December 6, 2010

"A majority of Muslims around the world welcome a significant role for Islam in their countries' political life..."

A new Pew poll:
According to the survey, majorities in Pakistan, Egypt, Jordan and Nigeria would favor changing current laws to allow stoning as a punishment for adultery, hand amputation for theft and death for those who convert from Islam to another religion. About 85% of Pakistani Muslims said they would support a law segregating men and women in the workplace.

Muslims in Indonesia, Egypt, Nigeria and Jordan were among the most enthusiastic, with more than three-quarters of poll respondents in those countries reporting positive views of Islam's influence in politics: either that Islam had a large role in politics, and that was a good thing, or that it played a small role, and that was bad....

158 comments:

madawaskan said...

Well this Pew poll definitely stinks.

Scott M said...

Each time one of these types of revelations about Islam come down the pike, I'm reminded about that joke where the guy is sitting on the roof of his flooded out house praying for God to save him.

I'm hoping we don't get to a point twenty years hence where our kids look at the X'rs like we do the Boomers and say, "what the hell were you thinking". I'm willing to take that criticism re: mullets and Full House, but this topic can't be treated quite as lightly.

former law student said...

This is what happens when social conservatives take over the government. I blame the Chai Party activists

garage mahal said...

Good thing we liberated Iraq.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Wait, of course the poll must be flawed, because...

All the smart, right-thinking people tell us that "Islam" as a body of people and/or beliefs is no threat, doesn't advocate terrible things, it's only terrorists who are--by the most remarkable series of coincidences--tangentially connected somehow or another to Islam.

So of course it cannot be true that vast majorities of Muslims in all these countries approve of stoning adulterers, cutting of the hands of convicted thieves, and killing people who convert from Islam. Simply impossible!

And--of course, if it is true, then of course we all know those Tea Party folks are exactly the same...

Scott M said...

This is what happens when social conservatives take over the government.

I've seen some pretty convincing arguments written blaming polygamy as a core culprit.

madawaskan said...

So just "for fun" let's look at the literacy rates for these countries-

Wiki-Countries Ranked by Literacy Rates

Jordan and Indonesia don't do too badly but Egypt comes in at 148th with a rate a bit over 66%.

Pakistan 54.2%.

Nigeria 28.7%.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar were unavailable for comment.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Garage:

The point of liberating Iraq--apart from ousting a problematic dictator and the issue of WMDs--was actually to set forces in motion to undo the sort of thing this poll reveals. The idea being that what is needed is a nation where a more moderate form of Islamic polity thrives.

That enterprise may fail; but I don't see how this poll shows the foolishness of it; the poll just as easily shows the need for it. I.e., if you have 2 billion Muslims worldwide, and you have just .1% who are radicalized, that's a lot of jihadists to kill. And killing them all radicalizes more of the remainder. So what about setting in motion a reformation movement?

Marshal said...

Here's another entry for FLS's "I can make up an idiotic analogy" game.

Mass graves for tens of millions of people happen when government is run by people who try to redistribute income.

The only difference is that FLS doesn't realize it's a game. He thinks he's the "reasonable" one.

Lincolntf said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hoosier Daddy said...

So what about setting in motion a reformation movement?

Maybe Islam is having a reformation and this is it.

Lincolntf said...

Ahhh, yes, it's about time.
The "tiny minority" of Muslims who are fundamentalist America-hating, woman beating, hand-chopping cavemen turns out to be a solid majority. Never would've guessed it.

Marshal said...

The only interesting survey would be of muslims in America.

Amy said...

But but....but I thought Islam was a religion of peace. That's what our multi culti well-meaning left leaning media keeps insisting. The Muslims themselves have no trouble at all saying it isn't.

Does not compute. I would trust the Muslims on this one.

madawaskan said...

Turkey is going to get really interesting-unfortunately.

Big Mike said...

Did someone transpose a couple digits on their calendars? This is the 21st century, not the 12th.

Quaestor said...

Good thing we liberated Iraq.

Undoubtedly true. Evidently your neurons have begun firing sequentially again, must have been that shock therapy session you had November 2. (Remember that regression is always a risk, so keep taking your meds, OK?)

However, since Iraqis were evidently not polled one wonders as to relevance.

cubanbob said...

"""A majority of Muslims around the world welcome a significant role for Islam in their countries' political life...""

Even if a billion people believe a foolish thing, it's still a foolish thing.

Original Mike said...

"A majority of Muslims around the world welcome a significant role for Islam in their countries' political life..."

The problem is that a lot Muslims welcome a significant role for Islam in other countries political life as well.

Hoosier Daddy said...

However, since Iraqis were evidently not polled one wonders as to relevance.

Its possible that they were and not enough wanted more Islam in political life to warrent a top five billing.

Rialby said...

Islam means submission to the will of God.

Scott M said...

The problem is that a lot Muslims welcome a significant role for Islam in other countries political life as well.

The Swiss aren't fooled. We'll see how many follow their lead.

AJ Lynch said...

It almost sounds like a spoof from The Onion. These people are f-ing nuts but I predict the MSM will downplay this poll's findings.

ricpic said...

Ya think it might get through to the one worlders that everyone doesn't want the same things?...nah.

The Crack Emcee said...

I'd tell you how I feel about this, in detail, but typing with a stump is hard.

The Crack Emcee said...

madawaskan,

Turkey is going to get really interesting-unfortunately.

No, from what I hear, it's pretty conventional by Muslim standards.

YIKES!

madawaskan said...

Here's a link to the original Pew article on the poll-

Pewglobal.org

Interestingly they titled their article-Muslims Around the World Divided on Hamas and Hezbollah.

And, here is an interesting bullet point that the LA Times left out:

Eight-in-ten Muslims in Pakistan say suicide bombing and other acts of violence against civilian targets in order to defend Islam from its enemies are never justified; majorities in Turkey (77%), Indonesia (69%) and Jordan (54%) share this view. Support for suicide bombing has declined considerably over the years. For example, while 74% of Muslims in Lebanon said these violent acts were at least sometimes justified in 2002, just 39% say that is the case now; double-digit declines have also occurred in Jordan, Pakistan, Nigeria and Indonesia.

