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Author Topic: How Hot is your Tea?
SenojRetep
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Politico/TargetPoint conducted a joint survey of several hundred random individuals at the Tax Day tea party protest in Washington D.C. The survey is available online at TargetPoint's website, along with a correlation score that ranks how similar you are to the Tea Partiers surveyed. The survey consists of rating your "anger" level on a 5 point scale about 22 subjects (growing federal debt, government intrusion in your life, etc.)

I scored a 61/111 (or "frosty" on the TargetPoint scale).

The thing I think is most interesting about the data set (and this is pointed out in the Politico article) is how it pits cultural conservatism against fiscal libertarianism. The Palin-wing of the Tea Party is angry about everything, social and fiscal. But the Ron Paul-wing is almost exclusively angry about fiscal issues (gay marriage? no big deal). So I wouldn't find it surprising if libertarian-leaning liberals scored higher than statist-leaning conservatives (such as myself) on the TargetPoint scale.

<edit>Note the minimum possible score is 22; personally I would have normalized it to zero, which I think would give a more accurate picture of agreement/disagreement with tea party issues. Also the median score on the survey (of TeaPartiers) was 96, which corresponds to an average anger per question of about 4.35.</edit>

[ April 28, 2010, 10:12 AM: Message edited by: SenojRetep ]

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Mucus
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43, although I would note that "angry" is a really generic rating. e.g. Are you angry at Obama's handling of Afghanistan/Iraq because you think he should pull out or because you think he should be more aggressive?
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Strider
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what Mucus said. I scored a 61/111 as well, though as a libertarian leaning liberal, i probably achieved it differently than you senoj. Some of the questions were not specific enough to answer properly, as mucus points. The moral direction of the country was very difficult to answer for instance.
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Alcon
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Iced. 55. Although, I ended up answering "Not Angry" to questions I am angry about - just not in the way that they mean. For instance, I am angry about the passage of health care: it got horrendously watered down and ought have been a single payer or fully nationalized system.

And I'm furious about the moral direction of this country: conservative Christian morality is not the direction we need to be moving.

I ended up answering not angry to those questions because I knew what the subtext was.

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SenojRetep
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I would say you guessed what the subtext was. I think many of the Paul-ites, who are largely non-religious and make up about half of the Tea Party protesters surveyed, would agree with you about why one should be angry about the moral direction of the country (if one is indeed angry).
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Strider
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but that's exactly the problem with the quiz. The other half are angry about godless liberalism.
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The White Whale
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Iced 57. And angry is a strange scale. For every question, I imagined some big guy yelling "Are you ANGRY?"
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Mucus
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Well, if there's one good thing, it's that the polling firm wears their allegiance pretty firmly on their sleeve. Their linked Twitter feed describes them as a "Conservative Market Research & Knowledge Management Firm" and if you look at their Executive Team pretty much everyone has worked directly on a Republican campaign (in some cases claiming credit for victory) of some sort or another and not one Democrat campaign.
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SenojRetep
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I hadn't checked TargetPoint's reputation; I just saw the site linked off The Monkey Cage this morning and clicked through to it. Unfortunately, they're not among the shops with a pollster rating at 538.com; I believe Nate Silver's policy is not to include in-house polling on either the Republican or Democratic side (which would explain why they're not rated), but giving a rating, even if you don't include the pollster results in the regression, would be useful for interpreting spot polls like this.
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BlackBlade
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I've never thought about it but can Mormons belong to a Tea Party? Is that really an icon we can rally behind? [Wink]
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rivka
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Make a sub-party: the Postum Party!
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Mucus
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IIRC, the idea behind the tea party was the destruction of tea rather then pay tax on it (taxation without representation in the British parliament). Since the modern incarnation seems to be taking the parallel (protest against taxation without Republicans in power), actually liking tea doesn't seem to be a requirement, only the will to destroy it rather than pay tax on it (which goes to non-republicans).

Therefore, there should be no problem for Mormons, just Asians that can't give up tea.

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Darth_Mauve
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How about Asian Mormons?

Or worse, you know how those Brit's love their tea. What if its an Asian Mormon Brit? (You know, someone who is religiously a member of the LDS, ethnically from Asia, but culturally and physically living in London). Will they have issues with the TEA party? Will thy just explode?

