Archive for February 12th, 2005

More Red/Blue State Propaganda!

Feb 12, 2005 in Linkage

Hear the Issues is a political website chock full of maps, charts and statistics that examines various factors across the 50 states. Many of the statistics that were passed around during the 2004 election are featured here, including:

  • The infamous IQ and education ratings of red and blue states. Using two different sets of data, the author concludes that there is a significant correlation between education levels and red/blue state status. Blue states scored higher than the national median by a 2 to 1 ratio.
  • Gay Marriage and Divorce Rates: The states with the highest divorce rates (and the lowest average of same-sex couples) tend to be red states, whereas the states with the lowest divorce rates (and the highest average of same-sex couples) tend to be blue states, with a concentration in the northeast.
  • Teen Pregnancy: Again, the highest teen pregnancy rates tend to be in the red states, with the highest percentages concentrated in the southeast. Bush’s home state of Texas ranks number 2.
  • Federal Funding Expenditures: The states that receive the most money from the federal government per dollar of taxes paid in tend to be rural red states. The states that receive less money from the federal government than they pay in tend to be populous blue states.
  • The Effect of Politics on the Dow Jones: Since 1928, Democratic administrations have seen the highest average stock market gains. Republican administrations see the wildest swings, with a higher average yearly gain/loss, but a lower average gain overall.
  • There are many other interesting maps and charts on this site, examining trends such as television, music and automobile preferences, consumption and geography, soda vs. pop, regional dialects, and the 10 regions of US politics.

    Freedom of religion… Just watch what you practice

    Feb 12, 2005 in Current Events

    In one of his first acts as Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales is appealing to the Supreme Court to block a Brazilian church’s use of a hallucinogenic tea.

    The O Centro Espirita Beneficiente Uniao do Vegetal church of New Mexico uses hoasca tea as a sacramental brew in it’s religious practice. This practice is rooted in the practices of the aboriginal tribes of the Amazon basin, much like the Native American Church’s use of peyote.

    A study published in a medical journal on the use of hoasca indicated generally positive effects in those who imbibed for sacramental purposes. Several lower court rulings have affirmed the group’s right to use hoasca for religious purposes.

    I guess I don’t need to point out the hypocrisy of an administration that wraps itself in the cloak of religion, yet denies religious freedoms for small groups that engage in unconventional practices. If that isn’t what freedom of religion is all about, then I don’t know what is.