Monday, August 11, 2014

RIP Robin Williams

Oof -- this is terrible. Robin Williams, what an amazing talent.

We'll keep it simple. The President's words:
Robin Williams was an airman, a doctor, a genie, a nanny, a president, a professor, a bangarang Peter Pan, and everything in between. But he was one of a kind. He arrived in our lives as an alien – but he ended up touching every element of the human spirit. He made us laugh. He made us cry. He gave his immeasurable talent freely and generously to those who needed it most – from our troops stationed abroad to the marginalized on our own streets. The Obama family offers our condolences to Robin’s family, his friends, and everyone who found their voice and their verse thanks to Robin Williams.

Statement by the President on the Passing of Robin Williams


13 Comments:

Anonymous Robert said...

Heatbreaking.

August 12, 2014 10:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Robin Williams as troops "Retreat" at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait

August 13, 2014 8:07 AM  
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August 20, 2014 1:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2014/08/21/the-nasty-brutish-world-of-richard-dawkins/

August 22, 2014 10:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Between 2007 and 2012, Colorado saw the highest percentage drop in birth rates among teens 15 to 19 in the country.

In fact, in less than five years, the Colorado teen birth rate declined by a staggering 40%. And there have been plenty of other benefits, too.

What’s the reason for this decline?

For the answer, we need to go back to 2008, when an anonymous donor made a $23 million, five-year commitment to provide long-acting reversible contraception such as intrauterine devices or implants for low-income women who needed them, for free or at very low cost.

Thus began the Colorado Family Planning Initiative, which provided more than 30,000 IUDs or implants to women served by the state’s 68 family-planning clinics.

“We really strongly believe that adolescents need access to contraception,” says Liz Romer, a family planning nurse at Denver Children’s Hospital.

“It needs to be readily available, the same day, and it needs to be free.”

So there you have it: give young women access to contraception at little or no cost, and they will make a reasoned, mature decision about their own bodies.

The type of birth control is also important.

“With an implant or an IUD, if someone wants it out, we take it out, but once it’s in and they have to make an appointment to take it out, they really have to think, ‘OK, do I want a baby now, really?’” says Dr. Stephanie Teal, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s medical director of Family Planning. “As opposed to the pill, you basically have to decide every single day, ‘Do I want to be not pregnant?’ And some days, you might want to be pregnant.”

U.S. Teen Birth Rates Dropping

The reality is that teen birth rates in the U.S. have been dropping for some time, for all groups and in all states. Since 1991, the decline has been especially pronounced (63 percent) for African American teens age 15 to 19, according to a survey and study of teen births from 1940 to 2013 published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics.

Even though the population has grown, the decreasing rate means far fewer babies are being born to American teens now than at any time in the past 75 years. Back in the 1970s, teenagers gave birth to around 650,000 babies each year; last year, that number came in around 275,000.

While the U.S. birth rate for teenagers is decreasing across the country, Colorado has seen a quicker drop: between 2008-2012, it jumped from 29th-lowest teen birth rate in the nation to the 19th lowest.

Greta Klingler, the director of the Colorado program, was stunned when she got the first results back about how the initiative was working. “The demographer whom I worked with on the analysis of the data kept coming into my office and saying, ‘Look at this, I’ve never seen this before.’” Klingler says.

Even More Benefits

The Colorado program has also brought all sorts of other benefits. Teenagers visiting the clinics to take advantage of the contraceptive scheme also receive regular medical checkups, and information about many more topics, including the risks of and ways to prevent STDs.

Those involved in the project say it is showing the rest of the country the huge benefits of offering birth control for free — to public health and to the economy — both in savings to government-funded healthcare schemes and gained productivity of those who did not get pregnant as teenagers.

While the program has meant a better life for many Colorado women, it has also resulted in saving a lot of money. State officials report that programs like Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), which provide education and support to low-income families, have seen nearly a quarter fewer cases, and the state suggests a savings of more than $40 million in expenditures associated with teenage births.

Other states are certainly taking notice of what Colorado has achieved. But could it happen across the country? There was opposition to this scheme in Colorado, but this was overcome because the program relied on private money.

