Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Is The Truth “Missing In Action?”

During these “political hot August nights” Chuck Norris has been reading the health care bill. Bullshit, I don’t believe Chuck Norris has read the 1,000+ page bill nor has he done research. Anyway, he says he has done it and he thinks he has found bad things in there. Bad things that need some ass kicking, but has he really found things that are bad or is he trying to kick the truth’s ass?

The “dirty secret” of “Obamacare” is that “the government's coming into homes and usurping parental rights over child care and development.” There is another dirty secret, Norris is wrong or lying.

Norris says that sections 440 and 1904 of H.R. 3200 usurp parental rights. Norris’s first error is that section 1904 is a provision to amend part B of the Social Security Act by adding section 440. This may be a minor error but on that is important to the claim that Norris is wrong or lying. Part B of the Social Security Act is designed to promote the safety of children in poverty, protect abused children, encourage that at-risk children are returned to families quickly and promote development of an educated child development and welfare workforce.

Norris writes:

“It's outlined in sections 440 and 1904 of the House bill (Page 838), under the heading ‘home visitation programs for families with young children and families expecting children.’ The programs (provided via grants to states) would educate parents on child behavior and parenting skills.

The bill says that the government agents, ‘well-trained and competent staff,’ would ‘provide parents with knowledge of age-appropriate child development in cognitive, language, social, emotional, and motor domains ... modeling, consulting, and coaching on parenting practices,’ and ‘skills to interact with their child to enhance age-appropriate development.’”

The first issue with these statements is that this section is about what a state program should contain before it applies for funding from the federal government. It is not a provision to be applied in communities. Norris is quoting from subsection (f) of subpart of the proposed amendment to the Social Security Act. Subsection (f) is titled Eligible Expenditures. Again in order to apply for funding the states need to fill these general requirements. The change to the Social Security Act does not mandate any action. This leaves answers to the questions Norris asks up to the states. Local control, I thought that was good.

Next, Norris makes an argumentative mistake in relation to child development. Norris asks:

"Are you kidding me?! With whose parental principles and values? Their own? Certain experts'? From what field and theory of childhood development? As if there are one-size-fits-all parenting techniques! Do we really believe they would contextualize and personalize every form of parenting in their education, or would they merely universally indoctrinate with their own?”

The outrage is very compelling, but unfortunately the standards and benchmarks for developmental psycho-social and physical skills are practically standard no matter what your parental philosophy. These standards of developmental benchmarks are not values they are clinical conclusions. So Norris outrage is misplaced.

This issue Norris raised about parenting practices are more complicated. Even well educated people in the field of child development will not be familiar with all philosophies of parenting. They also don’t need to be for this program to work. The nature of this provision is voluntary. I think people who participate in this program are very likely not to have a well-defined parental philosophy. Hell, I am a parent and could not articulate my philosophy. Perhaps caused by years of playing shell-shocked Vietnam vets Norris has become paranoid. I only mention that because he does not think this is voluntary, even though it says voluntary. Norris writes:

"Does that imply that this agency would just sit back passively until some parent needing parenting skills said, ‘I don't think I'll call my parents, priest or friends or read a plethora of books, but I'll go down to the local government offices’? To the contrary, the bill points to specific targeted groups and problems, on Page 840: The state ‘shall identify and prioritize serving communities that are in high need of such services, especially communities with a high proportion of low-income families.’

Are we further to conclude by those words that low-income families know less about parenting? Are middle- and upper-class parents really better parents? Less neglectful of their children? Less needful of parental help and training? Is this ‘prioritized training not a biased, discriminatory and even prejudicial stereotype and generalization that has no place in federal government, law or practice?”

In case you want to look at this stuff he is quoting from pages 838-839 of HR 3200 not page 840. To answer his question in order, No, No, No, No, No. To elaborate, research shows that families in poverty have tougher times parenting. Evidence show that many low income parents do not read to their children, don’t encourage a proper diet or don’t have the resources of middle and upper income family. It is not that poor people are worse parents but the hurdles can be more difficult without resources.

Lastly, maybe I have become too sensitive to people calling others Nazis or socialist, but does Norris compare proponents of health care reform to Stalin? Norris writes:

“Government's real motives and rationale are quite simple, though rarely, if ever, stated. If one wants to control the future ebbs and flows of a country, one must have command over future generations. That is done by seizing parental and educational power, legislating preferred educational methods and materials, and limiting private educational options. It is so simple that any socialist can understand it. As Josef Stalin once stated, ‘Education is a weapon whose effects depend on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed.’”

I am glad that Norris likes kids. I would hope that he was fonder of truth, facts, reading, context and comprehension. Sphere: Related Content

1 comment:

Shifty1 said...

It seems as if you want to read the best possible motives into the language..cuz Lord knows this crowd is too ethical to ever do anything but exactly what the law says, aren't they?

If you can't see this as at least a precursor to government intervention in child-rearing, then you CHOOSE not to. And I'm sorry, but you're class bigotry is showing!
"To elaborate, research shows that families in poverty have tougher times parenting. Evidence show that many low income parents do not read to their children, don’t encourage a proper diet or don’t have the resources of middle and upper income family."
WOW!! Talk about a broad brush. And since we ALL know that the most important markers of an "acceptable" parent is one who reads to their kids, ensures they eat according to the food pyramid (or whatever stupid shape the nanny state has decreed)and gathers the requisite "resources", I guess the government SHOULD just stick their snouts into poor folks houses....for the kids, of course. I have a different definition of what a successful parent is....one who loves their kids unconditionally and does the BEST THEY CAN to provide for them, even if it does mean eating Mac-n-Cheese and PB&J's alot.

Add to Technorati Favorites