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Is the U.S. "One of the Largest Muslim Countries in the World"?

One view (at first endorsed by Andrew Sullivan, though later changed to "see[ing] the deeper point"):

I think that the United States and the West generally, we have to educate ourselves more effectively on Islam. And one of the points I want to make is, is that if you actually took the number of Muslims Americans, we'd be one of the largest Muslim countries in the world. And so there's got to be a better dialogue and a better understanding between the two peoples.

Another view. I haven't independently checked the data, but I'm pretty sure that with about 5 to 7 million Muslims [UPDATE: that seems to be one of the higher-end estimates], we don't even make the list. Certainly "one of the largest" is subjective enough to leave some wiggle room, but not that much wiggle room. If we're one of the largest, then Burkina Faso (with more Muslims than there are in America, and according to Wikipedia, #30 on the list) must be a veritable giant of a Muslim country.

A small matter, but it struck me as worth noting.

ATS (mail):
Loved John Hinderaker's point on this from PowerLine:
"In another universe, we can imagine President Obama noting that the U.S. is one of the largest Jewish countries in the world. We have 5 or 6 million Jews here, about the same as Israel. But what political purpose would that serve?"
6.4.2009 2:43am
skh.pcola:
If you would parse "one of the largest" to mean "not the absolute smallest," then yes, Obama's correct. Of course, any normal person who wishes to communicate honestly would never fling himself through such a flaming hoop.
6.4.2009 2:45am
skh.pcola:
@ATS: Because Obama isn't playing Silly Sycophant to the Jews, he dictating directives to them and getting pouty. He's more interested in placating the eternally aggrieved Muslims, instead.
6.4.2009 2:47am
cboldt (mail):
One might also notice the evolution of Obama's father's religious identity, as expressed by Obama. In Obama's memoirs, his father is a confirmed atheist; during the campaign, his father is said to be agnostic; and now that the campaign is won, his father was a Muslim. Another small matter, maybe worth noting.
6.4.2009 3:22am
BGates:
Bear in mind this is someone who thought $100M was a major part of the federal budget.
6.4.2009 3:34am
Borris (mail):
Now, now. Let us not criticize Barak Hussein Obama that would be racist.
6.4.2009 3:38am
Ricardo (mail):
One might also notice the evolution of Obama's father's religious identity, as expressed by Obama. In Obama's memoirs, his father is a confirmed atheist; during the campaign, his father is said to be agnostic; and now that the campaign is won, his father was a Muslim. Another small matter, maybe worth noting.

Obama had two different fathers: his Kenyan father-by-birth and his Indonesian step-father. I'm pretty sure when he talks about his experiences of growing up in Indonesia and having a Muslim father, he is speaking of the Indonesian step-father he spent his early childhood with.
6.4.2009 4:11am
Rod Blaine (mail):
So... when Mark Steyn claims that France, with 10% Muslim population, has a large Muslim population, he's a nativist/ racist fearmonger. But when Obama claims that the USA, with a 1-2% Muslim population, has a large Muslim population, that's okay, that's permissible leeway.
6.4.2009 4:41am
The River Temoc (mail):
If the best the opposition can do is complain about semantics like whether 5-7 million Muslim Americans make the U.S. "one of the biggest Muslim nations," then Obama is a shoo-in for re-election in four years.
6.4.2009 4:56am
Ricardo (mail):
So... when Mark Steyn claims that France, with 10% Muslim population, has a large Muslim population, he's a nativist/ racist fearmonger. But when Obama claims that the USA, with a 1-2% Muslim population, has a large Muslim population, that's okay, that's permissible leeway.

Niall Ferguson identified fears over intermarriage between Jews and "Aryans" in 1920s Germany as crucial to Nazi propaganda efforts (from his book "War of the World"). Someone quoting intermarriage statistics in Germany (which were surprisingly high, incidentally) in front of an audience of known National Socialists in the 1920s knew perfectly well what message he was conveying to the audience. Prof. Ferguson, quoting the same statistics in a history seminar, is not conveying the same message. It depends on the intended audience and the intended message.
6.4.2009 5:19am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
cboldt:

One might also notice the evolution of Obama's father's religious identity, as expressed by Obama. In Obama's memoirs, his father is a confirmed atheist; during the campaign, his father is said to be agnostic; and now that the campaign is won, his father was a Muslim. Another small matter, maybe worth noting.


What "evolution?" What Obama said in Audacity of Hope is this:

although my father had been raised a Muslim, by the time he met my mother he was a confirmed atheist


Please show us what current statement of Obama's is in contradiction to that statement. There was indeed an "evolution" in the father's religious identity: he started as a Muslim and he ended as an atheist. But where's the "evolution" in Obama's statements? You haven't demonstrated any.

You're channeling Limbaugh:

During the campaign Obama said his father was an agnostic, or was an atheist.  Today we find out that Obama's own campaign, his own White House, during a conference call in preparation for Obama's trip to Cairo where he's going to address the Muslim world that he talked about having a Muslim father.


You and Rush are both trying to create the impression that Obama previously hid his father's Muslim origins. But he didn't.
6.4.2009 5:40am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
rod:

So... when Mark Steyn claims that France, with 10% Muslim population, has a large Muslim population, he's a nativist/ racist fearmonger.


Steyn's ideological pals do indeed use nativist rhetoric when discussing Muslims in Europe.
6.4.2009 5:46am
The River Temoc (mail):
You and Rush are both trying to create the impression that Obama previously hid his father's Muslim origins.

It should also be pointed out that in some ways, "Muslim" is a cultural identity as well as a religious one. I know many secular Muslims, perhaps even atheists in all but name, who refuse to eat pork, for instance. From this standpoing, there is nothing inconsistent with Obama calling his father an agnostic and also a Muslim. (Naturally, there are those in the Muslim world who disagree.)
6.4.2009 6:06am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
Good point, thanks.
6.4.2009 6:25am
Sarcastro (www):
We really need to make sure Obama never shades the truth for the sake of diplomacy!
6.4.2009 6:53am
/:
Of the 57 states, I'm sure USSA ranks up there. This obviously has to change. I suggest billions of dollars of foreign aid to Islam-dominated countries.

Oh, it's not working? Let's ask Neville.
6.4.2009 7:25am
TomH (mail):
However, in the world of WWDKSAGWB (What Would Daily Kos Say About GWB) - most likely they would take him to task about his inability to do math or make logical comparison, his ignorance of affairs and his "fearmongering" to scare people into accepting a police state.

The hypocrisy does bother me.

TH
6.4.2009 7:35am
JB:
TomH,
I would hope that this blog and commenters hold themselves to a higher standard than the other side's partisan ideologues. "DailyKos does it" is no defense for one's own actions or those of one's fellow partisans, however true it may be.
6.4.2009 7:45am
Mr. Bingley (www):
Aw, the poor guy; he's suffering from "Allahzeimers."

