent by States and then by the Federal Government in litigating the provisions of this bill.

At it’s core what this bill is not about is terminating federal funding of some abortions. It’s about sneaking in the back door to limit Roe v Wade.