Daily Archives: April 29, 2008

You gotta have faith

Things that come as a surprise to absolutely no one (via the GAO):

As of August 2006, HHS, states, and researchers had made a variety of efforts to assess the effectiveness of abstinence-until-marriage education programs, but a number of factors limit the conclusions that can be drawn about the programs’ effectiveness. ACF and OPA have required their grantees to report on various outcomes used to measure program effectiveness. To assess the effectiveness of its grantees’ programs, ACF has analyzed national data on adolescent birth rates and the proportion of adolescents who report having had sexual intercourse. Additionally, 6 of the 10 states in GAO’s review worked with third-party evaluators to assess the effectiveness of abstinence-until-marriage programs in their states. However, the conclusions that can be drawn are limited because most of the efforts to evaluate program effectiveness have not met certain minimum criteria that experts have concluded are necessary for such assessments to be scientifically valid. Additionally, the results of some efforts that do meet such criteria have varied.

Science? We don’t need science! We’ll just trust in the Lord to override the naughty impulses surging through our kids’ bodies!

Yeah, how’s that working for you?

We identified two key studies that experts anticipated would meet the criteria of a scientifically valid effectiveness study. Experts and federal officials we interviewed stated that they expected the results of these two federally funded studies to add substantively to the body of research on the effectiveness of abstinence-until-marriage education programs. One of these key studies—the final Mathematica report, contracted by ASPE, on the State Program—has been completed. In this report, the researchers found that youth who participated in the abstinence-until-marriage education programs were no more likely than control group youth to have abstained from sex, and among those who reported having had sex, they had similar numbers of sexual partners and had initiated sex at the same average age. The youth in abstinence-until-marriage education programs also were no more likely to have engaged in unprotected sex than control group youth.

Unfortunately, expecting the little piggies latched on to this particular teat of the government (you didn’t actually think anyone gives a fuck about the kids did you?) to wean themselves is like expecting a preacher to admit he’s been snorting meth off a hooker without a fight.

Hurry up 2009.

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Filed under Fail Watch, Government Accountability Office, Misguided Self-justification

Who let these kangaroos in here?

Once upon a time, only a dirty fucking hippy would say something like this (via The Washington Post):

The Defense Department’s former chief prosecutor for terrorism cases appeared Monday at the controversial U.S. detention facility here to argue on behalf of a terrorism suspect that the military justice system has been corrupted by politics and inappropriate influence from senior Pentagon officials.

Sitting just feet from the courtroom table where he had once planned to make cases against military detainees, Air Force Col. Morris Davis instead took the witness stand to declare under oath that he felt undue pressure to hurry cases along so that the Bush administration could claim before political elections that the system was working.

The usual reaction to statements to officials who suddenly develop vertebra falls into two categories:

1. Why didn’t you say something earlier, jackass?

2. ZOMG HE’S A STEALTH TERRISTS!!!

(I suppose there is a third category of people who smack their foreheads and gasp “Mah Gad! I had no idea!” but fuck ’em for not paying attention.)

So, we can disregard the latter response in the same way we disregard the rantings of the unwashed guy screaming about the chickens in his pants. I used tend towards the former response but today I started wondering about all of the cretins who either don’t develop spines or think violating the Constitution and torturing some poor bastard is just fine and dandy. The creeps who don’t currently have the rank to merit any attention, the slimeballs who are hiding under the Majikal Cloak of National Security so you don’t know who the hell they are. Those are the shits we need to worry about because unless they are hunted down and branded with a big old T for traitor, they’ll be back.

In the meantime I suggest Col. Davis (ret.) keep an eye on his pension.

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Filed under 'Sponsitility, Military, The War Against Terror