1960 thoughts...

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by schmee, Apr 10, 2019.

  1. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

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    I take your point. But what I saw when I was a social worker (1982-1994), in a medium-sized Northern city and then in a small Southern city, and much more since just as an aging dude/teacher, is that family breakdown, even more ominously than crime per se, is more widespread and violently virulent than before. Though the one--violent family breakdown--sure will lead to the other--violent crime.

    Largely due to/symbolized by hard drug abuse.

    I don't have the stats for this on-hand, but the number of severely neglected kids, even setting abuse rates and severities aside, is shocking. Tons of kids in foster care, tons of kids w/ mom in jail and "dad" who the hell knows where...just careening through life not even knowing what their own needs are, much less where and how to meet them. Add to this the plague of equally lost entitled rich kids numb to everything but whatever more-intensive video game can further numb them to life's caring connections, and it's heartbreaking, and ominous. I'm no prude, but if we decouple sex from meaning, if we keep intensifying our addiction to fun-for-the-moment sensations and distractions, if we raise kids by not raising them, what kind of culture can we sustain?
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2019
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  2. jondanger

    jondanger Poster Extraordinaire

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    So you had the severe misfortune of being a social worker at the absolute peak of violent crime in the US. We have actually had a pretty significant decline in kids who are in foster care here in Baltimore, largely due to an increase in providing in-home services in cases that we think the child is not in immediate danger.

    I agree that most of the neglect situations I see are substance use related. I have seen some truly inspiring success stories, and also some tragic disasters.

    Also there is this:

    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/12/the-sex-recession/573949/
     
  3. ponce

    ponce Tele-Holic

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    Well, that is hillarious!:lol:
     
  4. L.A. Mike

    L.A. Mike Tele-Afflicted

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    I assume you're referring to the Boomers?
    I was a teenager in the late 60s and part of the generation that thought things could and should be better.
    So we did our best to make it happen, rather than just being "cynical" and complaining about the way things were.
    Sure, some of us became regular working class people and did the 9-5 and had families.
    And some of us did get involved in changing things. IF nothing else, we made other people aware that change for the better could occur if enough of us wanted it.

    I took a statistics class in high school
    The first day of class, the instructor explained statistics to us, that the word and concept actually came from "state" meaning government collecting data methods. Then he proceeded to show us how we could use statistics and manipulate the data to "prove" anything we wanted to.
    I agree with you about safety and violence then compared to now. I grew up in the Los Angeles area and there were certain racial problems coming to a head. But over all, kids were relatively safe unchaperoned. In the summertime we'd take off in the morning, be gone all day and barely make it home for dinner. Most kids were the same way. Time for adventure. Our parents didn't worry that some monster was out there ready to grab us as soon as we were out of their eyesight.
    And the doors on our house were rarely locked, even when we weren't there. And my folks left the keys in the ignition of the car so they knew where they were.
     
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  5. jondanger

    jondanger Poster Extraordinaire

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    Of course you can “prove” anything with statistics, but do we believe that NIH is a bad faith actor trying to prove a point about rates of child abuse? Or that the FBI is lying about the decrease in violent crime since 1990?

    Assuming that any statistics that don’t agree with your presumptions are presented in bad faith isn’t the way to deal with this problem. The way to deal with it is to ask about the credibility and motivations of the originators of the data. I kind of trust the American Academy of Pediatrics, NIH, and the FBI - all sources I have cited.
     
  6. Doctorx33

    Doctorx33 Tele-Afflicted

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    From about 1974 to the early eighties I firmly believed I would die in a nuclear war. Things were pretty rough between our two countries back then.

    It was a time when if one of us lit it up, it would be all of it on both sides, strategic and tactical, the end of the world as we know it.

    Now my best chance of premature death is getting shot by someone experiencing road rage on I-285.
     
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  7. JL_LI

    JL_LI Friend of Leo's

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    1963. 13 years old. My junior high school had regular air raid drills. One of them marked the only time I was ever suspended from school. The drill was simple. File out of the classroom and crouch in front of the lockers. One day I just kept walking for the door. I was stopped by the assistant principal in the lobby who demanded to know where I was going. My answer? The drill is pointless. I’m going outside. If this is a real nuclear strike, the lockers won’t save anyone. I’m going out for the show. My father understood. The AP didn’t. Neither of my parents was happy.
     