August 27, 2014 8:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Since 1991, the decline has been especially pronounced"

the decline's beginning coincided with the rise of abstinence programs nationwide

not surprising

August 27, 2014 1:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Since 1991, the decline has been especially pronounced" "(63 percent) for African American teens age 15 to 19, according to a survey and study of teen births from 1940 to 2013 published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics.

Even though the population has grown, the decreasing rate means far fewer babies are being born to American teens now than at any time in the past 75 years."

Not during the Bush years, Anonymous, but "now" during the Obama years.

Why does Colorado have a teen birth rate that has declined by 40%, the highest percentage drop among teens 15-19 between 2007 and 2012?

"For the answer, we need to go back to 2008, when an anonymous donor made a $23 million, five-year commitment to provide long-acting reversible contraception such as intrauterine devices or implants for low-income women who needed them, for free or at very low cost."

ACA: 22 Covered Preventive Services for Women, Including Pregnant Women

"...9. Contraception: Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling, not including abortifacient drugs*"

August 28, 2014 8:35 AM  
Anonymous real facts said...

actually, teen pregnancy rates began their decline in 91

Obama became President in 2008

there may be some more specific dynamics in Colorado but, nationally, the birth rate decline coincided precisely with the spread of abstinence programs

indeed, the decline has mostly halted in recent years as an intense campaign from the liberal/media/gay complex has engaged

August 28, 2014 9:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"the decline has mostly halted in recent years"

Wrong!

Teen pregnancy and abortion rates drop to new lows

MAY 05, 2014

"Here’s some good news on the teen pregnancy front: Rates are continuing to fall, dropping 15 percent in two years, from 2008 to 2010, and down 51 percent from their 1990 peak, according to a report released Monday from the Guttmacher Institute, a non-profit reproductive health organization.

In 2010, about 614,000 pregnancies occurred among teenage women ages 15 to 19 — for a rate of 57.4 pregnancies per 1,000 women — which is about half the 1.3 million pregnancies that occured in 1990. The teen abortion rate declined 66 percent between its 1988 peak and 2010 (from 43.5 abortions per 1,000 to 14.7 per 1,000).


Massachusetts was among states with the lowest teen pregnancy rates: The state, along with Maine, was tied for fourth-lowest in the nation with a pregnancy rate of 37 per 1,000 women. New Hampshire had the lowest rate among states with 28 per 1,000 followed by Vermont with 32 per 1,000.

New Mexico had the highest teen pregnancy rate of 80 per 1,000 followed by Mississippi, Texas, and Arkansas.

While pregnancy rates dropped among older teens, more reported having sex, which the study authors said suggested improved contraceptive use and use of more effective methods.

“Other reports had already demonstrated sustained declines in births among teens in the past few years,” study leader Kathryn Kost said in a statement. “But now we know that this is due to the fact that fewer teens are becoming pregnant in the first place. It appears that efforts to ensure teens can access the information and contraceptive services they need to prevent unwanted pregnancies are paying off.”"

August 30, 2014 11:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Wrong!"

actually, right

the last post is so disingenuous as to be, essentially, deceit

and deceit with malicious intent

virtually all of the drop occurred between 1991 and 2005

true, after flattening from 2005 to 2009, it has slightly declined since

around 91, abstinence programs were catching on across the country

around 2005, a-holes like TTF were aggressively promoting the message that parents expect teens to have sex

it's all coincidence, right?

sure it is

here's a link to CDC, a more objective source than Guttmacher

Guttmacher is an advocacy group

http://www.cdc.gov/teenpregnancy/aboutteenpreg.htm

August 30, 2014 1:55 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

From the Fairax County Public Schools website discussing new mental health trainings or staff:

"An additional optional course is available to help concerned adults support youth who may be struggling due to harassment or exclusion related to sexual identity, sexual orientation, or other differences."

August 31, 2014 12:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"here's a link to CDC, a more objective source than Guttmacher

Guttmacher is an advocacy group

http://www.cdc.gov/teenpregnancy/aboutteenpreg.htm"


Did you bother reading what the CDC reported? Do you see something about "after flattening from 2005 to 2009, it has slightly declined since?"

