Utterly Meaningless » Blog Archive » STRAW MEN

STRAW MEN

Filed at 7:29 am under by dcobranchi

This anti-TeenScreen screed (try saying that 3 times fast) keeps accusing supporters of the program of using straw men arguments. I don’t think the term means what they think it means.

And I’m not particularly impressed with an online petition which has garnered a whole 16,000 signatures.

19 Responses to “STRAW MEN”


Comment by
Webster
January 16th, 2007
at 10:17 pm

The author has it completely correct. Here’s the definition for you:

American Heritage: “A made-up version of an opponent’s argument that can easily be defeated.”

Here’s an example. A person writes a stellar article on TeenScreen, exposing the fact that TeenScreen’s last defense is to use a straw man argument. Without debating the issues or even mentioning them, an opponent may say “I dont think the term means what they think it means”. Therefore a person that has no clue what a straw man argument is may be convinced that the author is mistaken. But to an educated one who has looked up the term, this particular straw man argument would not work.

Maybe over 700 doctors signing that petition would impress you.


Comment by
Daryl Cobranchi
January 16th, 2007
at 10:30 pm

Except I have seen opponents use every one of those that the “stellar” article claims are strawmen. If your opponent really is saying it, you’re not putting words in his mouth.

And, no, 700 doctors in a country of 300,000,000 is not terribly impressive (and I certainly wouldn’t trumpet such a paltry figure in a “stellar” article.)


Comment by
Daryl Cobranchi
January 16th, 2007
at 10:50 pm

A bit of evidence:

(Supposed) TeenScreen Straw Man Argument #1:
“We are not funded by drug companies!”

What an opponent has said:
Origin of TeenScreen? A drug company paid psychiatrist!
David Shaffer… Shaffer’s American Foundation for Suicide Prevention has also received $1,250,000 from yet another drug company.

That’s from Webster’s site.

And anyone who claims that the DSM IV is “thoroughly discredited” has bigger problems that not understanding what a strawman argument is.


Comment by
Webster
January 17th, 2007
at 12:20 am

Define “straw man” Dow man.

If you think the author is incorrect, what do you think it means?
Hmmm??

Per your logic 250,000 doctors signing a petition would still be unimpressive.


Comment by
Webster
January 17th, 2007
at 12:29 am

You’re pretty good at the straw man argument, my friend, even if you don’t know how to define it.

A drug company paid psychiatrist who invented teenscreen is not quite the same as teenscreen receiving drug money, now is it?

The DSM IV has clearly been discredited. Panels overseeing schizophrenia and “mood disorders,” were 100% filled with experts financially tied to the pharmaceutical industry And that’s without even mentioning the non-scientific nature of any disorder. But that wouldn’t mean much to you seeing where your dough comes from.


Comment by
Daryl Cobranchi
January 17th, 2007
at 5:17 am

But that wouldn’t mean much to you seeing where your dough comes from.

I’ve long wondered if the anti-TeenScreen brigade were mostly a bunch of tinfoil-wearing conspiracy theorists. Thank you for settling the question.

And, for the record, my “dough” (so 1950s!) comes from plastics manufacture. If you’ve been self-medicating with those that would, perhaps, explain the foil beanie.


Comment by
mom26
January 17th, 2007
at 2:00 pm

Mr. Cobranchi,

I too am a homeschooling mother (of 6). I am very concerned over these issues of mentally screening our children, all pregnant women, our elderly, etc.

Why must there be laws put into place to make sure we are all “mentally screened”? I see no laws in place making sure we are doing regular physical check-ups or eye exams (for comparison) and why should this be a matter for the government?

This is what concerns me. Matters which are inherently the parents role to decide and their rights to raise their children as they see fit are being overshadowed and taken over by the government.

I just did a whole chapter with my older kids on the Constitution, it included taking them to Independence Hall and hearing the lectures and taking the tours. Our government was set up at a time when the rest of the world was watching and waiting for this new “upstart” to keel over. No other country thought our views on government would hold. Our ideas about a government by the people and for the people was considered ridiculous – “everyone knew” the general populace wasn’t smart enough to govern! The rest of the world figured that the people of this new world would demand that troops march into Philadelphia and see to it that a monarchy was set into place.

Well, we proved them wrong.

Why now should I feel it is OK for my government to decide what is best for my family? There are alot of parents that feel the way I do and look at this as an intrusion into our lives – the government is being run by the lobbyists of big corporations and organizations that can afford to influence our elected officials – our elected officials have for the most part, been ignoring the wishes of their “little” constituents.

The controversies of universal mental health screening of our population are there, the arguments are valid as a bit of research on the internet will show. I for one appreciated the points brought up in this article you posted, it shows some of the flimsy reasons being given for implementing this controversial measure and I for one don’t buy the talking points as presented to our school boards and government by TeenScreen.