  8. L.A. Mike

    L.A. Mike Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm not here to argue my point.
    Keep in mind that computers weren't used by all the government agencies in the 50s, 60s, 70s.
    A lot of data was hand collected and filed. Some of it got put in files, later on put on microfiche or data cards and eventually ended up in a central computer system. But a lot of it didn't.
    I know about local government record keeping because my mom worked at the city hall part time when I was a kid.
    A lot of boxes of "old records" went right in the dumpster when room was needed.
    Maybe it wasn't supposed to happen but it did.
    So, who knows what the real numbers are from those eras?
    I do know what it was like growing up in L.A. in the 50s and 60s. My memory is still pretty good. People didn't worry about their kids because for the most part they were relatively safe compared to today.
     
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  9. jondanger

    jondanger Poster Extraordinaire

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    Throwing away old records would make crime rates for that period artificially low . . .

    I agree that city data probably wasn’t the best for this period, but I think the FBI data is probably pretty good.

    I agree that violent crime was lower in the 60s than it is now. But it is down a lot from its peak in the 90s, and about the same as it was in the early 70s.

    It would be more difficult to persuade me that child maltreatment is worse today than it was in 1960, and unfortunately those statistics are much less reliable due to changes in child welfare laws during that time period.

    Did you read the Brennan Center article I posted? I chose it because I thought it was the least likely to get fake newsed.
     
  10. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Ad Free Member

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    That jives with what I have read and understand too. No doubt a three decade rise in crime is difficult to erase. Thank you for what you do. My step daughter is a nurse in a county health department and we need more of you.
     
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  11. DougM

    DougM Friend of Leo's

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    Things may have seemed better in 1960 for some, depending on your economic, geographic, racial, cultural, social, and even biological (sex and age) status. But, that was before the voting rights act, the civil rights act, the ERA, and Medicare. Ponder that.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2019
  12. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    While it's very clear that society and lawmakers decided it is wrong to hit a child, which makes it harder for adults to get away with it since the public is looking out for signs; it seems we have gone in the opposite direction with adult violence, where some locales support the freedom to shoot and kill your neighbors.

    And even as nations have stepped up and condemned human rights violations, some of our tax dollars pay for the killing of oppressed peoples.

    An interesting thing is that some say violent crime is down, stats measure violent crime per capita.

    Then we have the fact that some violence is legal, so not included.

    I wonder how much actual violence there is now compared to in 1960.

    World pop only grew from 3 billion to 7.5 billion, yet that's a whole lot of added people to sweep the violent crime stats under.

    It would also be interesting to know for example how the numbers were created for violence against kids during eras when spanking was legal.
    Seems obvious that numbers had to be guessed at, as opposed to only listing the reported violence against children when it was largely unreported.
    And I'd guess the stats also guess at today's unreported violence against (and neglect of) children?
    Is having kids, then paying imported laborers to raise them, with added electronic baby sitters, seen as a form of neglect, or even abuse?

    Is the parentally ignored and unloved child of a fine family also ignored by the stats?

    Thinking again, while child sexual abuse was unreported years ago, now we have concerns about putting a family through a court case, we have plaintiffs paid off with no law enforcement involved, and we have greater secrecy by perpetrators, who know the dangers they face. We also it seems have an underground child abuse culture that sort of boosts the skills at seeking out children that nobody cares about.
    They even buy and sell human product.
    Do we know all the numbers on these underground activities?
    If a child is a victim of human trafficking, how many crimes does that one child tally up as in a decade? 5000? 10,000? 1?
    Is it the number of charged attackers? So one child ten years equals five crimes?

    Just some questions i have not seen answers to.
    I do know of at least one parent who didn't put her little girl in court, just threw the boyfriend out.
    Are these children counted?
     
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  13. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    As a kindness to those like @jondanger who work in child welfare, I have known many many families where drug abuse brought in child services and pulled the child out, while the court gave parents a kick toward the recovery option.
    Many of these formerly neglected and abused kids became well adjusted and happy!
    Seriously, in good outcomes, kids bounce back and know damn well that something good happened to them and their parents when the state stepped in.
     
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  14. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Ad Free Member

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    To add to the conversation, I wonder what effect it had on crime when both parents had to start working? Lots of issues with that question and probably not easily found considering babysitters, home alone children, access to questionable TV, video games and two stressed out parents, not to mention cuts in public school budgets and the need for more social workers like @jondanger . It's a heck of a bad time to be a kid IMHO.
     
  15. telestratosonic

    telestratosonic Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I was 10. The steel tower with the siren at the top was right outside the kindergarden classrooms in the k-11 school (no grade 12 in those days). This was Gander, Newfoundland, with a busy international airport and part of the NORAD system. Funny, we lived the same way; roamed around, went fishing, no locked doors at night, etc.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2019
  16. jondanger

    jondanger Poster Extraordinaire

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    I’m working 3 drug court cases right now where parents have 4-10 months clean AND custody of their kids. We have a program here that has a housing component too, which is often the hardest thing to sort out.

