We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Memorizes Pi to 100,000 decimal places. Count me a skeptic. This guy would have been quite handy in ancient Greece.
Nessie finally found - the bones, anyway. Some Dino
The blogosphere knows lots more about the ACLU than do most people, thanks to Stop the ACLU. Investor's Business Daily just ran a piece a week ago on the subject. A quote:
The Enemy Within: From the beginning, the American Civil Liberties Union has aligned itself with America's adversaries. Its unrelenting strategy has been to twist our Constitution into a weapon against American values and security.
ACLU founder and longtime executive director Roger Baldwin's infamous quote still haunts his organization today, a quarter-century after the radical activist's death:
"I am for socialism, disarmament and ultimately for abolishing the state itself as an instrument of violence and compulsion. I seek social ownership of property, the abolition of the propertied class, and sole control by those who produce wealth. Communism is the goal."
It's a statement that's been repeated and reprinted so many times, some Americans might be numbed rather than outraged upon hearing it again. But it's no urban legend. The man who started the organization that claims to be the leading safeguard of the U.S. Constitution did say it, along with plenty of statements mirroring those sentiments.
Althouse has a fine rundown of the Columbia "protest" story, with TWO videos and recent admin. comments. One good comment from a reader: "Where was Security?"
From the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion:
The greater a population's devotion to religion, or "religiosity," the lower its level of acceptance of tax fraud, write Steven J. Stack, a professor of criminal justice at Wayne State University, and Augustine Kposowa, a professor of sociology at the University of California at Riverside. And, they say, tax-fraud studies have "neglected religiosity as a social bond that may deter" tax fraud.
Instead, research has focused on how perceptions of apprehension and punishment decrease tax avoidance, and on behavior in the United States alone. In particular, they say, researchers have not previously explored the "moral communities" hypothesis: that religiosity's effect on deviance will vary according to the degree to which a nation's population identifies with a religious group.
The authors analyzed data for about 45,728 individuals in 36 nations that were reported by the World Values Survey, a global network of social scientists who have studied the basic values and beliefs of societies around the world. Mr. Stack and Mr. Kposowa found that the higher individual levels of religiosity were, the lower was the acceptability of tax fraud.
They also found, in a comparison of nations in which a majority of the population identifies with a religious group, that the presence of such moral communities had a marked effect on the acceptance of tax noncompliance. The researchers also found that in nations with communist regimes, which commonly suppress religious groups, the effect of religion on acceptance of tax fraud diminished.
Comparing members of various faiths, the researchers found that Buddhists and Catholics were significantly more approving of tax-fraud than were Protestants, Jews, Hindus, and Muslims. "Persons with no religious affiliation were typically the group that approved the most" of tax avoidance, the authors write. Speculating on whether those variations could be explained by differences in teachings, the authors note that the only significant difference they found was the Buddha's argument that "crime, including theft, was mainly a function of poverty."
Their findings, they say, indicate "that the promotion of participation in religion and confidence in government might be sound strategies for reducing tax fraud." They add, however, that "it is beyond the scope of the present article to address exactly how these goals might be best accomplished."
The article, "The Effect of Religiosity on Tax Fraud Acceptability: A Cross-National Analysis," is available for subscribers or for purchase through Blackwell Publishing.