After describing our 6.6 mile round trip hike to the coast at Alava Point from the Lake Ozette ranger station as "an ordeal", yesterday my wife informs me that the short time we spent sitting on a hillside staring at the Pacific in the middle of an awesome rain forest was the best part of our brief vacation experiences. Okay, pleasantries aside, “here come de judgments!”
Study links longevity to income, location, race
By Lauran Neergaard, Associated Press, September 12, 2006
“WASHINGTON – Asian American women living in Bergen County, N.J., lead the nation in longevity, typically reaching their 91st birthdays. Worst off are American Indian men in swaths of South Dakota, who die about age 58 – three decades sooner.
“Where you live, combined with race and income, plays a huge role in the nation's health disparities, differences so stark that a report issued Monday contends it's as if there are eight separate Americas.
“Millions of the worst-off Americans have life expectancies typical of developing countries, concluded Dr. Christopher Murray of the Harvard School of Public Health.”
This article was accompanied by an American map, color-coded to show the death rates in geographical terms. Just like all other maps I’ve been pointing out for years, wherever things are bad for the average person, whether it’s child poverty, poverty in general, infant mortality, murder rates, suicide rates, least money spent on education, worst treatment of those in poverty and, now, early death, the color which indicates the worst outcome is always most prevalent in the South, in that wonderful Bible Belt where Bush is master.
Taking all these poor indicators together, why does anyone in Middle America or the West still tend to think and vote like these people. Hey, Idaho, why? [PS: I know there are sane and decent folks in the South (I’ve lived there so I know), and to you I extend my apology that I must keep pointing up the follies of your brothers and sisters who are not as wise or tuned in as you are or whataever is the latest phrase for intelligence.]
The article below reveals even more about the Bible Belt psyche. Take a belt of Bible. It’ll get you drunk with self-loathing.
Research questions secular America
By Michelle Boorstein, Washington Post, September 12, 2006
“. . . Among the most innovative aspects of the Baylor survey, according to scholars who know about it, are questions that probe how Americans describe God's personality. Respondents were offered 26 attributes ranging from "absolute" and "wrathful" to "friendly," and asking if God is directly involved in and angered by individual and worldly affairs.
“The researchers separated God's attributes into four categories: angry, judgmental, benevolent and distant. Researchers found that the largest category of people—31 percent—was made up of people who believe God is both wrathful and highly involved in human affairs.”
The interesting thing to me about this second study is that I’ve long known, from personal experience as well as from scholarly reading, that those who are angry at others and who imagine they live in a dangerous world are actually full of self-hatred and self-destructive thinking patterns which they project out onto the world. It’s no wonder, then, that the god these fundamentalists imagine in the outer world is just like they are on the inside. The god that these people worship is an accurate reflection of the kind of person they are in their thoughts. They want their imaginary god to take out their hatred on the world and that revenging god is the god they carry around inside their heads. Imagine what it must be like to be them on the inside, seething with a murderous desire to revenge themselves on the world. Also realize that they take no responsibility for their hateful thoughts. It’s the devil OUT THERE that makes them do it. Read the Psalms to get the inside scoop on the wishes, hopes and dreams of such a religious person.