You know, the disease that causes you to forget your dad's a muslim... ;)
6.4.2009 8:08am
Greg (www):
It's not a small matter, Eugene, it's tiny. There are approximately 200 countries in the world, and the US is in the top quarter to top third of Muslim populations. That Burkina Faso is also in the top third of Muslim populations is, as you must know, a non sequitur. No one has declared a jihad on Burkina Faso. No one thinks that Burkina Faso is at war with Islam.

(I'd also point out that wikipedia, that lists Burkina Faso with more Muslims than the US puts them both on "the list" of largest Muslim nations, saying, "Following is a list of countries with largest Muslim population on left...")
6.4.2009 8:25am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
jb:

"DailyKos does it" is no defense for one's own actions or those of one's fellow partisans, however true it may be.


True. And aside from that, he hasn't bothered offering any evidence to indicate that his insinuations about DailyKos actually happen to be true.

==============
/:

I suggest billions of dollars of foreign aid to Islam-dominated countries.


You're a little late with that idea. Bush already thought of it. But it's OK, because according to him, Pakistan is a major ally. It's also a little late for you to notice this:

The US has provided Egypt with $1.3 billion a year in military aid since 1979


So the there's nothing new about the US (under both D and R presidents) giving "billions of dollars of foreign aid to Islam-dominated countries."

Oh, it's not working? Let's ask Neville.


Yes, I remember how the GOP accused Bush of appeasement when he decided to sell F-16s (reversing a ban ordered by his father) to a country with close ties to the Taliban.

And I remember how the GOP accused Bush of appeasement when he quietly closed our Prince Sultan air base in Saudi Arabia, meeting a key demand of OBL. Even though this was less than two years after we had spent billions building it.

Speaking of hypocrisy.
6.4.2009 8:29am
rick.felt:
If the best the opposition can do is complain about semantics like whether 5-7 million Muslim Americans make the U.S. "one of the biggest Muslim nations," then Obama is a shoo-in for re-election in four years.

Yup, that's the only criticism that the right has of Obama. That's all we can do. We have no complaints about anything else he's been doing.
6.4.2009 8:47am
Texas Lawyer:
I've heard a number of people say that the US is the largest or second largest Jewish nation (i forget which). I've also heard that more Irish live in New York than any city other than Dublin.

I think Obama's statement is in that vein. I'm not sure where we are on the list, but I think it's clear lots of muslims live here. About the same percentage of the population as we have of Jews. I think he was conveying that muslims are not an "other," but are part of the US.
6.4.2009 8:49am
wm13:
Although Muslim organizations tout the 5 to 7 million figure, it has been thoroughly debunked by objective social science research. Both the Kosmin survey of some years back and the more recent Pew survey suggest a Muslim population in America of about 1 million. Assuming you trust academic research over PBS, it is wise to trust the lower figure.

Incidentally, anyone who believes that there are 5 million Muslims in America is somewhat innumerate. That would mean there were twice as many Muslims as Episcopalians. Are there twice as many mosques in your neighborhood as there are Episcopal churches?
6.4.2009 9:04am
rosignol (mail):
Is the U.S. "One of the Largest Muslim Countries in the World"?

I think I've figured it out.

He's not referring to numbers, he's referring to geography.
6.4.2009 9:08am
rick.felt:
JBG:

And I remember how the GOP accused Bush of appeasement when he quietly closed our Prince Sultan air base in Saudi Arabia, meeting a key demand of OBL. Even though this was less than two years after we had spent billions building it. Speaking of hypocrisy.

You're usually pretty sharp (even when I disagree with you and think that you're wrong), but here you're being obtuse.

I'm not sure what the relevance of "the GOP" is here, because it isn't "the GOP" as a institution that's accusing Obama of appeasement on this blog. It's a certain stripe of conservative.

Anyway, plenty of conservatives either opposed America's coziness with the Saudis before 9/11, or came to believe that the old framework of dealing with Middle East despots wasn't working. Since Mark Steyn has already come up in this thread, I'll use him as an example: I don't know what his feelings on the Saudis was before 9/11, but he has been an outspoken critic of the Saudi Oil Ticks since at least then. And I know that your Google-Fu is strong enough to find limitless examples of conservatives criticizing Bush for his continued warm relationship with the House of Saud.

Moreover, no one with a brain capable of discernment actually gives a hoot what Osama bin Laden professes to want. There's no way to tell whether he's trying to pull some sort of reverse-psychology trick on us. Even if we know what he wants, he's as capable of error as anyone else. Did he intend to provoke an invasion of Afghanistan? Who cares? Whether we invade depends on our calculation of what is in our interests, not on whether OBL wants it to happen because he thinks it's in his interests.

So no, it wasn't appeasement for Bush to close a no-longer-necessary base in a country run by despots who we had long been too chummy with, and you know it.
6.4.2009 9:11am
BGates:
It should also be pointed out that in some ways, "Muslim" is a cultural identity as well as a religious one. I know many secular Muslims, perhaps even atheists in all but name, who refuse to eat pork, for instance.

Uh huh. And since December 25th is a pretty common holiday and more people work Fridays than Sundays, we could say the US is a culturally Christian nation, yes?
6.4.2009 9:20am
Stephen Goldstein (mail):
Biggest . . . smallest . . . that's not the issue in my opinion.

The larger issue is the characterization and how it informs Obama's chameleon style.

It was two months ago, in Turkey he said, "we have a very large Christian population -- we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation."

I think he was mistaken but he said what he said.

But now we are "one of the largest Muslim countries in the world." Two months! WTF!!

There are more Jews in New York than Tel Aviv but that doesn't make NYC a Jewish city. So the US has a measurable Muslim population, why characterize the US as a Muslim country?

Because it suits his purpose to appear simpatico to all. Well, almost all, too bad about those Israelis.
6.4.2009 9:22am
Anderson (mail):
He's not referring to numbers, he's referring to geography.

Right. We're one of the largest countries; we have Muslims; thus, we are one of the largest Muslim countries.

Happily, as Sarcastro implies, we elected Obama to conduct diplomacy, not to teach Propositional Logic.
6.4.2009 9:22am
blcjr (mail):
Texas Lawer: I think Obama's statement is in that vein. I'm not sure where we are on the list, but I think it's clear lots of muslims live here. About the same percentage of the population as we have of Jews. I think he was conveying that muslims are not an "other," but are part of the US.


Using the best numbers available, the number of Muslims is about 1.3 million. That is only about half of the number of practicing Jews in the US, and only a quarter of the number of ethnic Jews. So "About the same percentage" is a bit shy of the mark.
6.4.2009 9:23am
BGates:
Ricardo, who are the National Socialists in your little analogy? Not the people who are running the nation, and are favorably disposed to socialism?
6.4.2009 9:24am
BGates:
we elected Obama to conduct diplomacy

It's nice that he was able to give the big speech in Cairo. I was worried he'd throw his back out groveling for the Saudi King all day.

Speaking of whom, what did Abdullah get, a GameBoy?
6.4.2009 9:30am
resh (mail):
Actually, Obama's sentence was correct. He just never added the full context. Most of those muslims are in US prisons.
6.4.2009 9:36am
ruuffles (mail) (www):

I was worried he'd throw his back out groveling for the Saudi King all day.

