I'm skeptical of leaping to any conclusions based on this. But it's an interesting study.
RELIGIOUS belief can cause damage to a society, contributing towards high murder rates, abortion, sexual promiscuity and suicide, according to research published today.
According to the study, belief in and worship of God are not only unnecessary for a healthy society but may actually contribute to social problems.
Gregory Paul, the author of the study and a social scientist, used data from the International Social Survey Programme, Gallup and other research bodies to reach his conclusions. .
He compared social indicators such as murder rates, abortion, suicide and teenage pregnancy. .
The study concluded that the least devout nations were the least dysfunctional.
I was really annoyed earlier when the PI had an article about a photo of the giant squid being taken for the first time ever, but no picture. So here is the picture of the giant squid and I am happy now.
An Australian man built up so much static electricity in his clothes as he walked that he burned carpets, melted plastic and sparked a mass evacuation.
"My biggest mistake was not recognizing, by Saturday (before the storm made landfall), that Louisiana was dysfunctional," Michael Brown told a House of Representatives panel looking into the aftermath of the catastrophic storm.
"I very strongly personally regret that I was unable to persuade (Louisiana) Governor (Kathleen) Blanco and (New Orleans) Mayor (Ray) Nagin to sit down, get over their differences and work together," he said. "I just couldn't pull that off."
Brown said he remains a consultant to FEMA with about the same $148,000 annual salary.
Brown told the committee the response to Katrina, which killed more than 1,100 people and inundated New Orleans, went more smoothly in Alabama and Mississippi, which have Republican governors, than in Louisiana. Gov. Blanco is a Democrat.
The word..."wanker"...doesn't even begin to cover it. "Oh, I did a great job. My only mistake was not recognizing that a state run by Democrats is completely lame. Nyah nyah. I'm rubber, you're glue, whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you."
On Sept. 9, Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions called his old law professor Harold Apolinsky, co-author of Sessions' legislation repealing the federal estate tax <..> [and left a message] on Apolinsky's voice mail: "[Arizona Sen.] Jon Kyl and I were talking about the estate tax. If we knew anybody that owned a business that lost life in the storm, that would be something we could push back with." <..> Only a tiny percentage of people are affected by the estate tax -- in 2001 only 534 Alabamans were subject to it. <..> Last year, the tax brought in $24.8 billion to the federal government. <..> Has he found any victims of both the hurricane and the estate tax? "Not yet," Apolinsky says. "But I'm still looking." -- with reporting by Amanda Ripley/Washington
So I guess, what all that really means, is that, if you're a Republican -- it's too bad Paris Hilton wasn't crushed entirely, except for her shoes, by a soggy flying house.
(Wait! That means Republicans and I do agree on something!)
Q: Where does Bush stand on Roe vs. Wade?
A: He doesn't care how people get out of New Orleans.
Did you hear about Condoleeza Rice? She heard New Orleans was flooding and went to buy some pumps.
Q: What is the difference between Iraq and Vietnam?
A: Bush had a plan to get out of Vietnam.
September 18, 2005--Thirty-five percent (35%) of Americans now say that President Bush has done a good or excellent job responding to Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. That's down from 39% before his speech from New Orleans.
Of course, in my opinion, that still means 35% of Americans are hopelessly deluded . And that's depressing, because I think it means that there is a core -- not a majority, but a significant minority, maybe 33% -- who will not wake up. Under any circumstances.
"Tax cuts are always popular," Clinton said. "But about half of these tax cuts since 2001 have gone to people in my income group, the top 1 percent. I've gotten four tax cuts. "Now, what Americans need to understand is that that means every single day of the year, our government goes into the market and borrows money from other countries to finance Iraq, Afghanistan, Katrina, and our tax cuts," Clinton added. "We depend on Japan, China, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, and Korea primarily to basically loan us money every day of the year to cover my tax cut and these conflicts and Katrina. I don't think it makes any sense. I think it's wrong."
Bill O'Reilly, in response to footage of Katrina victims:
"If you donít get educated, if you donít develop a skill, and force yourself to work hard, youíll most likely be poor."
So I'm wondering...what skill does O'Reilly have, exactly? And what does he work hard at doing, precisely? Because to me it looks like he works hard spouting off his mouth. I can do that. I do do that. I just don't make bazillions of dollars doing that. In fact, I'm willing to bet that almost nobody makes lots of money spouting off their mouths, even if they work really hard at it. I know I do. Work hard, that is. Not the money part. Anyway.
Frank Rich September 18 2005
Nor can the president's acceptance of "responsibility" for the disaster dislodge what came before. Mr. Bush didn't cough up his modified-limited mea culpa until he'd seen his whole administration flash before his eyes. His admission that some of the buck may stop with him (about a dime's worth, in Truman dollars) came two weeks after the levees burst and five years after he promised to usher in a new post-Clinton "culture of responsibility." It came only after the plan to heap all the blame on the indeed blameworthy local Democrats failed to lift Mr. Bush's own record-low poll numbers. It came only after America's highest-rated TV news anchor, Brian Williams, started talking about Katrina the way Walter Cronkite once did about Vietnam.
When I got to "about a dime's worth, in Truman dollars" I burst out laughing. So here is the whole paragraph. If you happen to subscribe to the NYTimes, the original is here, but they wantcha to start paying to see it.
Speaking of the New York Times, there is another interesting article, "Under Din of Abortion Debate, an Experience Shared Quietly" which is an anecdotal article about some women getting abortions in Arkansas. The thing that struck me was how a couple of the women talked about how they didn't think abortion was the right thing to do -- they thought it was a sin, or whatever -- and yet, here they were, doing it anyway. Usually because they thought it was wrong, yet, somehow, their own personal situation required it
In other words -- it's okay if you're me.
This double standard may be kind of inevitable. That person is an idiot driver. I was distracted by my dog and it's really not my fault. Even though I ran over Stephen King.
With regard to abortion, I think it shows why opinion polls on this topic have such weird and seemingly contradictory results. On the whole, Americans think abortion is wrong. But they think you should be able to do it anyway. Anti-abortion crusaders cry "murder," but people act like they feel it's more in line with adultery -- morally wrong, not a good idea, but certainly not something that should be criminalized. (It also seems to be seen as a sexual sin, not a sin of violence, even among those who call it murder. Go figure.) So, little things like how the poll question is worded will significantly change the results. "Abortion on demand" will get negative results, because somehow that sounds like...you know, that sounds like too much approval. Like they're too easy to get. Or something. But "Abortion is illegal" also strikes people as wrong, because, well, they shouldn't be illegal. Because maybe somebody -- you know, somebody like me, a good person who just happens to need an abortion -- might not be able to get one.
Which leads us, always, inevitably back to the only abortion position that makes any sense:
"Abortions for some -- miniature American flags for others!"