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Samprimary
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if you're an asian mormon, can you drink tea?
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Mucus
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IIRC, BladeBlade and someone else here has related stories of Asian converts finding it really hard to give up tea (if not giving up entirely due to related social reasons).
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scholarette
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You can drink things that aren't actually tea- like chamomile tea (does not use the tea leaves). We cheat and drink tea when with my husband's family. We do jasmine cause his family thinks it is herbal and they are accommodating us (haven't had the heart to explain that jasmine is still on the no-no list because it is added to regular tea).
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Samprimary
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why is chamomile tea okay when tea leaves or not? aren't they both 'hot drinks'
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scholarette
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Samp- logic and reason are not part of the Word of Wisdom. It is a very arbitrary set of rules with very little consistency (which might be why I don't feel much guilt enjoying my jasmine tea at dim sum).

ETA- some of the better mormons on the board can probably give you a justification behind it, but I have found just going with it is random and arbitrary makes more sense.

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SenojRetep
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Hot drinks were clarified soon after the revelation (by Joseph Smith) to be tea and coffee. Later prophets have further clarified that "tea" means green or black teas, and that coffee means drinks brewed from coffee beans. There's significant speculation about why those drinks were specified, but no clarification from church leadership.

<edit>On a historical note, the word of wisdom wasn't always as strictly observed by church members as it is today. Today, a member must obey the word of wisdom to hold a temple recommend; that wasn't the case in the early days of the church. One apocryphal story I've heard explaining the policy change is that then-President of the Church Heber J. Grant did it in response to Utah's ratification of the 21st amendment.</edit>

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by scholarette:
... which might be why I don't feel much guilt enjoying my jasmine tea at dim sum

Welcome to the dark side [Wink]
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
quote:
Originally posted by scholarette:
... which might be why I don't feel much guilt enjoying my jasmine tea at dim sum

Welcome to the dark side [Wink]
I don't know why you'd feel guilty even if you were a Mormon. Jasmine tea is a flower tea and it's perfect acceptable to imbibe.

Senjo nailed it down it's simply teas made from leaves that are to be avoided. The Word of Wisdom is not an arbitrary set of rules, it's actually a very good set of guidelines for dietary habits that have been by and large validated by scientific inquiry.

I wasn't trying to start a debate on the merits of the Word of Wisdom, merely that I find it somewhat amusing to see Mormons support a party with that particular name. It would be just as amusing if The Tea Party was instead Shays Rebellion 2.0.

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scholarette
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The jasmine tea they bought was black tea with jasmine. So, it is still against the rules- and it is dang good too. [Smile]
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Mucus
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AFAIK, that's usually the case (the blending), the standard way of making Jasmine tea is to take a base of green tea and scent it with the jasmine, and later it was expanded to the other types of tea. link
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Sterling
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42- "Glacial". No big surprise. I don't have a very high opinion of the "Tea Party".
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
Senjo nailed it down it's simply teas made from leaves that are to be avoided. The Word of Wisdom is not an arbitrary set of rules, it's actually a very good set of guidelines for dietary habits that have been by and large validated by scientific inquiry.

a system where leaf teas are strictly disallowed but soda is okay and flower teas are fine and coffee is not okay but chicory coffee would probably be okay etc etc etc really seems to me like a greatly arbitrary system

like to the extent that every time I think I've got the hang of it, it turns out to be even more confusing than before. its discriminations are also arbitrary in so many health regards, as well. To disallow leaf tea and coffee, both of which are fine, and still allow soda, which is surprisingly bad for you, really denotes 'arbitrary.'

imo.

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Jon Boy
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I personally have no problem calling the coffee and tea proscriptions arbitrary. I mean, it's possible that there's some health reason behind it that we don't know yet, but I don't know of any (aside from maybe the caffeine, which is not forbidden when it's in other things). But the rest of it seems to be pretty geared towards healthy living.
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BlackBlade
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Mucus: It seems that most Jasmine teas today do come built on a green or red tea base, but that certainly does not have to be the case. I think it's more a function of green and reds are so popular most people prefer some fusion rather than straight jasmine tea for example. But you can certainly get jasmine tea that does not have leaves.

Samp: It's not as if the WoW says, "SODA GOOD! COFFEE BAD!" it simply didn't exist when the document was made. And it was certainly designed to give us more of a philosophy concerning food rather than a check list. The fact the church does not view soda as being worth banning isn't a tacit approval. Mormons aren't even asked to detail how they observe the Word of Wisdom, just if they feel they are keeping it.

I'm virtually certain that were Jesus back here, he would have a plenty long sermon about Mormons failing to observe the spirit of the law and getting hung up on the letter.

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scholarette
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BlackBlade- at my last temple rec interview, the bishop asked like do you observe the word of wisdom, avoiding alcohol, coffee, tea. I don't remember the exact words, but tea was mentioned explicitly (not sure if bishop added that in).
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by scholarette:
BlackBlade- at my last temple rec interview, the bishop asked like do you observe the word of wisdom, avoiding alcohol, coffee, tea. I don't remember the exact words, but tea was mentioned explicitly (not sure if bishop added that in).