That's true, holding hands is much easier on the back.
6.4.2009 9:36am
rick.felt:
That's true, holding hands is much easier on the back.

As I've said earlier in this thread, plenty of conservatives have been critical of Bush for being way too chummy with the Saudi Oil Ticks. But ignore that for now if you wish.

Bush engaged in some creepy hand-holding with the Saudis, but at least that wasn't a subservient gesture, like bowing to a king.
6.4.2009 9:44am
RPT (mail):
How long until some poster asserts that Sotomayor is a Muslim?
6.4.2009 9:51am
Smooth, Like a Rhapsody (mail):
I think that Obama's dad regularly attended that mosque named after Sir Edmund Hilary.
6.4.2009 9:54am
Bob from Ohio (mail):

He's not referring to numbers, he's referring to geography.


Nah, he means that with 300 million, we are one of the largest countries with a Muslim head of state. Top 5 I think.
6.4.2009 10:00am
DiversityHire:
Was this scripted or spontaneous? It doesn't make any sense to me. Whatever the USA's rank on the Muslim top-40, "The two peoples" bit strikes me as more problematic. Isn't that an acknowledgment of the manichean "us" vs. "them" that catches so much flak? That Muslims are "one people" and westerners another isn't a useful construct in trying to "educate ourselves more effectively". Besides, he's saying "many of us are you, don't you know?" which sort of contradicts the "two peoples" idea.

Dig the moustache, though, hope he grows it out.
6.4.2009 10:08am
rick.felt:
Maybe Obama meant that of secular democracies or western countries or countries that aren't Muslim countries, the U.S. has one of the largest Muslim populations. There must be a way to parse this so that the New Tutankhamun of the World is right on this one.

The simplest explanation, of course, is that Obama misspoke, because off-Telepropter he's about as gaffe-prone as any average politician, and is neither as smart or silver-tongued as his supporters would like us to believe.
6.4.2009 10:24am
Greg (www):

But now we are "one of the largest Muslim countries in the world."


Do you guys not understand conditional reasoning? If we were a Muslim nation, then we'd be one of the largest. That first word I bolded is kind of a critical one. It does NOT say that the US IS a Muslim nation. It's, and here's where it gets tricky, conditional.

It's like if I said, "If you were uneducated, then you'd think Obama claimed we were a Muslim country." I'm not saying that you are DEFINITELY uneducated and Obama is not saying we're a Muslim country.

Back to Eugene's argument. There are 184 law schools ranked by US News. The Top 5 schools are always Harvard, Yale, Columbia, NYU, and Berkeley. Despite this, UCLA claims to be one of the top law schools in the country. It's ranked 15th! In fact, every school in the top 50, the "top tier," claims to be one of the top law schools in the country. (How about another, more complex example of conditional statements? "If the US were a law school and if it has 7 million Muslims and if its rank on the list of Muslim states were compared to the list of ranked law schools, then it would have about the same rank as the University of Wisconsin." Wisconsin also claims to be one of the top law schools in the country.) "One of the largest" should have at least as much wiggle room as "one of the top law schools," I think.
6.4.2009 10:25am
Careless:
I really can't believe we're going from "Bush is the worst president ever" to "at least Obama isn't worse than Bush"

I understood when people tried to defend Bush by saying Clinton was just as bad in some respect. It could work because Clinton wasn't a god-awful president.
6.4.2009 10:31am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
rick:

I'm not sure what the relevance of "the GOP" is here, because it isn't "the GOP" as a institution that's accusing Obama of appeasement on this blog. It's a certain stripe of conservative.


I don't buy the attempts to create distance between the terms 'GOP' and 'conservative.' The former depends on the support of the latter. The core of Bush's support was so-called 'conservatives.' Buckley himself defended the idea that Bush was a true conservative. Now that it's widely understood what a dismal failure he was, "a certain stripe of conservative" suddenly wants to disclaim responsibility for Bush, even though they supported him. Sorry, but that doesn't work.

I know that your Google-Fu is strong enough to find limitless examples of conservatives criticizing Bush for his continued warm relationship with the House of Saud.


There has been some such criticism, but it hasn't been particularly loud or strong. And it's interesting to notice what was said pre-invasion, but then stopped being said:

Topple The House of Saud - Worse than Saddam.


That was a rare moment of Deroy Murdock telling the truth and being correct. This many of the 19 hijackers were Saudi: 15. This many were Iraqi: 0. And the Saudis are indeed worse than Saddam. As Murdock said, "Saudi Arabia is the Federal Reserve of terrorism."

Once Bush invaded Iraq, people like Murdock turned their attention to demonizing Iraq. I doubt that you will find any instance, post-invasion, where anyone at NR said that the Saudis are "worse than Saddam."

And I notice you haven't said anything about Pakistan. Bush threw money and arms at them, despite their long track record of supporting the Taliban. Has this been criticized by "a certain stripe of conservative?" I haven't seen it. Instead, I've seen him applauded for it.

it wasn't appeasement for Bush to close a no-longer-necessary base


It looks like appeasement to me. And if a D president had done the exact same thing, I think "a certain stripe of conservative" would be calling it appeasement.

no one with a brain capable of discernment actually gives a hoot what Osama bin Laden professes to want. … Whether we invade depends on our calculation of what is in our interests, not on whether OBL wants it to happen because he thinks it's in his interests.


You mean we shouldn't avoid doing something just because "OBL wants it to happen?" Now you tell us. I don't remember hearing that argument from "a certain stripe of conservative" when people like Cheney repeatedly made statements like this:

The al Qaeda strategy is to break the will of the American people, knowing they can't win in a stand-up fight, try to convince us to throw in the towel and come home and then they win because we quit


I guess that means Cheney doesn't have "a brain capable of discernment," because he said we should avoid doing a certain thing because AQ "wants it to happen."

And I notice that you're still flogging that "Muslim faith" nonsense even though a prominent leftist like Althouse understands that you're misinterpreting what happened.

================
careless:

I really can't believe we're going from "Bush is the worst president ever" to "at least Obama isn't worse than Bush"


If that's what you think I'm saying, then you're missing the point. Then again, it's also possible you're deliberately misinterpreting me. (Or if you're talking about someone else, I hope you'll say who.)

The point is not that "at least Obama isn't worse than Bush." The point is that certain people are hypocrites. Who? People who criticize Obama for doing certain things, even though they supported Bush when he did those things.