    When you take away an addict’s kids, you have often taken away the last thing that was helping them keep their life together (and their source of income, let’s be honest). So now they don’t have any reason to not get blasted ALL the time. Plus they end up homeless within a few weeks because of the income part. Finding ways for them to safely keep their kids and get into a program that supports their recovery in multiple aspects is much less disruptive for the kids, and puts their motivation (them kiddos) right in their face at all times.

    Anyway, 1960!

    I think stuff was probably marginally better then than it is now for a lot of people, and waaaaay worse for some.
     
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  17. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Wow, what an incredibly bleak assessment.

    The sense of urgency is clearly appropriate, but I would kindly suggest you tended, by the nature of your work, to be exposed to a lot of this Jerry Springer element. By comparison I met young people who had had solid families that were struck by Dad's terrible accident on an offshore oil platform or Mom got severely injured in the car after being hit by an 18 wheeler. Most of the kids I met were no way as screwed up as the ones you encountered, and I met a whole lot of them.

    The one thing I keep seeing younger parents do, is to let the Media and Games provide their offspring with all their life's lessons. Kids saw it on Avatar and assumed flying was just something you might be able to do, for real. And they saw all these corrupt stories told on "Law and Order, SVU" and assumed everyone in the USA was a screwed up as ALL the characters in the story (including the cops and judges and clergy and social workers). I think the human brain develops almost entirely based on learning by example, of the "Reality" presented to it and it makes no difference if it is Raw Hurricane Footage or Harry Potter or Mindcraft or whatever. It all gets processed the same way - there's parts of the human brain that don't really know lies from the truth and don't know fantasy from reality. We are creating mal-developed brains in our people, most especially younger people.

    Normal, church going, non perverted nuclear families are too boring to be depicted on TV. So, all we get is depictions of Aberrant Families. The narratives just keep getting piled on young or vulnerable minds, to the point we've got a sort of mass psychosis.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2019
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  18. P Thought

    P Thought Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Some of my young friends might say, "Whoa, Turbo!" While I might agree that there's 'way too much exposure to digital and media blah-blah, most kids' brains are developing pretty well. We'd all better hope so; they're inheriting some interesting civic situations.
     
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  19. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

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    I hear ya, boris. I work with lots of very fine young people throughout the year. I'm impressed by, and learn from, and am humbled by, many of them. I also see an inspiring percentage of these young people becoming more mature, principled, and caring in just a short timespan.

    However, also throughout the year, I see hordes of raging young people with no conscience, a sadist's delight in cruelty, an absolute and terrifying sense of entitlement and boundarylessness. These are some of the luckiest kids in the world: middle and upper-middle-class Americans, who think it's funny to slam dogs' spines against a picket fence's points; to surround, beat up, and spit on women; to shoot guns at neighbors' windows while stumbling drunk; to laugh at 10 yr. girls being threatened with rape while said girls are playing in their own front yards; to attack cops and rip people's homes apart and throw bottles at passing cars, etc., etc., out of their own rage at their own boredom. Say a word about it, object to it, and it's n-word + f-word ad infinitum. The best they've got. On and on it goes.

    And the worse it gets every generation, especially as their attention spans, sense of connection to others and their culture, internalization of limits and duties, their role models, and their problem-solving skills get further eroded by a society that trains them to be ever-more-stunted--truly, methy--sensation addicts whose rage is righteous glamor, and whose concept of reality is...whatever, like, you believe it to be, yo. Two, three, four nights a week, our town is besieged by the 20, 30% of its 30,000 college students for whom alcohol is an unleashing truth serum on their RAGE. It's white-kid Detroit. Even much of their vaunted "tolerance" for gays, etc., is more a laziness that precludes holding grudges than actual, empathic caring and respect for fellow human beings.

    So I do see lots of dangerous and ominous dysfunction at the upper echelons, as well as swelled ranks of damaged kids from lower-echelon "families" that can't and/or won't give these kids the most basic needs and guidance. So much seething rot in our culture right now.

    I think that good people will endure, as a shrinking, embattled minority, until we've battered our morals and institutions to some breaking point somewhere in the future. Or until natural resources become so scare that we're back to clubbing each other for a hunk of beehive. Life is sweet beyond words, but human beings sure are iffy creatures when it comes to avoiding self-destruction.
     
  20. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I agree with this, but as I came from a "normal, non-church-going, non-perverted nuclear family", I'll object to one assumption.
     
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