So there's that I guess.

William said...

If only the left were as skeptical of Muslims as they are of evangelical and fundamentalist Christians.....The left isn't skeptical of religion so much as they are skeptical of Christianity. It is a matter of civic virtue to be tolerant of Muslims and wary of the encroachments of Christians.

rdkraus said...

If Israel would just stop building condos - then this would all change.

Trooper York said...

More good news from the religion of peace.

Maybe they can teach about how Islam should be invovled in our political system in that great cultural center they are building on Ground Zero.

I bet they have a lot of interesting things to say about women and gays.

Trooper York said...

Cue the excuse makers and terrorist lovers for more spew.

SteveR said...

@Amy- yeah that "religion of peace" deal only comes about when all persons are Muslims and the heretics are killed off. That's when its peaceful.

Clyde said...

You can take the barbarian out of the 7th Century, but you can't take the 7th Century out of the barbarian.

madawaskan said...

Crack-

Crap!

One of my favorite heros of all time is-

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

When Americans over here cheer the demise of military control of the Turkish government-they really have no idea.

The Turkish military which is a living testament to Atatürk has preserved his ideals in Turkey for decades now. It is thanks to Atatürk that Turkey took the bullet train to literacy and other advancements-especially in comparison to its neighbors.

The military in Turkey has been boycotting the Parliament for years now. The first appearance they made in years was thanks to Obama when he went to make a speech in Turkey.

Anyways-did not hear about what you linked till now.

garage mahal said...

However, since Iraqis were evidently not polled one wonders as to relevance.

Hmmm, I don't know. Maybe the fact we've had a few million troops revolving in and out of muslim countries the past 10 yrs trying to install democracy.

edutcher said...

Islam seems to rear its ugly head when Western civilization is in tough straits (fall of the Roman Empire, etc.). It then feels brave enough to start throwing its weight around.

Which means we need to get the small c commies (and a couple of apostate Moslems) out of the major institutions of this country and get those social and fiscal conservatives back running the show damned soon.

madawaskan said...

If only the left were as skeptical of Muslims as they are of evangelical and fundamentalist Christians...

Exactly.

Kirk Parker said...

Cue that Captain Renault quote.

Alex said...

Christian conservatives = Fundie Muslims. It's exactly the same. The stoning of women, genital mutilation, killing of cartoonists, blowing up planes. It's all the same.

Alex said...

Remember that western civilization is not superior to eastern. It's all the same muddy mess.

Scott M said...

I dunno, Alex. Does lopping off the occasional hand lead to a balanced government budget? Might be worth the trade-off at this point...

Trooper York said...

I just wish the libs hated the terrorists as much as they hate Sarah Palin.

Darcy said...

What a shocker, huh? Gotta be a bad poll. So look away!

Religion of peace. Can't be said enough.

Lyle said...

Wonder if the Southern Poverty Law Center will declare the majority of Muslims a "hate group".

former law student said...

All these bleeding heart American conservatives would rather expensively feed house and clothe thieves -- for years in many cases -- instead of simply chopping off their fingers and letting them back in the general population. (The whole hand is not removed until the second conviction.) One of the major causes of California's budget crisis is catering to an enormous prison population swollen by "three strikes" felons. Implementation of Sharia law would thus lead to substantial savings.

But Muslims should be free to change religion as often as they like.

Scott M said...

@ al-FLS

Ramp, meet shark. I'm curious to see how you're going to stick the landing, though.

madawaskan said...

Gawd fls.

My rebuttal to you is-

TEXAS.

Solvent, without sharia law.

wth?

madawaskan said...

I'm curious to see how you're going to stick the landing, though.

LOL!

I think it'll involve jumping through his own O-ring and then flaming out.

Fred4Pres said...

Muslim Sharia law is based on old Bedouin justice from the 7th Century. Sharia was down right progressive for its time. In fact, the four witnesses needed to enforce adultry stoning was intended to make stoning unavailable for that offense. Mohammed was generally pretty forgiving of crimes, saving the harshest punishments for those who were repeat offenders or who attacked Mohammed (imagine that). The emphasis in Islam was for mercy and not imposing the harshest penalties. Unfortunately, Sharia cannot be modified and has further been transformed by a flipping of the earlier tollerence promoted by Mohammed to a the intollerence of 19th Century Wahabbism.

junyo said...

I don't know. Maybe the fact we've had a few million troops revolving in and out of muslim countries the past 10 yrs trying to install democracy.

Yes, because Islamic countries were so liberal before we went into Iraq. I wish we could go back to the halcyon days when their progressive penal systems, and awe inspiring religious tolerance were examples for the world. And who doesn't remember Bebe Galil, the greatest PM in Egyptian history, despite her Jewish origins. Oh, if only the US hadn't invaded Iraq and radicalized the entire region.

Or, you could be full of crap. I love how it's become a progressive conceit to sneer at the idea of brown people having democracy.

Michael said...

FLS: I think you have an excellent idea for early release from the California penal system. Provide a limb with a tattooed release form and out you go. I am down with that concept so long as the release is in Times New Roman 12 point and is on a limb no smaller than a hand.

bagoh20 said...

I'm sure some will blame American foreign policy for this attitude, but if we are to blame at all, I think the low bar and lack of self control and modesty that our culture has put forward to the world is what is the more likely impetus. Muslim, like most other religious people, want their religion to exercise more influence. Many Christians feel the same way.

The left's versions of art, literature, music, and video have made our system seem like the path to the cesspool. Muslims may be wrong about us, but I understand their reaction to what they see from us. Our left foot is what always gets put forward.

Lincolntf said...

"Muslims may be wrong about us, but I understand their reaction to what they see from us."