================
ruffles:

holding hands is much easier on the back


I prefer this version of the photo.
6.4.2009 10:38am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
And I like that version of the photo because it sheds light on this, this and this.
6.4.2009 10:42am
ARCraig (mail):
The idea isn't as far-fetched as it sounds, and while I would have expected someone to actually check the numbers before the President said it, I can easily imagine myself making such a comment. After all, until just a few years ago America did have more Jews than Israel- Obama might have had that little trivial tidbit in mind when he made the Muslim comment.
6.4.2009 10:45am
Cullen (mail):
Greg, above, gets this right. The United States has more Muslims in than about 80% of the other countries in the world. We are an inclusive country with people of many different religious and political views. I don't see what's wrong with Obama making this point. More telling has been some of the reaction to the observation, to wit, either (i) Obama doesn't understand math and is dumb, or (ii) heck no, America isn't a Muslim country. Obviously, on the math question, Obama is just mathematically correct - we have more Muslims living here than the great majority of countries. On the national identity question, Obama never said we were a Muslim country, the United States isn't any religion's country, and there's no shame in acknowledging the vitality of our diverse population.
6.4.2009 10:47am
krs:
Thanks, Sarcastro.
6.4.2009 10:49am
Abandon:
Puerile talk over semantics. It is all, to me, a matter of definition that most people seem to disagree on. What clearly is a "Muslim Nation"? Is a country with a handfull of muslim inhabitants within its borders to be considered as one? Or do the figures have to be more significant (in which case, how and where do we set the standards?) Is there a distinction between a muslim population in religious and/or cultural terms? etc.
6.4.2009 11:04am
comatus (mail):
The US is, doubtless, a considerable Muslim nation. It's also the largest Irish nation, Polish nation, and, at times, German nation. Its Hispanic and Chinese populations are probably third in the world. Italians, oh yeah. Counting admixture, the Original Tribes numbers are not inconsiderable, and the British ought to count for something, after all. For a while longer at least, it has the biggest surviving enclave of Republicans, and is the fifth or sixth African country on earth.

And since the breakup of the Soviet, the US is, hands down, the world's largest communist nation. We can look forward to some inspired diplomacy based on these demographics.

For God's sake keep him away from the Amish.
6.4.2009 11:05am
ARCraig (mail):


And since the breakup of the Soviet, the US is, hands down, the world's largest communist nation. We can look forward to some inspired diplomacy based on these demographics.

For God's sake keep him away from the Amish.


I, for one, think Alaska would be greatly improved by an Amish Autonomous Oblast.
6.4.2009 11:13am
rick.felt:
And if a D president had done the exact same thing, I think "a certain stripe of conservative" would be calling it appeasement.

Pure speculation. Come on, you're normally better than this.

You raise some other points that I suppose might be worth debating, but I'm not interested in wandering off-topic to argue line-by-line with you. The original issue your raised was appeasement, and whether consistent conservatives (or as you call them, "the GOP") should consider withdrawal from Saudi Arabia amounted to appeasement of Osama bin Laden. What that has to do with military aid to Pakistan is not at all clear to me, but I'm sure you'll explain it in a way that makes Bush appear to have his lips permanently glued to Osama bin Laden's ass. So have at it, I suppose.

I guess that means Cheney doesn't have "a brain capable of discernment," because he said we should avoid doing a certain thing because AQ "wants it to happen."

I don't think that Cheney's comments are fairly read to say "if AQ wants A, we should automatically do Not-A." I think he was getting at the fact that retreat in the face of AQ-style guerrilla tactics encourages more of the same in future conflicts. But if that was what he meant, then he was wrong. So what? I disagree with Dick Cheney on a number of things.

And I notice that you're still flogging that "Muslim faith" nonsense even though a prominent leftist like Althouse understands that you're misinterpreting what happened.

I know exactly what Obama meant. Offered not to show that Obama is a crypto-Muslim, but that he's not the silver-tongued super-genius his supporters insist that he is.
6.4.2009 11:14am
Steve:
This comment thread conclusively debunks Prof. Volokh's contention that the matter was "worth noting."
6.4.2009 11:18am
rosetta's stones:
Yeah, the Obama 'stache is interesting. I take the facial hair cultivation to be part of his "Stanley Cup" push, during this initial, trying phase of his presidency.

I remember when the Iraqis were squabbling amongst each other, some time after the invasion, and one of the gangsta tribal guys let loose a most cutting insult, in his eyes, directed towards one of his opposition: "Curse your mustache!"

Be interesting to see how this visit is picked up in the eyes of the ME media, state run though it might be.
6.4.2009 11:23am
Tom952 (mail):
Magic over the Lakers in 7.
6.4.2009 11:30am
einhverfr (mail) (www):
I think we are probably one of the top two hundred countries as to the number of Muslims living here ;-) Probably a bit ahead of Iceland, Andorra, and Lichtenstein, Vatican City, Luxemborg, etc......
6.4.2009 11:34am
Can't find a good name:
River Temoc: This is hardly the only criticism or the most significant criticism that Obama's opponents have of him. But if Obama makes a claim that sounds erroneous, naturally his opponents are going to discuss it, just as every other president's opponents have done for those other presidents.

Regardless of whether having the 31st highest number of Muslims makes the U.S. one of the largest Muslim nations (because 160+ countries have fewer Muslims) or it doesn't (because 31st isn't that high a rank), it still struck a lot of people as an odd thing to say.

Many people would object if a president called the U.S. the largest Christian nation in the world, even though it undoubtedly is that. Or, for that matter, the largest Protestant nation in the world, or even the 4th-largest Catholic nation in the world.
6.4.2009 11:39am
innocent bystander (mail):
re: this thread
Is that the best you've got?
6.4.2009 11:51am
c.gray (mail):

Obviously, on the math question, Obama is just mathematically correct - we have more Muslims living here than the great majority of countries



That's the most clever spin on this I've read so far, but its borderline preposterous. Most people hearing the phrase "one of the largest X" understand it as very different from the phrase "More of X than most". For example, a 250 pound man is larger than the majority of men. But he is _NOT_ one of the largest men in the world.

The reason this incident grates on people is because it highlight's Obama's tendency to say whatever he thinks his intended audience would like to hear, even when it bears only a very tenuous relationship to the truth. While this is a failing the majority of politicians share, Obama is no longer an ordinary politician. He is now the President of the Unied States, the world's only superpower. He doesn't have the luxury of saying different things to different audiences. Every time he opens his mouth in public he addresses the same audience: the entire world.

Obama and his staff do not appear to understand this. It is almost inevitable that they WILL learn this in the future, probably the hard way. Unfortunately, when the White House learns things the hard way, its the USA that generally pays the price.
6.4.2009 12:00pm
MarkField (mail):
Steve wins the thread.
6.4.2009 12:06pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
rick:

Pure speculation.


There's nothing wrong with speculation as long as there's no pretense that it's something other than speculation. And my speculation is highly plausible. The way Obama's enemies grasp at straws is beyond parody.

I'm not interested in wandering off-topic to argue line-by-line with you


Funny how you were willing to make various off-topic claims, but are suddenly concerned about topic conformity after your claims were challenged.

The original issue your raised was appeasement… What that has to do with military aid to Pakistan is not at all clear to me


Do you remember how the topic of appeasement was raised? It was not raised by me. Someone said that "billions of dollars of foreign aid to Islam-dominated countries" is a form of appeasement. "Military aid to Pakistan" is definitely "billions of dollars of foreign aid to Islam-dominated countries."

Scrolling up and reading isn't that hard.

