Conservative values are not fraud. Does anyone honestly believe that our parents and grandparents were trying to kill us all off by telling us to wait for marriage to have sex? Do you think it was the goal of the Bible most other religious texts to actually promote promiscuity by telling us it was wrong to commit adultery and respect our (now or future) significant others?
Explosive as the aforementioned statement was, the most explosive statements in the narrative were the following: “When [G.W. Bush’s] cherished abstinence programs failed to reduce the rate of teenage births, he instructed the US Centers for Disease Control to stop gathering data. He also forced them to drop their project identifying the sex education programs that work, after they found that none of the successful ones were “abstinence only”.”
There is no support for this claim, no documentation. I understand the outrage if this is in fact a true statement, and this type of behavior is certainly not out of character for the type of people Bush runs around with, but it is unsupported in the research I have done, and is the type of statement that if left unsupported can blow an entire article’s credibility.
On the one hand, I am glad to see that DJ Colonoscopy is trying to use facts to support some his statements, however. Facts are important tools to better understanding the world around us, and help us to step outside of ourselves.
On the other hand, memes are not useful always in ascertaining the truth. Every person involved in debate is generally guilty of using memes. Memes like Bush had for-knowledge of 9/11 and had the bin Ladin family extracted from America without questioning before the flight ban was lifted. Memes like Richard Nixon’s attempted “I’m not a crook.” Or even non-partisan memes like “China has ICBMS that can be pointed at America.”
Memes are repeated over and over, quoted, requoted, and their original sources obscured to the point where everyone just accepts it as truth. The bin Ladin family wasn’t extracted from America till after the flight ban was up, Richard Nixon was a liar and a crook (“I have a secret plan…”), and China’s ICBMs, under the most liberal estimates, might reach the West Coast, with a favorable tail-wind.
What is a meme? It is a term coined on analogy by Richard Dawkins with the word ‘gene.’ An idea considered as a replicator, especially with the connotation that memes parasitize people into propagating them much as viruses do. Dawkins further defines it as “a unit of cultural inheritance, hypothesized as analogous to the particulate gene and as naturally selected by virtue of its ‘phenotypic’ consequences on its own survival and replication in the cultural environment.”
A good way to examine a piece of data for its integrity is to track down it’s source, examine the primary source’s for bias, process, and method.
Let’s take this nugget of information from DJ Colonoscopy’s report, “Conservative Values Won’t Protect Your Genitals, SweetHeart”:
“Texas has the fourth highest AIDS rates and ranks second, behind Mississippi, in births among teens ages 15 to 17, according to a new study by the Annie E. Casey Foundation that draws on federal statistics. “
First of all, it turns out that Annie E. Casey Foundation did not do the research on this topic, and did not do the study, and did not get their source material from federal statistics. They pulled their information from a liberal watchdog group called “Advocates for Youth” (http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/). To be fair, Advocates for Youth did not do the research, study, or statistics themselves either. They got them from another liberal watchdog group called the “Alan Guttmacher Institute” (www.agi-usa.org).
The most recent statistics gathered by the AGI were in 1996, and these statistics are being quoted as much more recent in daughter reports. Secondly, data came from two primary sources: a) Abortion Providers and b) the Census Bureau. Census Bureau data is compiled every 10 years, so in 1996, the relevant Census Bureau data would have come from 1990, much before Bush’s policies were implemented and far before they could take effect. Data from other government agencies are at least in part derived from Census Bureau statistics, and in 1992-1996, the likelihood that they were dealing in the most recent Census Bureau statistics decreases even further, so the age of our data in the present time begins to age anywhere from fourteen years (optimistically) to twenty-two years (pessimistically).
I don’t even have to begin to acknowlege the inherent bias of trying to create a statistically accurate study based off findings of an industry who’s interests are being represented by the outcome of the study.
So, in summation, one of the cornerstone “facts” of the narrative is in fact … Well … Not.
I know that I have probably been guilty of perpetuating harmful memes in the past as well, everyone does it. Back before Dawkins, it was called gossip. What’s harmful about the new-gossip, memes, is that they very closely resemble facts, enough to fool even the most skeptical of people, not just the sheep of the world.
I don’t blame DJ Colonoscopy for misleading us, I believe he is just as misled as the rest of us. Perhaps there are indeed facts out there to support his theory, but these aren’t the facts he is looking for, they are simply memes.