Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Reasons to Love Britain 7


Hard as it may be to believe but almost everywhere in Britain it is possible to receive two distinct classical music radio stations.

BBC Radio 3 [Wikipedia: Radio 3]is almost certainly the best classical music radio station in the world. Not only does the BBC provide classical music around the clock, but the organization supports and pays for and supports five symphony orchestras.

But, to be frank, Radio 3 is sometimes a bit preachy. It wants to make you like songs by Michael Tippet even when they sound like screeching.

ClassicFM is indescribably perfect to just have one, at any time, in the background, to make life more acceptable.

Of course classical music has a higher goal and rationale than that. But making life acceptable is no bad thing.

More Liberal Than You

I took the test at [It's a current internet hit. See Andrew Sullivan on the subject here.]

Well, my results are as above.

Apparently I am more liberal compared to most liberals than most liberals are to Conservatives.

Hmmmm. Makes me proud.

The scale you completed was the "Moral Foundations Questionnaire," developed by Jesse Graham, Jonathan Haidt & Brian A. Nosek at the University of Virginia.

The scale is a measure of your reliance on and endorsement of five psychological foundations of morality that seem to be found across cultures. Each of the two parts of the scale contained four questions related to each foundation: 1) harm/care, 2) fairness/reciprocity (including issues of rights), 3) ingroup/loyalty, 4) authority/respect, and 5) purity/sanctity.

The idea behind the scale is that human morality is the result of biological and cultural evolutionary processes that made human beings very sensitive to many different (and often competing) issues. Some of these issues are about treating other individuals well (the first two foundations - harm and fairness). Other issues are about how to be a good member of a group or supporter of social order and tradition (the last three foundations). Haidt and Graham have found that political liberals generally place a higher value on the first two foundations; they are very concerned about issues of harm and fairness (including issues of inequality and exploitation). Political conservatives care about harm and fairness too, but they generally score slightly lower on those scale items. The big difference between liberals and conservatives seems to be that conservatives score slightly higher on the ingroup/loyalty foundation, and much higher on the authority/respect and purity/sanctity foundations.

This difference seems to explain many of the most contentious issues in the culture war. For example, liberals support legalizing gay marriage (to be fair and compassionate), whereas many conservatives are reluctant to change the nature of marriage and the family, basic building blocks of society. Conservatives are more likely to favor practices that increase order and respect (e.g., spanking, mandatory pledge of allegiance), whereas liberals often oppose these practices as being violent or coercive.

In the graphs below, your scores on each foundation are shown in green. The scores of all liberals who have taken it on our site are shown in blue, and the scores of all conservatives are shown in red. Scores run from 0 (the lowest possible score, you completely reject that foundation) to 5 (the highest possible score, you very strongly endorse that foundation and build much of your morality on top of it).

Police: Sometimes They Tell Lies and Often They Over-Charge

CNN has put the Police Report on the arrest of the University of Florida student who was tased online.

It is quite possible to see on video everything that happened. Yet the police are trying to lay a felony rap on the guy for *resisting arrest.* And the reason given for the arrest - that he "was inciting a riot."

We need the police for social protection, but here is a basic truth. Some policemen and women lie like they breathe.

Even when, as in this case, they know there is a video of their actions, they cannot help themselves.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

What's Wrong with America 3

Americans don't know when to stop wearing blond wigs.

A Commercial

My dad and Uncle Dave run a truly horrible business.

They sell hot sauces. It's such a straight thing, a gay man like me can hardly understand the concept. (We prefer hot Mormons.)#

But, since my dad managed to get hit on his motorbike while on his recent beer tour of Belgium, I have been helping him pack some of his sauces.

If you truly want the hottest hot sauce in Europe, try The D'Evil's Kitchen..

If you know straight boys who equate masculinity with burning their tongues off, my dad can help.