I'm sure you'll explain it in a way that makes Bush appear to have his lips permanently glued to Osama bin Laden's ass.


I wouldn't put it that way. I would put it this way: Bush gave us a $3 trillion war, but still couldn't manage to get OBL. That's a pretty dismal performance, and he might as well have "his lips permanently glued to Osama bin Laden's ass."

I don't think that Cheney's comments are fairly read to say "if AQ wants A, we should automatically do Not-A."


No one said anything about "automatically." That's a gratuitous addition on your part. Cheney's point was that we should take what AQ wants into account (and try to avoid doing what they want). That's exactly what you said no reasonable person should do. This is what you said:

Whether we invade depends on our calculation of what is in our interests, not on whether OBL wants it to happen because he thinks it's in his interests.


Consider the alternate form of that statement:

Whether we withdraw depends on our calculation of what is in our interests, not on whether AQ wants it to happen because they think it's in their interests.


Cheney et al mocked people who made that point. And you're making that point now, but I don't recall you (or others like you) making that point when the shoe was on the other foot (i.e., when Cheney was making statements like the one I cited).

I disagree with Dick Cheney on a number of things.


Of course you do. No two human beings are in perfect agreement. But that didn't stop you from voting for him twice, right?

=============
gray:

Every time he opens his mouth in public he addresses the same audience: the entire world.


He should have said it differently. But presidents say lots of things that should be said differently (or not at all). Some presidents have done that hundreds of times. And when observers apply radically different standards, they end up losing their credibility.
6.4.2009 12:15pm
Nunzio:
Now I know why Obama is for a college-football playoff. He's channeling Palin here.

His common-ground approach is juvenile. Just tell them we don't like Israel either. Don't beat around the Bush.
6.4.2009 12:20pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
Oops, I shouldn't have said "some presidents have done that hundreds of times." I know of only one who has reached that level of distinction.
6.4.2009 12:20pm
scattergood:
The reason that this is causing such a ruckus is because there is a tangible and identifiable difference between being a Muslim nation and not being a Muslim nation.

A huge number of nations with Muslim majorities directly refer to Sharia in their constitutions and founding documents. Egypt, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Algeria, Iran, Iraq, KSA, etc. ALL state in some way that all laws in their legal system are subservient to Sharia in some form or another.

Thus the statement that the US is 'one of the largest Muslim countries' plays well to people who already live in Muslim countries in that it implies that Sharia does inform or will soon inform the legal system of the US. You cannot separate Sharia from a Muslim state. Even Turkey, which explictly tries to separate Islam from the law is constantly fighting to do so. Nearly all politics and law in Turkey are shaded by this Sharia / non Sharia discussion.
6.4.2009 12:23pm
levisbaby:
I am trying to remember if Mr. Volokh ever paused to note any of Mr. Bush's idiotic, counter-factual statements?
6.4.2009 12:34pm
Greg (www):

Thus the statement that the US is 'one of the largest Muslim countries'


And how does it impact your reasoning that Obama did not, in fact, say we were "one of the largest Muslim countries?" In fact, his conditional statement seems to make your tortured logic moot. He doesn't say, "If America adopted Sharia, then we'd be one of the largest Muslim nations," he said, "if you actually took the number of Muslims Americans, we'd be one of the largest Muslim countries in the world." He defines the criteria of the comparison, scatter, and it has nothing to do with Sharia, and everything to do with numbers.
6.4.2009 12:36pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
Greg:

If your aunt had balls, she would be your uncle.
6.4.2009 12:38pm
M N Ralph:
Saying the US is one of the world's largest Muslims nations by population is like saying UCLA is one of America's best law schools.
6.4.2009 12:39pm
c.gray (mail):

But presidents say lots of things that should be said differently (or not at all).



/shrug

Maybe.

But there is probably a major difference in the way the national leaders who make decisions on an international stage respond to a POTUS who routinely mangles a phrase because his mouth is in action before his brain, and a POTUS that routinely flatters and misleads who ever he happens to be addressing at the moment.

Frankly, I'd prefer a POTUS who does less of the latter even if he or she does do a lot more of the former.
6.4.2009 12:44pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
jukeboxgrad:

According to Mirriam-Webster online a nativism is

1 : a policy of favoring native inhabitants as opposed to immigrants

2 : the revival or perpetuation of an indigenous culture especially in opposition to acculturation

What's the problem with nativism? Should someone favor immigrants over his fellow citizens? Or even hold them in some significant sense equal? Does any country in the world not favor itself over others? To say that foreigners are somehow equal or supreme to inhabitants is to question the very notion of national sovereignty.

Suppose the US and Mexico were at war (this has happened). Whose side would you fight on? Or is fighting for one's country too "nativist" for you?
6.4.2009 12:49pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
gray:

a POTUS that routinely flatters and misleads who ever he happens to be addressing at the moment


Bush has made plenty of statements that fall into the "misleads" category. And "I looked the man in the eye. I was able to get a sense of his soul" falls into the "flatters" category. And sometimes the flattery was delivered by hand.
6.4.2009 12:51pm
levisbaby:
Zarkhov - if you don't like America, you an leave it.
6.4.2009 12:53pm
rick.felt:
Funny how you were willing to make various off-topic claims, but are suddenly concerned about topic conformity after your claims were challenged.

I went after one narrow claim that you made, and I refuse to expand that further with you at this point. Trying to discuss more than one topic at a time doesn't work; it just degrades into shouting talking points at each other. If you want to take my unwillingness to engage all of your topics on your terms as a victory for you and your views, I can't stop you, can I?

Do you remember how the topic of appeasement was raised? It was not raised by me. Someone said that "billions of dollars of foreign aid to Islam-dominated countries" is a form of appeasement. "Military aid to Pakistan" is definitely "billions of dollars of foreign aid to Islam-dominated countries."

I don't care how it was raised originally. I'm interested in your argument. Please try to focus.

The argument I was addressing was that it was hypocritical for "the GOP" not to call Bush's withdrawal of military forces from Saudi Arabia "appeasement." So conservatives are hypocritical for not labeling BOTH (a) military aid to a Muslim country and (b) ending military aid to a Muslim country to be "appeasement"? You don't actually believe that, do you?

I don't have a definitive opinion as to whether military aid to Pakistan and Saudi Arabia is prudent, or amounts to "appeasement." I'm not weighing in on the post that you purport to respond to. (I'd have to evaluate, among other things, whether there's a substantive difference between giving aid to a quasi-military-run country like Pakistan and a more theocratic monarchy like Saudi Arabia.) But I do know that you can't consider both giving aid to a country with the intent that the country will use it to help fight AQ and withdrawing military aid from a country that AQ hates are appeasement.

Cheney et al mocked people who made that point. And you're making that point now, but I don't recall you (or others like you) making that point when the shoe was on the other foot (i.e., when Cheney was making statements like the one I cited).