To be fair, the Muslim terrorists/tyrants running the show these days hate all art, literature, etc. except for the infinitesimal amount allowed by Koranic law.
No artificial representations of humans, animals or even vegetation are supposed to be made. Nothing that is not consistent with the Koran should ever be read. I know that's the hard-line view, but hard-liners are calling the shots (with the broad support of the citizenry)these days.

TMink said...

"Muslim, like most other religious people, want their religion to exercise more influence. Many Christians feel the same way."

I certainly do want Christ to be more influental in the world. But not through government intervention! And that is the key difference. Well, one of the key differences.

I want people to accept Christ as their Lord and Savior. That is volitional and has nothing to do with the government.

Trey

garage mahal said...

Or, you could be full of crap. I love how it's become a progressive conceit to sneer at the idea of brown people having democracy.

I just get kick how conservatives can seamlessly weave in and out of "ALL muslims are prehistoric bloodthirsty monsters", to "they can be liberated and taught manners if we just have the courage and patience to do so".

Rialby said...

I just get kick how conservatives can seamlessly weave in and out of "ALL muslims are prehistoric bloodthirsty monsters", to "they can be liberated and taught manners if we just have the courage and patience to do so".

Garage - let me help you pick up that straw man you just dumped over here.

Revenant said...

What a depressing thing to read first thing in the week.

edutcher said...

former law student said...

All these bleeding heart American conservatives would rather expensively feed house and clothe thieves -- for years in many cases -- instead of simply chopping off their fingers and letting them back in the general population. (The whole hand is not removed until the second conviction.) One of the major causes of California's budget crisis is catering to an enormous prison population swollen by "three strikes" felons. Implementation of Sharia law would thus lead to substantial savings.

Why do we need Sharia? The old American standby, hanged by the neck until dead, has always worked wonderfully well.

AllenS said...

The problem with cutting off the hands of thieves in this country, is that they'll immediately file a disability claim.

junyo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
junyo said...

I just get kick how conservatives can seamlessly weave in and out of "ALL muslims are prehistoric bloodthirsty monsters", to "they can be liberated and taught manners if we just have the courage and patience to do so".

Not as much of a kick as I get out of "liberals" that are all about rights freedom and "protecting the little guy" until protecting the little guy involves actual, meaningful protection. In which case they're all about "respecting cultures" and invent-an-excuse to look away from genuine oppression or even genocide. As I said, full of crap. But hey, you bought a "Free Tibet" t-shirt, so that counts from something.

And I'm not a conservative, just a remnant of when liberalism actually had balls.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Garage said:

I just get kick how conservatives can seamlessly weave in and out of "ALL muslims are prehistoric bloodthirsty monsters", to "they can be liberated and taught manners if we just have the courage and patience to do so."

Who said, "ALL muslims are prehistoric bloodthirsty monsters"? Citation please?

Hoosier Daddy said...

I just get kick how conservatives can seamlessly weave in and out of "ALL muslims are prehistoric bloodthirsty monsters",to "they can be liberated and taught manners if we just have the courage and patience to do so".

Indeed. I wonder if Whoopie and Joy would storm off the stage if someone showed them this poll.

Babs Walters went to great pains to admonish her guest not to tar an entire religion due to the bad acts of a few. I suppose we'll have to redefine 'majorties' to mean a few now to keep up with the narrative.

c3 said...

fls;
This is what happens when social conservatives take over the government. I blame the Chai Party activists

I know you were making a joke but that wouldn't explain the results in Egypt and Jordan.

And I would personally separate Muslims' desire for greater muslim influence in government than muslim extremism. Saudi Arabia could not have greater muslim influence in its government and yet it has not officially endorsed terrorism AND some in opposition to that government have fostered terrorism (i.e. OBL)

I still contend, based on the history of government and Christendom that when the boundary between religion and government/politics blur, the religion "loses out"

Nora said...

garage mahal: "I just get kick how conservatives can seamlessly weave in and out of "ALL muslims are prehistoric bloodthirsty monsters", to "they can be liberated and taught manners if we just have the courage and patience to do so"."

So were is a contadiction? Do you believe that " Muslim leaders" and mullahs will lead the way out of misearable existance for the millions of Muslims around the world?

I don't believe the surveys conducted in mainly authoruitarian countries. I remember times 99% of Iraqis voted for Sadam and 100% of Soviets voted for Communists too well still.

Hoosier Daddy said...

A poll that says about 85% of Pakistani Muslims said they would support a law segregating men and women in the workplace isn't exactly a ringing endorsement of creating a 'cultural exchange center' a block from the WTC.

Just sayin

Almost Ali said...

History teaches us n-o-t-h-i-n-g.

Thus the "free" world remains scared shitless.

Darcy said...

You're right, Almost Ali. History teaches us nothing. And what it can teach, the liberals rewrite anyway.

Nothing to see, here.

GMay said...

"You can take the barbarian out of the 7th Century, but you can't take the 7th Century out of the barbarian."

I was gonna call threadwinner at this (despite the bloggerlady's distaste for that), until I saw this:

"The problem with cutting off the hands of thieves in this country, is that they'll immediately file a disability claim."

Now I'm torn.

Scott M said...

The latter involves more splatter.

former law student said...

c3, beware of taking your religion too seriously -- you might be surprised by what your ancient holy book tells you to do. Ignoring your ancient holy book produces cognitive dissonance which can only be resolved by chopping a few hands off, or by not suffering a witch to live.

Cedarford said...

Amy said...
But but....but I thought Islam was a religion of peace. That's what our multi culti well-meaning left leaning media keeps insisting.

===============
Actually it was the gone and mostly unlamented Dubya Bush that first tried indoctrinating the public on the "Religion of Peace" drivel.
And how a few, smallish almost to statistical insignificance within Islam "hijacked a Great Religion of wonderful folk just like us".

