Saturday, 14 May 2011

Polling for Jesus or Such

There is this Public Religion Research Institute that exists.  I questioned who would fund something like this....but that would merely open up more questions about what they mean by 'public' and why a bunch of religious-minded folks needed to do research.  Most truly religious folks just want to chat at the table over Bible quotes or go out and save folks.  It's hard to see why a really religious guy would want to poll folks.

Today, they came out with authentic research.  Around six in ten Americans....believe its very wrong to be happy over the killing of another human being.  They wanted to cite this as fact....going across various religious lines.....minority Christian, Catholic, white mainline Protestant, and Evangelical types.   Strangely enough....minority Chrisitans were at the peak with 70 percent agreeing you ought not get all happy, with white mainline Protestants barely being 53 percent unhappy with peppy Americans celebrating bin Laden's death.

The Public Religion Research Institute was able to properly cite the Bible's admonition that you ought not to “rejoice when your enemies fall”.....which I felt was pretty good for Bible citing.

Then the Public Religion Research Institute went on spill the beans that almost sixty-five percent of Americans think bin Laden is damned to hell for his past actions.  When guys take polls.....it's rare that they ask if anyone was damned to hell.....so I'm thinking this must have been a pretty risk-taking poll when given amongst some folks.

I was kinda positive over this business but with their article....they also wanted you to know that they had polled on Tea Party folks....which kinda surprised me that you'd want to research them as some some Public Religion Research Institute.

According to their research (same article from bin Laden)....around two-thirds of Tea Party folks say that  God has special role for the U.S. in human history....which naturally goes against 51 percent of the general public perception.

The same guys say that 55 percent of Tea Party folks think God was handling the finding of bin Laden for the Seals....compared to 39 percent of the public.

The same guys say that almost sixty percent of Tea Party folks think that having severe interrogation methods is important to getting the information you need from terrorists....while only only twenty-seven percent of the public say that.

I was pretty going along with this but then started to notice that their numbers only reflected Tea Party folks, Republicans and general American population (not Democrats).

Then I pulled up the web site and went looking for who funds the Public Religion Research Institute.....which they don't put up on the site.  They tell you alot....but not who gives them the money.  Then I Googled them....to find that the Huffington Post quotes them a fair amount.  Typically, there'd be this monkey to come out and dance right now....because if they quote you....they like the guys who fund you.

I'm likely of the mind that the Public Religion Research Institute is mostly a bogus group of guys who write down a fake fact on the whiteboard, and then build up some research to make it as factual as possible.  Being able to cite Bible facts?  I might give them some credit, but you could accidentally stick around some Bible college for four years and actually remember thirty-two Bible facts concerning Moses, and still have consumed eight hundred six-packs of beer during the four-year period of your life.

In essence....yeah, the Public Religion Research Institute is mostly bogus.  These are the same guys who'd find a Bible quote on Charlie Sheen, and then run off to do a poll.  These are the same guys who'd worry you about nuclear energy, find a Bible quote from Mark & Luke who were fairly anti-nuke energy, then poll two thousand Republicans who were anti-Mark & Luke.  These are the same guys who'd cite Bible passages against SUVs that came from Micah, then poll folks to prove SUVs were evil.

If Jesus returned tomorrow, and was an actual Tea Party member....it'd freak out the Public Religion Research Institute guys a good bit.  But they'd find their faith and quickly put out a poll that declared that most Americans were against Jesus if he was a Tea Party guy.  Naturally, this would confuse most everyone, then we'd all laugh about the group of researchers, and finally go back to worrying about aliens, UFOs, and Bigfoot.

Guzman and bin Laden?

Once upon a time, in Peru....stood the mighty Shining Path organization....Sendero Luminoso.  If you were going to make comparisons to bin Laden's gang....they were the 'kings' of Peruvian anti-government activity....bombing and killing people left and right.

Their bold leader....Abimael Guzman, a professor....came out in the late 1960s and had this great concept which was different from previous attempts to build up a resistance to the government of Peru.  He would use tactics from Mao, leave the university, and the capital city.....to forge the Shining Path in the rurals of the country.  He wanted the little people of the country to run the revolution....not college students.

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s....Guzman was just as effective as bin Laden.  He was the recruiting poster guy, the strategist, and the absolute leader of the organization.  It's an interesting thing though...he built a mostly flat organization with himself as the 'general', a couple of majors behind that, and then almost all Captains and Lieutenants.  Guzman didn't want competition or challenges to his strategy.... similar to what bin Laden has built over the past decade.

As the 1990s began to occur.....the Peruvians got smart.  They built up a counter-guerrilla group....allowed them to arm with shotguns, and then got some interested parties from the US to examine the various communication trails that existed.  At some point, Professor Guzman was finally tripped up and caught....where he was sent off to a quick trial and then onto prison (where he sits today).

The Shining Path?  Well.....with the flat notion of leadership....things kinda got sidetracked and went downhill.  The political folks in Peru will tell you that they've mostly smashed down the whole operation.  Occasionally....about once every six months....there's one bold attack to let folks know that some Shining Path members still live on.  But frankly, they have gone from the glory days of being the New York Yankees to being a double-A team from Little Rock.

It's very likely that over the next six months....we will see a couple of isolated attacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan....just to show that some bin Laden Captains and Lieutenants are still active.    Big time activity against the US or Europe?  You might see one attack carried out which might be big enough to make the nightly news for twenty-four hours.....and then disappear.

I suspect that this comparison of bin Laden and Guzman might not be on the screen of most folks.....but it's curious how both guys used a flat management chart to run things.  I suspect that if we applied management analysis against the bin Laden gang....we might be surprised at how ineffective they really are.