Well, I wasn't posting here at that point. Also, this is the first time I heard of Cheney's remarks. I can't direct you to anything that I wrote, but I was rejecting this sort of argument back in 2004. When the OBL tape came out right before the election, everyone was trying to figure out what he wanted. Was he saying "vote Bush" or "vote Kerry"? And whichever one he was saying, was he employing reverse psychology? The whole thing started to take on a Princess Bride-style which-cup-contains-the-poison absurdity. At the time I thought "who cares what he wants? He's not omniscient."

Anyway, like I said, I don't think this is a fair reading of Cheney's remarks. I think he may have been expressing his view that a withdrawal would validate AQ's tactics/strategy and embolden them, thus making it more difficult for the U.S. to conduct counterterrorism/counterinsurgency operations in the future. That's not the same as saying "AQ wants something, so we shouldn't give it to them."

And as for who I voted for, look, I can't prove who I voted for in ANY election. Why bring it up? It's childish.
6.4.2009 12:55pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
zarkov:

To say that foreigners are somehow equal or supreme to inhabitants is to question the very notion of national sovereignty.


Luckily for us the people who were here first didn't know the right buzzwords ("national sovereignty"), so become "supreme to inhabitants" is exactly what we "foreigners" proceeded to do.

Then again, "Zarkov" might be a Native American name.
6.4.2009 12:55pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
jukeboxgrad:

"Luckily for us the people who were here first didn't know the right buzzwords ("national sovereignty"), so become "supreme to inhabitants" is exactly what we "foreigners" proceeded to do."

Yes and we should learn a lesson from that. The prior inhabitants did suffer from the European colonization. Do you propose that we repeat their mistake? Did not the Britons suffer from Saxon in migration?

"Then again, "Zarkov" might be a Native American name."

I'm not sure what that's suppose to mean, but at least half my family dates back to colonial times.

You still haven't answered my question on whose side you would be on? You constantly pester people for not answering your questions.
6.4.2009 1:05pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
jukeboxgrad:

How many countries can you name that are not "nativist" in the sense defined by Merriam-Webster? Being "nativist" is part of the human condition. It is natural to advance the interests of one's tribe over others?

Tell me are you a Trotskyist?
6.4.2009 1:09pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
rick:

I don't care how it was raised originally.


If you don't think it matters how it was raised, then you shouldn't have claimed that I raised it. But you did, and that claim is false.

The argument I was addressing was that it was hypocritical for "the GOP" not to call Bush's withdrawal of military forces from Saudi Arabia "appeasement." So conservatives are hypocritical for not labeling BOTH (a) military aid to a Muslim country and (b) ending military aid to a Muslim country to be "appeasement"?


When we walked away from the billion-dollar base we built in Saudi Arabia, we weren't "ending military aid to a Muslim country." We were handing them a huge gift (and by maintaining forces nearby, we were also continuing to guarantee the survival of the royal family, which was a major purpose of the base in the first place). But we were also meeting a major demand that had been set by OBL. He made it very clear a major impetus for 9/11 was to get us to leave Saudi Arabia.

I was rejecting this sort of argument back in 2004


Fair enough. I'll take your word for it. But your ideological pals, generally speaking, were not. That remark by Cheney is not an outlier. It's an example of an argument that was heard frequently, for years.

he may have been expressing his view that a withdrawal would validate AQ's tactics/strategy and embolden them


Which is the same thing as saying that they want us out, so we shouldn't leave. Their "strategy" was to get us to leave. So if we leave, we "embolden" them. You are seeing a difference where there's no difference.

as for who I voted for, look, I can't prove who I voted for in ANY election


Who needs proof? If you told me you didn't vote for Bush twice, I'd believe you. But I think you did.

Why bring it up?


Because it has to do with your attempt to portray a distance between 'GOP' and 'conservative.'
6.4.2009 1:17pm
Xanthippas (mail) (www):
Well, obviously he meant geographically.
6.4.2009 1:18pm
Xanthippas (mail) (www):
BTW, I trust Eugene Volokh when he says this is simply "worth nothing", but he must have known that a post like this is shark bait to the Gateway Pundit rejects that like to wander over to this blog from time to time.
6.4.2009 1:20pm
BGates:
holding hands is much easier on the back.

Yes, it is. Of course, holding hands with a tyrant is a terrible thing to do, but it's quite a bit better than groveling to a tyrant.

I enjoy your attempt at defending Obama by saying Bush did something similar though not nearly as bad. It reminds me of popular defenses of Obama's spending.
6.4.2009 1:20pm
levisbaby:

Then again, "Zarkov" might be a Native American name.

I think the translation is "sits to pee"
6.4.2009 1:29pm
Blue:
I think the statement is a very revealing look into Obama's head--his "mental map" of the US intuitively contains a very large Muslim population, much larger than is actually present.

We can speculate all day as to why his mental map may be in error...but it does seem clear that he isn't particularly interested in learning the truth.
6.4.2009 1:38pm
Careless:

Saying the US is one of the world's largest Muslims nations by population is like saying UCLA is one of America's best law schools.

The number of Muslims in the US would make up one of the 5 smallest Muslim countries assuming the populations for other countries are close to accurate. UCLA, on the other hand, is in the top 10% of law schools (to the best of my far from perfect knowledge on the subject)

No, they're not similar claims at all.
6.4.2009 1:41pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
zarkov:

Yes and we should learn a lesson from that.


We agree that "we should learn a lesson from that," but we don't agree on the lesson. I notice that we are a nation of immigrants, and the "lesson" for me is that we should be respectful of immigrants. You notice that we are a nation of immigrants, and the "lesson" for you is that it's OK for us to slam the door behind us, because we got here a few nanoseconds ahead of someone else.

"Then again, "Zarkov" might be a Native American name."


I'm not sure what that's suppose to mean, but at least half my family dates back to colonial times.


If the half that got here first had the attitude you now have, the other half would never have been allowed to enter. And you wouldn't be here.

You still haven't answered my question on whose side you would be on?


When did you stop beating your wife?

Being "nativist" is part of the human condition.


"The human condition" includes all sorts of things that we don't necessarily want to celebrate and encourage.

==================
bgates:

It reminds me of popular defenses of Obama's spending.


Reagan tripled the national debt. Bush increased it by 84%. Let us know when Obama meets either of those thresholds.

==================
careless:

The number of Muslims in the US would make up one of the 5 smallest Muslim countries


How did you come up with the number 5?
6.4.2009 1:45pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
Actually, we are probably on the top 100 list, maybe even between places 50 and 60, in terms of number of Muslims in the US.
6.4.2009 1:50pm
Greg (www):

The number of Muslims in the US would make up one of the 5 smallest Muslim countries


90% of all statistics are pulled out of one's ass, and this is no different. Wikipedia and the Pew research group put the Muslim population in the US at 2.3 million, which makes it the 52nd on the list of countries with the most Muslims. In 2000 the census said there were 6 million Muslims here.
6.4.2009 2:02pm
PersonFromPorlock:
IIRC, America has a larger population of convicts than any other country: Are we not therefore 'the most criminal nation'? And if not, why not?
6.4.2009 2:05pm
M N Ralph:

The number of Muslims in the US would make up one of the 5 smallest Muslim countries assuming the populations for other countries are close to accurate.