And we all remember Bush's love for "women of cover", his 2 State Dinners and special SOTU praise for Ahmed Karzai - the father of Afghan Democracy and Freedom-Loving. And Bush strongly opposing "profiling" the "wonderful peaceful people of the Religion of Peace" at airports when he set up Homeland Security.

Lefties just piped in.

At least Bush did a decent job blasting the dudes Reagan invited to the White House as "Holy Mujuhadeen Freedom-Lovers" - despite Laura Bush cluelessly jabbering how her George was "freeing women of their Burquas".

Scott M said...

That depends, FLS, entirely on how your particular Christian sect views the OT and the NT.

Michael said...

"beware of taking your religion too seriously -- you might be surprised by what your ancient holy book tells you to do."

Because, you know, all religions are exactly the same, how else to explain all these 7th Day jihad-is? Not to even bring up the Lutherans and their bloody hands.

Revenant said...

One of the major causes of California's budget crisis is catering to an enormous prison population swollen by "three strikes" felons.

The California state auditor's office puts the yearly cost of a three-strikes prisoner at $49,300. There are 43,500 "three strikes" prisoners, which means we spend $2.1 billion/year incarcerating them. That's 10% of our budget deficit.

It is actually less than that, when you consider that "imprisoned by the three strikes law" doesn't imply "wouldn't be in prison if it wasn't for the three strikes law". They'd be serving the third felony's sentence, first, after which the majority would go on to be imprisoned a fourth time, fifth time, etc. 55% of felons here are back in prison within two years of parole. Realistically, we're probably paying more like $1 billion extra per year to keep the three strikers locked up, when you discount the prison time they'd have served anyway and the law enforcement costs associated with the crimes they would have committed.

Kirby Olson said...

I sentence you to death by hanging -- didn't like your cartoon.

AJ Lynch said...

Rev:
Come on, you know FLS is a liberal and liberals don't do math.

AJ Lynch said...

Especially when he is missing a few fingers.

edutcher said...

former law student said...

c3, beware of taking your religion too seriously -- you might be surprised by what your ancient holy book tells you to do.

Ancient holy book? Is that how they're telling you on Kos to refer to the Bible? Isn't that just cute!

If you mean the part about whosoever smitheth thee on one cheek, turn him the other also, at least the Bible has something constructive to say on the matter.

Your ancient holy book, written by Uncle Saul is only a list of expedient political devices.

Alex said...

C-4 won't be satisfied until every last American base on foreign soil is dismantled. He forgets that those countries WANT us there.

Almost Ali said...

No one here needs Pew or Wikileaks to know the political class is targeting young, middle-Americans to appease Mecca. Bush, Obama, no difference; let the Saudi's kill our soldiers - kill, kill, kill on the altar of Allah.

For the moment at least, just about everyone seems okay with this arrangement; one barrel of oil in exchange for one dead American boy. But "I'm" not okay with it.

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

Oh. I guess this would be news to you.

I suppose what you find most offensive is that a majority of Muslims around the world don't welcome a significant role for Christianity in their countries' political life.

For that, I blame the liberals, of course.

jr565 said...

garage mahal wrote:
Good thing we liberated Iraq.
Those things may in fact be true (ie that Muslims want to chop off the hands of thieves and stone women) but does it stand that we should not have liberated Iraq? We keep hearing about how Islam is a religion of peace and those extremists are the minority hijacking the peaceful religion of Islam. Yet, which Iraq was more counter to us, an Iraq that we had to contain for a decade with or one that has self rule and who's antagonistic tendencies are not extending towards local dominance or weapons production.
And which environment will better support those in the Islamic movement who do NOT believe that they should stone all women adulterers.
Considering the degree to which apostasy is considered sacriligous in Islam, reformers and moderates are going to need all the help they can get. Even worse considering, moderates are less prone to massacring enemies and critics (which is one of the reasons we like em so much), they are at an extreme disadvantage to people who want to stone women adulters and kill apostates.
Which again, is what was so infuriating about you lefty hypocrites. You are the ones always talking about how Islam is a religion of peeace. Yet you are also the ones saying democracy will never work there, when you can blast Bush with his "mistake". Yet there aren't too many options. Either we treat Islam as a religion that can be negotiated with, and reformed,or we treat it as one that can't. And if it can't, the next time we get hit with a terrorist attack what's to stop us from simply using the rationale that Islam will never be reformed, therefore set up fortress america, round up all muslims and deport them and turn SA into a parking lot. And yet it was the liberals that treated Iraq as a place where democracy could never flourish.
Similarly, if you make it too onerous to take prisoners and interrogate them to get valuable info, the army will similary decide to kill on sight and not worry about getting their hands dirty with the second guessing of their internment policies.

Ironclad said...

Today on the BBC there was a story about the Christian woman in Pakistan that is sentenced to be hanged for "insulting the Prophet". Her family is in hiding and the nuts in Pakistan say if she is released, they will kill her. The Imam in her village said she deserved to die too. All this because she was gathering water and the other women refused to accept it because she was unclean - a khuffar. Can't drink water from one of "those people".

After the story (which never went into the dispute that caused this) there was an "expert panelist" on human rights that blamed the WEST for persecuting muslims. That's correct - he made an equivalence between hanging a woman on trumped up charges and the "discrimination" against Muslims in the West. No one called him on it. God Help Us if that is the brain level of the BBC.

The point is that the more Islam in a country - the worse it gets for every minority, or religious sect of theirs that they don't like (Ahmadis, for example). We really need to cut every penny we send to these places and let Allah bail them out.

Michael said...

Big Govt: Is there a point to your post? Are you suggesting that a poll amongst the world's Christians would produce similar results with attendant specifics for punishment of crimes?

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

"I don't know. Maybe the fact we've had a few million troops revolving in and out of muslim countries the past 10 yrs trying to install democracy."

Yes, because Islamic countries were so liberal before we went into Iraq.


Quite so. Clearly we didn't occupy all of them hard enough. Surely we can pound liberalism into them if we only bang our fists with enough force.