Comment by
Daryl Cobranchi
January 17th, 2007
at 2:16 pm

1) I never said I was a fan of TS.

2) It doesn’t apply to HEKs.

3) Parents can opt-out their g-school kids.

Just like a million other things that folks waste their lives worrying about, for us TS is a big nothing.


Comment by
mom26
January 17th, 2007
at 8:24 pm

Please don’t mis-inform us homeschoolers. You do such a good job of keeping us informed and we get enough mis-information and run-around as it is!

It does apply to HEK’s. If a little research is done it will be found that TeenScreen is trying to see how they can reach us home-schoolers. And if you live in one of the states that recently passed laws on mental screening for all pregnant women up to the elderly (some refer to it as “womb to tomb” screening) you’ll soon experience how it effects everyone.

“Opt-out” is also one of the problems.


Comment by
Daryl Cobranchi
January 17th, 2007
at 8:27 pm

Prove it. Show me one example of an HEK who was screened without parental permission.


Comment by
Daryl Cobranchi
January 17th, 2007
at 8:43 pm

This is pretty funny. I was Googling homeschool and TeenScreen and found a two-year-old post here at HE&OS. Webster (or at least his website) plays a starring role.

Nothing much has changed in two years.


Comment by
Karen E
January 18th, 2007
at 10:10 am

Unless the government kidnaps our HEK’s, of course they can’t screen them without our permission. For PS kids the opt-out doesn’t always work in schools that use passive consent, meaning if you don’t send a form (that you may not have gotten) back to school with “no” checked you have consented. Our local schools have often done this; it’s up to PS parents to tell their kids not to participate. Maybe a “no surveys” letter in a backpack is a good idea.


Comment by
Ed Sparks
January 21st, 2007
at 8:24 am

Teen Screen most certainly does apply to Home Schooled kids, pregnant women and older folks. Anyone who says it doesn’t simply has not read the law. In Indiana it is Senate Enabled Act No. 529, Section 79, IC 20-19-5. There are no exemptions for private schooled kids, home schooled kids or anyone with a religious objection. It gets them all and the home inspections come with it. (Home inspectors will inspect you, the parents!)

Two critiques of that law are posted on my web site, edalert.com, one 11 pages long and another about three pages long.

The “Children’s Social, Emotional & Behavioral Health Plan” written by the Commission on Mental Health is also there. It’s edalert.com.

Teen Screen is similar to laws passed under Hitler in 1938 to control Home Education and force everyone into the Government controlled school system. Those laws are being enforced today in Germany.

I suggest that anyone who does not understand our danger from this law had better read it and then slap themselves in the face, twice, to wake themselves up. Our Indiana Legislators should start the slapping. They passed the thing. — Ed Sparks


Comment by
Daryl Cobranchi
January 21st, 2007
at 9:17 am

Teen Screen is similar to laws passed under Hitler in 1938 to control Home Education and force everyone into the Government controlled school system.

You lose!


Comment by
Daryl Cobranchi
January 21st, 2007
at 9:23 am

Since the big concern with this program seems to be that kids are screened without parental permission or even knowledge, I stand by my comment that HEKs are “safe.”

Show me one example where an HEK has been screened without their parent knowing and I’ll gladly change my mind.

Until then, Godwin rules!


Comment by
Ed Sparks
January 21st, 2007
at 9:42 am

How about Chelsea Rhoades and the lawsuit filed by her parents Michael and Teresa against their school system?

You lose!


Comment by
Daryl Cobranchi
January 21st, 2007
at 11:33 am

Perhaps you don’t know that HEK is shorthand for “home educated kid.”

Something about a classroom exercise last December didn’t sit right with Chelsea Rhoades.

So after an otherwise typical day at Penn High School in Mishawaka, Ind., the sophomore did what many teens her age would do. She took her concerns to mom.

She’s a public school student. Have you seen any evidence that HEKs have been tested without their parents’ knowledge? Of course not.

Godwin 1, Ed 0


Comment by
Ed Sparks
January 21st, 2007
at 12:07 pm

Read the law. There are no exemptions for home schooled kids. The enabling legislation says ALL children from birth (0) to 22 years of age. ALL means ALL public school children, ALL home schooled children, ALL private schooled children and ALL church going children whose parents may have religious misgivings toward the test. That’s what ALL means.

Sorry, you lose.

Ed Sparks, Indianapolis


Comment by
Daryl Cobranchi
January 21st, 2007
at 12:10 pm

Ed,

You evidently have a reading comprehension problem. I’ll try to keep it to one syllable words.

Our kids have not been screened!

You and the other g-school parents handle it yourselves and leave us the hell alone, OK?