Huh? I don't think you know what you're talking about. Whether you accept the high or low estimates of the numbers of Muslim Americans, it is in the millions. That's greater than the total population of many countries.

UCLA, on the other hand, is in the top 10% of law schools (to the best of my far from perfect knowledge on the subject)


If "in the top 10%" count as "one of the best," then why not count the USA, which is in the top 15-25%, as one of the largest countries in terms of Muslim population? Both claims are a bit of a stretch. Obama's statement was a diplomatic niciety trying to emphasize some common ground with predominately Muslim countries. Alums like to put their best foot forward when talking about their school. Common enough and usually not the cause for comment or controversy.
6.4.2009 2:28pm
EH (mail):
this thread makes me pine for Bernstein's analysis of the speech.
6.4.2009 2:31pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
jukeboxgrad:

"I notice that we are a nation of immigrants, and the "lesson" for me is that we should be respectful of immigrants."

The phrase "nation of immigrants" has little meaning or relevance. All nations (outside of east Africa) were populated from the migrants descended from the original small group (most likely no more than 500) that left that continent about 50,0000 years ago.

I don't see why the Britons should have been respectful of the Romans who invaded them, or the Saxons, or the Normans, or the Vikings.

"... for you is that it's OK for us to slam the door behind us, because we got here a few nanoseconds ahead of someone else."

Thus you are for unlimited immigration-- an open borders advocate. Do you think there are not negative consequences to unlimited immigration? But you still won't name countries who haven't "slammed the door shut."

"When did you stop beating your wife?"

Look at that-- he can't actually say he would fight for his country. No wonder he wants open borders.

"The human condition" includes all sorts of things that we don't necessarily want to celebrate and encourage."

It's not a matter of celebration. It's being realistic that humans have characteristics that you are not going to change. We feel loyalty for our families don't we? Would you not put your children welfare ahead of others?
6.4.2009 2:34pm
Blue:
Um, Greg, do you realize that is not THE Census but rather a census of mosques conducted by a Muslim organization.
6.4.2009 2:56pm
EH (mail):
man, zarkov and his fantasies about open borders and immigration being tantamount to an invasion are totally logical and reasonable.
6.4.2009 2:57pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
porlock:

Are we not therefore 'the most criminal nation'?


If one defines 'criminal' as 'someone who runs afoul of the war on drugs by committing a nonviolent victimless crime,' then yes, we are 'the most criminal nation.'

===============
zarkov:

the original small group (most likely no more than 500) that left that continent about 50,0000 years ago


You can also trace things all the way back to the Big Bang. But personally I think the last 500 years or so are a lot more relevant.

I don't see why the Britons should have been respectful of the Romans who invaded them, or the Saxons, or the Normans, or the Vikings.


You seem to be worried about Viking warriors. On the other hand, lots of people in my neighborhood seem perfectly happy to hire Mexican gardeners. Maybe it's because they don't look like this.

Thus you are for unlimited immigration


Thus you are for straw-man arguments, and assuming extreme positions that haven't been expressed.

Look at that-- he can't actually say he would fight for his country.


Look at that-- he can't actually say that's he's stopped beating his wife.

When you ask a loaded question, don't be surprised if you don't get an answer.

It's being realistic that humans have characteristics that you are not going to change.


I'm sure that people also used to talk that way about slavery.
6.4.2009 3:23pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
EH:

"... open borders and immigration being tantamount to an invasion are totally logical and reasonable."

Sub Roman Britain essentially had open borders after Roman rule collapsed. The Saxons eventalyy replaced the native Britons in many areas.

If you look at Southern California, the massive migration, both legal and illegal from Mexico, is having a profound change on the demographics of the area. Do you think this is desirable for California? Tell me exactly how Californians benefit with this in-migration?
6.4.2009 3:26pm
MarkField (mail):

man, zarkov and his fantasies about open borders and immigration being tantamount to an invasion are totally logical and reasonable.


Just get him started on race and IQ, and you'll be begging him to return to immigration.
6.4.2009 3:28pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
jukeboxgrad:

"On the other hand, lots of people in my neighborhood seem perfectly happy to hire Mexican gardeners."


Yes because they work more cheaply. But the true cost is hidden, because their taxes have to go up to provide benefits. On the whole Mexican migration into California is a net loss.

"Thus you are for straw-man arguments, and assuming extreme positions that haven't been expressed..."


If you are not for open borders then tell me what restrictions you would place on immigration and what steps you would take to enforce those restrictions.

"When you ask a loaded question, don't be surprised if you don't get an answer."

There's nothing loaded about the question. Obviously you would not fight for your country, otherwise you would say so. The "beating your wife" question contains a planted axiom, and any answer confirms that axiom. But my question is different in that a "yes" answer does not compromise you. Your non-response reveals what you are.
6.4.2009 3:35pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
MarkField:

"Just get him started on race and IQ, and you'll be begging him to return to immigration."

Yes because you have no answers other than insults. I understand that thinking about such subjects makes people uncomfortable, but that's life.

How come I can express myself without insulting people?
6.4.2009 3:38pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
zarkov:

tell me what restrictions you would place on immigration


I'm not interested in turning this into a thread about immigration policy. I stand by my original comment about nativist rhetoric, which is what got you started.

There's nothing loaded about the question.


Your question makes the assumption that I might not be willing to fight for my country, and you have no reason to make that assumption.

If you were sipping a drink by the pool and you noticed your kid drowning in the pool, would you jump in to save him, or would you finish your drink first?

Do you notice anything loaded about the question? Can you think of any reason why a person being asked that question might answer you in a violently non-verbal manner?

How come I can express myself without insulting people?


Who told you that you're not insulting people?
6.4.2009 3:58pm
Greg (www):
Thank you, Blue, for that correction. My bad.
6.4.2009 4:08pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
jukeboxgrad:

"I'm not interested in turning this into a thread about immigration policy. I stand by my original comment about nativist rhetoric, which is what got you started."


The accusation "nativist" is almost always connected to the issue of immigration. By introducing the term in an accusatory fashion against Steyn you opened the door. Now that you see you can't defend yourself you want to run.

"Your question makes the assumption that I might not be willing to fight for my country, and you have no reason to make that assumption."

Your comments do make you at least suspect because fighting for one's country has some of the qualities of nativism. But in any case the obvious answer is "of course I would fight for my country." That ends the matter without compromising yourself.

"Who told you that you're not insulting people?"


Who here have I personally insulted? Have I even once called someone a name? You might feel insulted because I asked you some questions that you don't want to deal with. But let's face it you do this all the time. If you don't like the heat, don't go into the kitchen.
6.4.2009 4:58pm
EH (mail):
The Saxons eventalyy replaced the native Britons in many areas.

Who, besides you, considers this to be a Saxon invasion of Britain?

Do you think this is desirable for California?

As a Native Son of the Golden West who has always lived within 1hr of my birthplace, I have no problem with it. Would you have me speak for anybody else?
6.4.2009 5:11pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
zarkov:

By introducing the term in an accusatory fashion against Steyn you opened the door.