Repeat after me: 1 billion Muslims is a greater number than 75 million Japanese and 80 million Germans. 1 billion Muslims is a greater number than 75 million Japanese and 80 million Germans. 1 billion Muslims... etc.

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

Unlike some people's, all my posts have a point Michael.

Apparently you are thrilled to know that most Christians live in political cultures that have become more liberal. I agree: Whoooppeeee!1!1!!! We're number 1. Let's hear it for Christendom, Yeay!!!!.

Unfortunately, chest beating and propagandizing about how backward the poor little Muslims are does nothing to change their part of the world.

So my point is, what is the point of the blog post? I take it that since no commentary followed, Althouse just found it newsworthy. Sorry to rain on your parade by asking whether some analysis might be useful, especially since I'm assuming that most people here wouldn't be comfortable with the poll result.

Revenant said...

Repeat after me: 1 billion Muslims is a greater number than 75 million Japanese and 80 million Germans.

Er, yes. That's why we are trying to improve Iraq (31 million) and Afghanistan (28 million) instead of doing the entire Muslim world at once.

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

Er, yes. That's why we are trying to improve Iraq (31 million) and Afghanistan (28 million) instead of doing the entire Muslim world at once.

Er, I like already thought of that, Reverend Revenant. Which is why the poll result begs the question of whether pumping buckets of sunshine and "improvement" into the lives of 59 million souls changes the views of the remaining 941 million of them, toward the occupier (that would be the United States, courtesy of Western Civilization - or so we claim), for the better or for worse.

It's a legitimate question and remains unresolved. Unless you have better evidence.

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

BTW, I wonder what the campaign financing laws are like in Afghanistan and Iraq these days. Are they anything like the campaign financing laws in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the Gulf? Are they anything like al Qa'eda's campaign financing operations?

You know, that bin Laden guy is born of billions. Just sayin'.

Revenant said...

Setting up democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan isn't supposed to improve Saudi and Pakistani views of the United States. It isn't even particularly supposed to improve Iraqi and Afghani views of the United States. It is meant to provide the Iraqis and Afghanis with freedom to govern themselves, in the hopes that, in the long run, this will foster increasing respect for freedom and individual rights.

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

this will foster increasing respect for freedom and individual rights.

Nice contradiction.

So... where? Not in Pakistan? Not in Saudi Arabia? Just in nebulous parts of the Muslim sphere? I guess it's an ether effect. We don't have to name which of the 941 million other Muslims will respect us or our form of government and political culture more for having invaded 59 million of them, because there's a long-term invisible trend that has nothing to do with the increased contempt for what we have tried, politically, to do.

Have I summarized your view accurately enough? It sounds kind of twisty, pretzel-like, or maybe like that Gary Larson cartoon. Clearly, I don't want to do it the injustice that Saddam (now Iranian agents) and the Taliban (still in power) did to those poor Iraqis and Afghanis.

Ankur said...

One of the saddest developments of the last 50 years has been the growing radicalization of Islam.

Believe it or not - in the 1940s and 1950s, Islam was on a distinct path to liberalization. Sufism was the major sect in Iran. Now? Sufism is history, at least in Iran. (Or practised secretly). Afghanistan was never liberal by western standards, but it was, by muslim-world standards. Thai muslims were essentially beach bums. Now? They are radicals. Very similar story in Saudi Arabia.

For me, personally, the saddest is Pakistan, the perennially painful neighbour of my home country, India. As much as I blame Jinnah for inadvertantly unleashing the 1947 religious riots - he was an extremely forward looking person. He modeled Pakistan's constitution after the british and the american constitution. Of course, a succession of military dictatorships ended that effort as well. Its recent attempts at democracy spluttered and failed. Benazir Bhutto - hailed in the western world for trying to bring pakistan out of that mess - was more problem than solution.

I won't speculate regarding the root cause of this growing radicalization - there are many valid and competing views. Yet - I cannot help but note that of the many sects of Islam, the Saudi Wahabi's have seen the most rapid growth of power in the Sunni world (which, of course, coincided with vastly increased oil revenues, which are used to fund madarsas all over the world - which in turn expound that same radical, and vicious ideology - of persecution and violence, and the cycle continues)


Remember - not long ago, the dominant meme of Afghans used to be "The Noble Pathan" or that of the north african tribesmen used to be "The Steely Tuaregs"?

That noble pathan is now part of the Taliban. And even when we considered him "noble", he was essentially a misogynist powermonger. Only, he had less power and we overlooked the negatives.

Religions don't evolve in straight lines. Islam, in particular, has taken a very circuitous course. One hopes, for all of our sakes, that it will turn its face back towards progress and away from radical theocracy.

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

We can come back to this as you ponder the last part, but I'll just leave you for a second with a better theory.

Invading those countries had nothing to do with them.

It had everything to do with us.

You can't let a major blunder like 9/11 happen and then not do anything. You have to mobilize massive military resources as a response. It's a pride thing, for us. Someone fucked with us and we had no choice but to pound somebody back in that neighborhood. Hell, there might have even been some sort of rational social logic to this approach.

But let's be honest and admit that it had nothing to do with them.

Anyone who seeks retribution is making a statement that goes far beyond the supposed "redemption" of the punished. Compared to the clarity and peace of mind afforded to the punisher, as well as to other bystanders, the "redemption" of the punished is an afterthought, and a self-congratulatory one at that.

You are flattering yourself to engage in this idle theology. We are redeeming nothing in the Muslim world. Their culture - political or otherwise - will change on its own terms, and at its own pace. Not ours.

Just admit it.

Ankur said...

I want to add - my comment "Islam, in particular, has taken a very circuitous course" - is more in reference to my observations in my lifetime. I am sure one could argue that Christianity has also had a circuitous path through the inquisitions, the crusades and so forth. But I have a hard time directly relating to those times/events.

