American Elephants

Always Fascinating to Find Out What Makes People Tick. by The Elephant's Child

The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life released a new study— “Many Americans Mix Multiple Faiths”— reporting that a significant number of Americans practice a mixture of  religious beliefs, and “many also blend Christianity with Eastern or New Age  beliefs such as reincarnation, astrology and the presence of spiritual energy in physical objects.”

The report was not about partisan differences, but it was broken down by party affiliation, among other categories.  And Democrats are apparently far more likely to believe in supernatural phenomenon than Republicans.

Conservatives and Republicans report fewer experiences than liberals or Democrats communicating with the dead, seeing ghosts and consulting fortunetellers or psychics. For example, 21 percent of Republicans report that they have been in touch with someone who is dead, while 36 percent of Democrats say they have done so.  Eleven percent of Republicans say they have seen a ghost, while 21 percent of Democrats say so.  Nine percent of Republicans say they have consulted a fortuneteller, while 22 percent of Democrats do.

There’s more.  Seventeen percent of Republicans say they believe in reincarnation, while 30 percent of Democrats do.  Fourteen percent of Republicans say they believe in astrology, while 31 percent of Democrats do  Fifteen percent of Republicans say they view yoga as a spiritual practice, while 31 percent of Democrats do.  Seventeen percent of Republicans say they believe in spiritual energy, while 30 percent of Democrats do.

I am not, absolutely NOT, going to comment on this, although it is really tempting.  If you are so inclined, have at it.  The study is here.

Lieberman, Nelson Say, “No!” by American Elephant
December 13, 2009, 3:18 pm
Filed under: Health Care, News, Politics, Socialism | Tags: , , ,

Senators Lieberman and Nelson both say they will vote against Harry Reid’s “compromise” health care bill, making passage of the bill as it stands unlikely:

Two key senators criticized the most recent healthcare compromise Sunday, saying the policies replacing the public option are still unacceptable.

Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) both said a Medicare “buy-in” option for those aged 55-64 was a deal breaker.

“I’m concerned that it’s the forerunner of single payer, the ultimate single-payer plan, maybe even more directly than the public option,” Nelson said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

Lieberman said Democrats should stop looking for a public option “compromise” and simply scrap the idea altogether. [read more]

Let’s hope they stick to their guns!

Carol of the Bells by American Elephant
December 13, 2009, 10:33 am
Filed under: Music, Television | Tags: , , ,

Shchdedryk, The Ukrainian Carol, or Carol of the Bells — different names for the same beautiful carol. There are so many excellent renditions of this carol to choose from — unless you happen to be limiting yourself to performances available on YouTube — in which case you get a thousand mediocre High School Choirs, ten-thousand amateur webcam performances, and if you are persistent, you might unearth a few gems.

I am.

So, I present, first, the Muppets, followed by Julie Andrews in her (1973?) Christmas Special with the Treorchy Male Choir, and finally George Winston’s beautiful piano arrangement.

Merry Christmas!

Prurient Interest. Why Are We So Fascinated By A Scandal? by The Elephant's Child
December 13, 2009, 3:42 am
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Politics, Progressivism | Tags: , ,

Let me admit that I haven’t much interest in celebrities, except when standing in line for the grocery check-out.  Surrounded with tabloids, who can resist — besides there’s not much else to look at except other people’s grocery carts and one doesn’t want to appear judgmental.

That said, it seems unfortunate that Tiger Woods has embarrassed himself, shamed his family and so on, but I am not really interested.  It is his problem to deal with, and I have no prurient interest.  On the other hand, we have the case of Max Baucus.

Earlier this year, Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) nominated one Melodee Hanes, an attorney on his staff, for the job of U.S. attorney in Montana.  Jodi Ravi, a former reporter for The Missoulian revealed over the weekend that the paper informed Baucus in March that it was poised to publish a story about Hanes’s relationship with the senator and the fact that he had nominated her for the U.S. attorney job.  The next day, Hanes withdrew from consideration.  Baucus’ office never acknowledged a relationship and the paper did not run a story.

When Max Baucus’ relationship with his staffer turned personal in 2008, Baucus gave her a $14,000 salary increase. [This is where I get interested!  These Democrats always think that it’s all government money and they can just spend it however they like.]  At the time he was becoming romantically involved with her, and later took her on a taxpayer-funded trip to Southeast Asia and the Middle East, though foreign policy was not her specialty. They were both married to other people at the time of the unfortunate nomination.

Newsweek’s Kate Daily wrote that Hanes had a record of serious accomplishment before going to work for Baucus.  Melodee, said Daily, is not a “bimbo.” Certainly. $14,000 raises of taxpayer money are frequently handed out by elderly senators to efficient staffers, and U.S. Attorney nominations are usually divided up among favored staff. Taxpayer funded junkets and per diems have nothing to do with ethics.  If you want to have a little office romance, it is fairly stupid, but do it on your own dime, not on mine.  In private-sector companies, it’s usually a firing offense.

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