I made a statement not about Steyn himself, but rather about "Steyn's ideological pals." And the statement is supported by evidence.

Now that you see you can't defend yourself you want to run


Defend myself against what? I made a claim about nativist rhetoric, and I presented evidence to back that claim. And you've said nothing to dispute the evidence I presented. In fact, you haven't addressed that evidence in any way.

fighting for one's country has some of the qualities of nativism


Yes, and a sperm whale has some of the "some of the qualities" of a microorganism. And a lightning bug has "some of the qualities" of lightning.

in any case the obvious answer is "of course I would fight for my country."


I asked you when you stopped beating your wife. The obvious answer is 'I don't beat my wife.' Why have you refused to answer?

you do this all the time


What? Insult people and then pretend I'm not insulting people? Really? Show us where I've done that. When I insult people, I do it for a reason, and I show proof of the reason, and I don't pretend I haven't insulted anyone. On the other hand, your insult was gratuitous, and then you pretended it wasn't an insult. These two things are not alike.
6.4.2009 5:19pm
MarkField (mail):

How come I can express myself without insulting people?


You can't, at least not when it comes to race and IQ. Every single one of your posts on that topic is an insult.

In any case, I didn't insult you, I simply noted the relative value of your posts regarding race. When you address other topics, you are perfectly capable of making legitimate points.
6.4.2009 5:58pm
keypusher64 (mail):
EH (mail):
The Saxons eventalyy replaced the native Britons in many areas.

Who, besides you, considers this to be a Saxon invasion of Britain?


The Britons.
6.4.2009 7:08pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
MarkField:

"Every single one of your posts on that topic is an insult."

Who specifically did I insult? Name him. I made what I feel are declarative statements of fact. If you think I'm incorrect on something then tell me what and why. But so far I don't get that-- I get name calling.

Some of what I post bears on important questions such as the Ricci Case. If we are going to have lawsuits on the basis of outcomes along, then it's reasonable and fair to investigate all factors pertinent to those outcomes.

I am preparing an analysis of the data in the Ricci case and at the opportune time I will post or publish it. As far as I can tell, no one has done this yet. Stay tuned.
6.4.2009 8:27pm
Desiderius:
Given our constitution, surely the United States can be considered a Muslim Country in a sense that, say, Saudi Arabia can't be considered a Christian country. So in that case, the whole population counts, making us, what, third to fifth, depending on if one counts nominally atheist China, Catholic(?) Brazil, etc...
6.4.2009 8:29pm
Desiderius:
MarkField,

One can craft Progressive policies premised on Zarkov's take on the data, and one would think that given the Progressive enthusiasm for the reality-based and research-based, that they might be more curious as to the actual, you know, reality and research on these matters. One would, in my experience, be mistaken.

I do think that Zark overemphasizes IQ, but not as much as my Progressive colleagues underemphasize it, to the point of self-satire. Cases like Ricci don't do much to advance the Progressive cause, however conceived.

As for immigration, as a liberal, I'm all for Open Borders, but those presuppose a concurrent rejection of the positive rights regime so ably inculcated in the populace by my Progressive co-educators, if they're not to bankrupt the very governments they hold so dear. Flooding the market for working class labor doesn't strike me as particularly Progressive either, if one is serious about one's concern for that class, and is not content merely to exploit them for the purpose of political footsoldiers and campaign contributions.
6.4.2009 10:20pm
MarkField (mail):

Who specifically did I insult? Name him.


Your posts on race and IQ suggest, politely but unmistakably, that persons of (recent) African descent are genetically inferior intellectually. I don't have to identify single individuals in such a case.


I made what I feel are declarative statements of fact. If you think I'm incorrect on something then tell me what and why.


I've done that in previous threads. You either don't understand the math or refuse to.


But so far I don't get that-- I get name calling.


In the spirit of your own post, perhaps you could identify the "name" I called you.


One can craft Progressive policies premised on Zarkov's take on the data


I'm not sure of your meaning here. The original Progressive movement was pretty racist; in that sense, belief in the genetic superiority of whites fits right in. If you mean modern liberals/Progressives, I doubt it. One could craft welfare policies premised on his take, but not anything meaningfully "progressive" in its modern sense.
6.4.2009 10:53pm
/:
Your posts on race and IQ suggest, politely but unmistakably, that persons of (recent) African descent are genetically inferior intellectually.


Truth is insulting, therefore it must be abolished.
6.4.2009 11:38pm
Desiderius:
Markfield,

"I'm not sure of your meaning here. The original Progressive movement was pretty racist; in that sense, belief in the genetic superiority of whites fits right in."

Time to get with the program. It's not the whites who are superior these days, if they ever were. And (marginal) group superiority implies nothing for individuals, but it very much might for policy.
6.5.2009 7:31am
A. Zarkov (mail):
MarkField:

"Your posts on race and IQ suggest, politely but unmistakably, that persons of (recent) African descent are . I don't have to identify single individuals in such a case."


American blacks and whites have an average IQ difference of approximately one standard deviation. This is an uncontested fact. Moreover this gap has remained approximately constant for 8 decades. What's responsible for that gap, and what consequences follow is the area of controversy.

"I don't have to identify single individuals in such a case."


I have never said that all black people are in any way inferior to all white people. We are dealing with the mean of a distribution here. As far I can remember, I have never insulted a specific individual. You refusal to identify anyone strongly suggests you can't and are dodging the question.

"You either don't understand the math or refuse to."

What math don't I understand? Mathematical questions are important to me. If I have made an error please tell me-- specifically.

"In the spirit of your own post, perhaps you could identify the "name" I called you."

Either you, and others have called me a "racist" for pointing out certain facts. These facts are pertinent to certain lawsuits and court decisions and bear on contemporary issues. In particular the Ricci case. Everyone, including lawyers, need the full picture to understand where arguments fail.

BTW there is a significant geographic distribution in measured IQ for all the races. In particular blacks in the Northeast have about a 8 point advantage on southern blacks. This is one reason whites in the Northeast are skeptical about the 85 figure-- it doesn't match their experience.
6.5.2009 12:11pm
Desiderius:
Markfield,

"I'm not sure of your meaning here. The original Progressive movement was pretty racist; in that sense, belief in the genetic superiority of whites fits right in. If you mean modern liberals/Progressives, I doubt it. One could craft welfare policies premised on his take, but not anything meaningfully "progressive" in its modern sense."

A clear example is standardized testing, which was once a Progressive mainstay, and for reasons of promoting egalitarianism, social mobility, and meritocracy (and combating nepotism, cultural privilege, et. al.), but now widely falls foul of "disparate impact" claims that are predicated on ignorance of the scientific data on racial disparities.

A reality/research-based Progressive policy would focus on ameliorating those disparities, not destroying the tests out of some utopian Progressive fantasy that doing so will lead to an Elysian wonderland of diversity and harmony. It is in fact more likely to lead directly back to Tammany Hall. Already is.
6.5.2009 11:08pm

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