In my lifetime, Christianity has been, on an average, getting more and more progressive and moving away from a literal interpretation of some of the more gruesome parts of the bible. And, for that, I am grateful. And for that reason, I see christianity today, for the most part, as a force for good. It hasn't always been the case (no religion has, for that matter), but today, and right now - it certainly is.

Michael said...

Big Govt: I will ask again. Do you have a point of view on this or are you having conversations in your own head that we are not party to?

Alex said...

Big Govt subscribes to the "blowback" theory that 9/11 happened because of general American interference in Muslim affairs going back to the 1950s when the CIA toppled the Shah in Iran.

ricpic said...

Setting up democracy...is meant to provide the Iraqis and Afghanis with freedom to govern themselves, in the hopes that, in the long run this will foster increasing respect for freedom and individual rights.

Revenant - If that's the hope behind setting up democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan than the entire operation in blood and treasure is far too costly given the odds against its realization.

Best we go back to being a modest republic: strong in defense of our own exceptional way of life and finally done with the hubris of knowing what's best for the other.

ken in sc said...

"ALL Muslims are prehistoric bloodthirsty monsters"

The fact is that the overwhelming majority of Muslim atrocities are entirely within the historical record--they're not prehistoric.

There are none so blind as those who will not see.

Michael said...

I believe the CIA installed the Shah of Iran in the 1950s and he was deposed in 1979.

Alex said...

Michael - the point is the American Empire has been interfering in Muslim lands since 1953 continuously, getting more and more invasive with each decade. Is it any wonder Muslims hate America? Remember we interfered in THEIR lands first.

Revenant said...

So... where?

Let me spell it out a little more clearly, since you appear to be confused:

"It is meant to provide the Iraqis and Afghanis with freedom to govern themselves, in the hopes that, in the long run, this will foster in them an increasing respect for freedom and individual rights".

Like I said before, we're not trying to change the whole Muslim world. Just parts of it.

Alex said...

CIA sponsored regime change

It's time to do away with the CIA and create a Department of Peace.

Michael said...

Alex: Actually the Americans were very late comers to the region. The British, French and Turks each ruled for quite a while. America is the symbol of a freedom that is repulsive to Wahabis, the very very straight laced and puritanical shoot of Islam that is the driving school for terrorism. It is folly to apply rational thought to their hatred of our way of life and further folly to attribute specific U.S. actions apart from our existence, that propel them.

Alex said...

The most amazing thing is how the American people do not demand the retreat of the empire. I guess as long as bread & circuses keep flowing, they just don't GIVE A SHIT. and they wonder why the world hates us?

Alex said...

Michael - so instead of responding to the evidence of 100 years of American imperialism, let's make this about the Wahhabists. Sure they're demonic death-culters but WE enabled them to be so powerful by interfering in their lands!

Revenant said...

Is it any wonder Muslims hate America? Remember we interfered in THEIR lands first.

We invaded Afghanistan and Iraq. Those aren't "Muslim" lands; they belong to the people of Afghanistan and Iraq, not to "Muslims".

Do lots of other Muslims around the world possess a herd mentality towards Islam, viewing an attack on any Muslim as an attack on all Muslims? Sure. But that's a view that they'll have to discard if they're going to live with the rest of the world.

former law student said...

One of the major causes of California's budget crisis is catering to an enormous prison population swollen by "three strikes" felons.

The California state auditor's office puts the yearly cost of a three-strikes prisoner at $49,300. There are 43,500 "three strikes" prisoners, which means we spend $2.1 billion/year incarcerating them. That's 10% of our budget deficit.


Not sure why the Rev whizzed past the first part of my sentence, but California's enormous prison population (some 175,000) is swollen by the number of three strikes felons. Keeping felons in their gold-plated pens cost $10.6 billion a year, almost 10% of the budget.

In no other context would the Rev skip over a government expense of $49K a person for 175,000 people, I'm sure.

Alex said...

Revenent - that the herd mentality exists is a FACT we have to learn to live with. We have to come to terms with Islam as a monolithic whole, no use getting distracted by tiny minorities of Christians, Sufis or whatnot. We are dealing with a billion Sunnis.

Alex said...

FLS - so your solution is unleash the felons on the people of CA? You realize that even if the third strike was pot possession that the first 2 had to have been violent felonies? You are advocating for unleashing 175K violent animals onto the public. Shame on you!

Hoosier Daddy said...

I suppose what you find most offensive is that a majority of Muslims around the world don't welcome a significant role for Christianity in their countries' political life.

You know there is a whole lot of livestock that is going to starve this winter what with you constructing all those strawmen.

former law student said...

Alex: the solution is outsource and downsize. Let's put NAFTA to work and house California felons in Jalisco.

Michael said...

Alex: I travel all over the fucking world and the vast majority of people do not hate us. Period. There are clearly those who do, but they are in the minority, poorly educated, barely if literate and usually incited by fanatics in their "community." As to 100 years of "imperialism" you should travel to Japan and Germany which are supposedly a part of our imperium and discover for yourself the "hatred" that is aimed at us. Other than that, what fucking imperialism are you talking about? Manila? So, yes, I would ignore the US "imperialism" as a causal factor in the jihad.

Hoosier Daddy said...

In my lifetime, Christianity has been, on an average, getting more and more progressive and moving away from a literal interpretation of some of the more gruesome parts of the bible.

Actually that process started almost half a millenium ago after the Peace of Westphalia.

RuyDiaz said...

former law student: "This is what happens when social conservatives take over the government. I blame the Chai Party activists"

garage mahal: "Good thing we liberated Iraq."

You two are not serious. You see a fact that challenges your assumptions, and, what do you know, you send snark on the general direction of your political opponents. Shame on you.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Repeat after me: 1 billion Muslims is a greater number than 75 million Japanese and 80 million Germans.

This may come as a shock to you, then again maybe not, but there are about 2 billion Christians worldwide. Another 800 million Hindus, about as many Buddhists too.

You really aren't that bright are you?

Hoosier Daddy said...