I sure don't. You really need to work on your reading comprehension.

What the CDC data shows is that there was actually a slight bump up in the teen live birth rate in 2007-9 before that rate slowed to what in 2012 was "a record low for U.S. teens in this age group (15-19 years)."

"In 2012, a total of 305,388 babies were born to women aged 15–19 years, for a live birth rate of 29.4 per 1,000 women in this age group. This is a record low for U.S. teens in this age group, and a drop of 6% from 2011. Birth rates fell 8% for women aged 15–17 years, and 5% for women aged 18–19 years. While reasons for the declines are not clear, teens seem to be less sexually active, and more of those who are sexually active seem to be using birth control than in previous years."

Check out the data from the CDC graph and you will see the data proving that during the Bush years, there was an increase in the teen birth rate for all demographic groups as follows:

Teen Birth Rate -- live births per 1,000:

1991: 61.8
2005: 39.7
2007: 41.5
2009: 40.2

2010: 34.2
2011: 31.3
2012: 29.4

The teen pregnancy rates during Obama's term are continuing to fall and have so far set record lows.

The CDC suggests:

CDC Priority: Reducing Teen Pregnancy and Promoting Health Equity Among Youth
Teen pregnancy prevention is one of CDC’s top six priorities, a “winnable battle” in public health, and of paramount importance to health and quality of life for our youth. Evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention programs typically address specific protective factors on the basis of knowledge, skills, beliefs, or attitudes related to teen pregnancy.

1. Knowledge of sexual issues, HIV, other STDs, and pregnancy (including methods of prevention).
2. Perception of HIV risk.
3. Personal values about sex and abstinence.
4. Attitudes toward condoms (pro and con).
5. Perception of peer norms and sexual behavior.
6. Individual ability to refuse sex and to use condoms.
7. Intent to abstain from sex or limit number of partners.
8. Communication with parents or other adults about sex, condoms, and contraception.
9. Individual ability to avoid HIV/STD risk and risk behaviors.
10. Avoidance of places and situations that might lead to sex.
11. Intent to use a condom.

In addition to evidence-based prevention programs, teens need access to youth-friendly clinical services. Parents and other trusted adults also play an important role in helping teens make healthy choices about relationships, sex, and birth control. Learn about what CDC and other federal agencies are doing to reduce teen pregnancy.

August 31, 2014 3:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't forget these fun-filled facts from 2005:

"Pledging [virginity until holy matrimony] will help them delay sex for, say, 18 months — a year and a half," says Bearman. "It's a big deal in the lives of teenagers. Eighteen months is a phenomenally long time. It's almost two school years."

So what's the downside?

"The downside is that, when they have sex, pledgers are one-third less likely to use condoms at first sex," says Bearman. "So all of the benefit of the delay in terms of pregnancy-risk and in terms of STD acquisition -- poof -- it just disappears because they're so much less likely to use a condom at first sex."

Not only are kids who take virginity pledges just as likely to have sexually transmitted diseases as kids who don't, but they are even more likely to engage in high-risk sexual behavior. This finding - something that really surprised Bearman -- appeared two months ago in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

"Adolescents who take virginity pledges – who remain virgins, that is, who don't have vaginal sex, who technically remain virgins, are much more likely to have oral and anal sex," says Bearman.

"They're not thinking they're having sex?" asks Bradley.

"Well, if they are trying to preserve their virginity, their technical virginity by having oral or anal sex, then obviously they're defining these behaviors as not sex," says Bearman.

"So they're probably less likely to get tested for a sexually transmitted disease?" asks Bradley.

"They're much less likely to get tested for a sexually transmitted disease. They've taken a public pledge to remain a virgin until marriage. The sex that they have is much more likely to be hidden," says Bearman. "It's likely to be hidden from their parents. It's likely to be hidden from their peers. And if they live in a small community, it's quite likely to be hidden from their doctor.""


This lines up with the 2 year later jump in the US teen pregnancy rate in 2007 during Bush's term in office.

August 31, 2014 3:40 PM  

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