In all of my temple interviews that I can recollect the wording has been "Do you keep the Word of Wisdom." Occasionally it has been something like, "Do you keep the Word of Wisdom as it has been explained to you in the scriptures and by the general authorities of the church?"

edit: But I certainly concede that I wouldn't blink if a bishop or stake president had said things the way you described.

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
Mucus: It seems that most Jasmine teas today do come built on a green or red tea base, but that certainly does not have to be the case.

I don't think so, at least it wouldn't actually be jasmine tea. This better source lists the three ways of manufacturing Jasmine tea, a traditional way dating back to the Ming dynasty of scenting high quality tea leaves for several days with Jasmine, a more modern cheaper way of scenting lower quality leaves or simply combining them with Jasmine (what it says is used in export or in the North), or the cheapest way of artificially scenting the leaves. All require actual, well, tea.
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BlackBlade
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Mucus: That is interesting. I'm not sure what to say, upon looking at the ingredients in the mixes I was served I found the flowers were used to flavor basic herbal teas but that leaves were not in the ingredients.

Perhaps I am mistaken in that leaves were used in the brewing process, and I just failed to read it. Simply adding jasmine flowers to a tea regardless of what it is makes it jasmine tea.

There are plenty of herbal teas that can be used as a base, leaves are not the only thing that can.

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Kwea
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Iced, at 49/111
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
... Perhaps I am mistaken in that leaves were used in the brewing process, and I just failed to read it.

The state of labelling laws being what they are in China, it's also possible that it was mistranslated or simply assumed that it was known that tea was present.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
... Perhaps I am mistaken in that leaves were used in the brewing process, and I just failed to read it.

The state of labelling laws being what they are in China, it's also possible that it was mistranslated or simply assumed that it was known that tea was present.
True story, I enjoyed my jasmine tea whenever I tried it. But I still prefer wheat and winter melon.
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scholarette
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I know I took note of the wording at the time because it wasn't what I was used to (the overly specific nature). I did not ask him about it, though I probably should have. I don't remember what my stake president asked because we had a nice discussion about how there was no way in hell I was sending money to the prop 8 campaign and if my state had the identical vote, I would not be voting for it. He was cool with it and elaborated why he was cool with it for a bit, all while being extremely careful not to say how he personally would vote. So, that tells you when I last did my interview. [Smile]
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SenojRetep
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Not that the tea discussion isn't interesting, but I'm more interested in the question of libertarian anger.

I remember the Bush years (particularly the second term) as having generated a lot of anger from libertarian liberals about foreign policy, particularly how costly the wars were, how civil liberties had been abridged, etc. Are those still things liberal libertarians are angry about? I mean, does it make you angry that the Obama administration is increasing troops in Afghanistan, ramping up operations in Pakistan, wirelessly monitoring conversations, using military tribunals, threatening Iran, and so on?

I guess I'm wondering whether Sterling, Alcon, White Whale and others would have gotten higher scores if the quiz had been associated with ANSWER or the ACLU or some other organization for channeling libertarian anger that isn't as strongly associated with conservatism as the Tea Party.

<edit>I just went back over the questions, and I guess they're pretty closely tuned to "conservative" libertarian issues (guns and debt) rather than liberal libertarian issues (drugs and privacy). So I guess the low scores are more understandable that I at first thought. Still, I'm interested in why some elements of libertarian ideology get adopted by people, but not others. Like why people are pro-liberalizing drug policy but anti-liberalizing (in the libertarian sense) gun policy. Or pro-privacy but not pro-private insurance</edit>

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kmbboots
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To the extent President Obama is doing those things by choice rather than necessity*, you betcha.

*Because it is harder to unring those bells than it was to ring them in the first place. I would like to see all of those things cease but realize that it will take time.

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Orincoro
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Senoj- my frustration with all of those goings on does not register as anger with the Obama administration. As far as I'm concerned, every one of those issues is a legacy problem, systemic, and highly complex. I maintain a lot of faith in Obama's character, and believe that it is his intention and his desire to end these abuses. That said, I too understand the difficulties in unringing that bell. Obama has yet to ring any new bells for me, and he's been President long enough to have done so- Bush had been President for less time before he got started betraying the public trust.
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Sterling
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In a very broad sense (and please recognize that I recognize that this is very broad and doesn't register accurately on every issue) I feel that the Tea Party protests amount to: "Hey, what about me?!" Whereas, say, the ACLU's protests on issues read more like: "Excuse me, what about everyone else?"

In many cases, the farther a cause gets from direct self-interest, the easier it is for me to sympathize.

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