You two [FLS & garage] are not serious. You see a fact that challenges your assumptions, and, what do you know, you send snark on the general direction of your political opponents. Shame on you.

I take it this is your first time here :-)

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

I gave you my point of view, Michael. If you don't feel as if you are a party to it, then perhaps your grasp of the English language and knack for reading comprehension could stand some improvement. I mean, it's not like my views are as obscure as a mortgage-backed security, or whatever fraudulent junk you spend your own life peddling.

Some complex ideas in this world actually stand on a strong foundation, even if yours don't.

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

This may come as a shock to you, then again maybe not, but there are about 2 billion Christians worldwide. Another 800 million Hindus, about as many Buddhists too.

This may come as a shock to you, but Nazi Germany did not go to war with us or attack anyone as an emissary of Christianity, or of any other aspect of Western Civilization. See your buddy and truthiness expert Glenn Beck for details. You can even check his take on the matter if you don't believe me.

And Japanese religion, whatever its role in the rise of the emperor cult, had nothing to do with Buddhism or Hinduism.

See an encyclopedia for details.

You really aren't that knowledgeable OR bright, are you?

Michael said...

Big Govt: Your "ideas" aren't complex, just disjointed and poorly expressed. I could only guess as to whether you think the poll in question was accurate or if it had implications for foreign policy in general or domestic relations with Muslims.

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

Geez Revenant. If you didn't say what you meant to say the first time you don't have to get snippy with me. Just put out the facts. So, if you think what happens to 59 million people is more important and pertinent to our interests than how 941 million others react to it, fine. We get the point already.

Skyler said...

This poll is why when we do take the time, not the obligation, to free people from oppression, we are then obliged to safeguard the religious freedoms of all that we have freed.

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

This isn't a poetry reading, Michael. Nor does it obviate the capacity for 6th-grade sentence diagramming. Identify the subject, find the predicate, verb and subordinate clauses. If you can't figure out what the conjunctions and prepositions are for, just ask. I'll be glad to help you out!

Michael said...

Big Govt: No help required, but thanks. As usual you have no opinion.

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

But I do have facts and conclusions that credibly follow from them.

Revenant said...

California's enormous prison population (some 175,000) is swollen by the number of three strikes felon

Like I explained, the three strikes law adds one or two billion dollars a year to the budget. Prior to the three strikes law we had 0.3875% of our population in prison; today we have 0.0456%. If we dropped that back to 0.3875 we'd have 30,000 fewer prisoners, for a savings of... $1.48 billion. Seven percent of our budget deficit.

In fact, the percentage of the population in prison has been dropping for years already. Which is one more reason why prisons are a silly thing to blame the deficit crisis on.

In no other context would the Rev skip over a government expense of $49K a person for 175,000 people, I'm sure.

I'm not sure if you're bitching about the fact that we imprison criminals or about the fact that it is expensive. Obviously it would be nice if it was cheaper to keep a prisoner in prison, but I don't have a good solution for reducing the per-prisoner cost. The courts have already ruled that the existing cells are inhumane.

If your plan is to simply release people from prison, I'd ask: who? We could save a $1.5 billion by getting rid of three strikes. We could save another $2 billion by releasing all the people convicted of victimless crimes like drug dealing and possession. That still leaves us with a budget deficit of at least $17 billion.

You could release all the burglars, murderers, thieves and rapists as well, I suppose. Then you'd only have a $13 billion budget deficit. :)

Michael said...

Big Govt: Good to know. Perhaps you could share them at some point. Coherently.

By the way, what do YOU do?

Hoosier Daddy said...

You really aren't that knowledgeable OR bright, are you?

Compared to you I'm a cauldron of knowledge, a veritable treasure trove of information. You've tossed out the one billion Muslim argument before as if the remaining 5 billion inhabitants should just STFU and accept Islam.

It is quite telling that a Pew poll that demonstrates a majority of Muslims want to remain living in a 7th century culture finds such a fervent defender such as yourself. Then again while telling, its not surprising as you have consistently demonstrated how much you dislike Western Civilization.

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

We can get into that at some point.

Suffice it to say I try to avoid crashing economies or clients' retirement accounts for a living, or at least I'd try not to take pride in it.

What I do requires taking account of complex and sometimes contradictory findings resulting from clinical studies, and making them fit into a framework that physicians and other clinicians find useful. I also teach, I make policy, I get respect and I get paid. And I conduct more research.

I don't throw out inconvenient facts that I don't like just because they threaten the supposed "coherence" of what I already knew.

That's the province of others. Others who sacrifice knowledge and reason for the sake of an orderly, nearly autistic need for intellectual organization.

Revenant said...

Revenent - that the herd mentality exists is a FACT we have to learn to live with.

Well, no, it isn't. It is something we would have to learn to live with if the Muslims of the world were more powerful than us and we were trying to figure out how to survive in a world they dominated. But in reality the world is dominated by people and countries who think the whole "if you offend one Muslim, you offend us all" mentality is bullshit. Something along the lines of ninety-nine percent of the worlds' military power is in non-Muslim hands. Simply put, the world's one billion Muslims exist because we don't want to kill them.

But if, say, the whole population of Indonesia gets a bug up its ass an declares "we cannot abide your war on the Taliban! We shall wage eternal war on the Great American Satan!" then, well... we'll get to see what a world with a lot fewer Indonesians in it looks like.

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...
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Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

Compared to you I'm a cauldron of knowledge, a veritable treasure trove of information.

Or at least a self-fellating one.

You've tossed out the one billion Muslim argument before as if the remaining 5 billion inhabitants should just STFU and accept Islam.

Did I? Moi? As you and Mike Meyers from Wayne's World would say, As if!

See. That's what language does. When Hoosier says "as if", I know he's pulling something out his ass - through the lens of his own feelings and reactions to what I said - rather than responding to what I actually did say.

Islam isn't going away, and a billion is a big enough number that a few billion others won't get veto power over what those billion believe. But I never said what anyone else should do about it. To suppose otherwise is just some bull that Hoosier pulled from his ass.

