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The bank bailout plan, not the stimulus.

Agh, i let the two segue together. Well, that's a bad one, not sure what to say. Shit.

Well, I sort of fixed it. Gotta stop doing the financey articles late at night.

Alaska Airlines functions all along the West Coast. They're actually a good-sized company, comparable to Southwest Airlines.

Not that my experience is universal or anything, but speaking as a product of abstinence-only high school education, it always seems like a mistake to ponder whether or not the education itself works... I mean, it doesn't, and I seriously doubt a lot of the folks teaching it believed it did, but that's not totally the point. By settling 'abstinence' into the sex ed part of the schedule, it prevents anything else from getting in there, which I daresay is the more important aspect... in other words, it's not defensive but offensive -- anti-teaching teaching, more or less -- ensuring that the parents retain the authority to give or deny instruction as per details of contraceptives or whatnot beyond the classroom. I don't even think we heard the word condoms, let alone anything girls can take, oh no no no.

Which... yeah, that wound up costing a billion and a half dollars over the last 30 or so years. I know it differs from program to program... I went to Catholic school, so it had the added benefit of fitting in neatly with Catholic teachings on sexuality (like, even in speech/debate class you weren't allowed to select a topic that directly opposed the Church's teaching), although it wasn't seamless... masturbation was kind of a big conflict, whether it was ok or not. I don't think the non-Catholic programs had those problems...?

I think you might be viewing the abstinence only thing a bit differently than the article looks at it--they seem to carve a pretty hard line, focusing mainly on whether or not a program results in lower teenage pregnancy rates. They mention sexually transmitted diseases in the first paragraph, but the only statistics that are included as factor are whether or not a sex education program (abstinence or comprehensive) brings down the pregnancy rate. i'm not saying I disagree with any of what you're saying, but that it does seem like the purse string decision is based on that factor primarily.

The concept of it being offensive is interesting though--I just don't believe that's something that is used as an argument to determine whether or not abstinence only programs continue to receive federal funding, which is the main focus of the article.

Dirk: I don't believe that for a second, but nice try.

That's it -- I'm totally seizing the Economist letters section in the name of Journalista. This means war!

Well, I'll always have my live stand-up readings of Rutgers Centurion at the local Borders. You and Fantagraphics can't take that away from me, Arizona!

I have to be honest, I don't know how you get through the entire magazine so quickly! I bought a subscription for myself based solely on your weekly write-ups - I wanted to read through the magazine on my own, draw my own conclusions, and compare them to yours. But I can't do it. I can't read the whole thing as fast as you do. I'm still working on the last 20 pages of "The Return of Economic Nationalism," how am I supposed to read last week's and next week's in time for your next summary?

Anyway, phenomenal work, as always.

Kenny, Tucker doesn't read The Economist.

It's all automatic writing based on his visits with a kid from the Make a Wish Foundation.

If you want more anecdotal evidence on the abstinence education, I also was raised pretty religious, and I went to a Christian (but not Catholic) school from first through twelfth grade. We didn't get too much in the way of sex education, but it was definitely abstinence-only. I don't think much of anything in the way of birth control was discussed, and there definitely wasn't a lot of explanation of reproductive systems or anatomy. In fact, I'm trying to remember what we DID talk about; I think it was related to Bible studies, so it mostly involved love and commitment and honoring God and that sort of thing. But the main message was "don't have sex unless you're married".

Anyway, it was a very small school (five students in my graduating class, although one year I think the class numbered twelve), and I know there were at least three girls that got pregnant (and were then kicked out of school; that's some great Christian values there). So I would think that the program was pretty much a failure.

Just how good is The Economist, would you say?

I haven't read it in a long while, but The Economist has a pretty bad rep among leftleaning people. It's said to have been increasingly wingnuttified over the last decade and to be glib and uninformed.

Some lefties will always hate a rightwing paper, but I'm thinking of people who respects for example the Financial Times.

I mean, I presume you don't think it's worthless, but I guess there aren't really any good alternatives if you're doing a feature like this.

I have to say that I don't think it's earned that reputation at all.

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