It is quite telling that a Pew poll that demonstrates a majority of Muslims want to remain living in a 7th century culture finds such a fervent defender such as yourself.

I defend the facts, of which this finding is one. I never justified it (that fact) on an ethical basis. But I did, however, accept the reality of that fact. If facts get in the way of your opinions and sense of morality, then either deal with it in a way that doesn't involve pretending those facts away or screw off!

(I mean that in the kindest possible way, of course).

Then again while telling, its not surprising as you have consistently demonstrated how much you dislike Western Civilization.

Whatever. Screw off. You cannot know what I supposedly hate or do not hate if you know nothing of those things yourself.

Western civilization stands on a basis of respect for reason, which, as is evident here, is something you lack entirely.

former law student said...

I'm not sure if you're bitching about the fact that we imprison criminals or about the fact that it is expensive.

As far as I can tell, Sharia saves money. No years of incarceration: Criminals are either executed or their hands are chopped off.

Michael said...

Big Govt: Do your masters know that you are insane? Just curious.

Hoosier Daddy said...

That is just some bull that Hoosier pulled from his ass.

You mean like you do all the time when you set up your strawmen? Here let me refresh your memory.

I suppose what you find most offensive is that a majority of Muslims around the world don't welcome a significant role for Christianity in their countries' political life.

So rather than address the poll, you instead insert your own hypothetical because you're so beholden to your carefully constructed narrative you can't possibly contemplate any other possibiliy that perhaps, those cute COEXIST bumper stickers are just full of shit.

Whatever. Screw off.

Did you do that little W thing with your fingers when you typed 'Whatever'? Did you lend a little 17 year old Valley Girl inflection in your voice and cluck your tongue?

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

"I suppose what you find most offensive is that a majority of Muslims around the world don't welcome a significant role for Christianity in their countries' political life."

So rather than address the poll, you instead insert your own hypothetical because you're so beholden to your carefully constructed narrative you can't possibly contemplate any other possibiliy that perhaps, those cute COEXIST bumper stickers are just full of shit.


Dude, I said that as a joke.

Every conservative is a little myopic. Conservative Christians in America and conservative Muslims elsewhere. It was a tongue in cheek reminder of the incoherence of those who would ally themselves with protesters of a mythical "War on Christmas" (or however cons feel that religion is insufficiently respected in America) while obviously thinking that Muslims should be more liberal in their respect for secularism.

It just lacks credibility.

But that's just an aside. And was meant humorously (or as Rush Limbaugh would say "satirically"). Don't get bogged down in it; it's far from the main point of what's worth discussing on this topic.

Revenant said...

As far as I can tell, Sharia saves money. No years of incarceration: Criminals are either executed or their hands are chopped off.

Cheaper in some ways, more expensive than others. For example, under sharia I'm subject to execution; the state loses a productive worker and gains a corpse. Under American law I'm free to be an atheist, and the state gets a whole lot of tax revenue.

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

I don't have "masters", Michael. Just people who respect my work and compensate me well for it.

Perhaps that is an economic and social arrangement with which you are unfamiliar.

Hoosier Daddy said...

It was a tongue in cheek reminder of the incoherence of those who would ally themselves with protesters of a mythical "War on Christmas" (or however cons feel that religion is insufficiently respected in America) while obviously thinking that Muslims should be more liberal in their respect for secularism.

Yes indeed. Christian's desire to hear Merry Christmas in lieu of Happy Holidays is exactly the same as thinking Muslims shouldn't cover their women in bedsheets and segergate them from the rest of society.

As moral equivalencies go, that was pretty good.

Michael said...

Govt: Yes, that's fine, but do they know you are insane? The use of the word "master" is one that people use often in the world of business. It is a simple acknowledgment of the fact that each of us are paid by someone and that someone has power over the recipient of the money. It is not some twisted way of making fun of someone, it is a form of respect that people use, people with a bit of humility about them, to describe the reality of economic life. You seem cowed by that and your hubris is stunning. Perhaps you are well paid. Perhaps you perform a service of value. But there is no perhaps about your hubris and there is no perhaps about your wackiness.

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

It wasn't a moral equivalency, Hoosier. Just a psychological equivalency.

To make the fight against a "War on Christmas" an important plank in what you stand for socially and politically (while pretending to respect the values of a country founded on secular government) is about as kooky a sentiment as what those questioned in this poll reveal.

You'd best be glad those liberals had a chance to sivilize you and the culture you're a part of before King Fahd did. Say what you will about the Saudi royals. At least he keeps the peace pretty well over there! He don't need no "liberal values" to take out his iron fist on those mischievous terrorist troublemakers!

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hoosier Daddy said...

To make the fight against a "War on Christmas" an important plank in what you stand for socially and politically (while pretending to respect the values of a country founded on secular government) is about as kooky a sentiment as what those questioned in this poll reveal.

Yes because Merry Christmas is a bedrock tenet of Christianity, found in the Book of Kris Kringle (he was after the Book of John but it got tossed in editing). Yes indeed, insisting on Merry Christmas is just as kookie as lopping off a few appendages and your occassional honor killing.

Oh well this was fun, I guess although debating with you doesn't dull the synapses as much as say, watching Spongebob but it is a close second.

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

t is not hubris to ascribe to principles and certain professional values in one's work, Michael - over and above the principle of getting paid. The pejorative word for those who would either conduct themselves or perhaps even believe otherwise is "prostitutes".

Perhaps that sounds more intentionally insulting or demeaning to you than I mean, or than you would believe hubris or wacky would sound to me, but I have no clearer way to describe our differing opinion here.

The financial services industry collapsed because of a lack of higher principles. This is not about a religious idea, nor does it have anything to do with being unhinged psychologically. It goes to the very heart of what professionalism is all about, and it is something for which those paying the bills, if they have an ounce of sense about them, will want and demand and seek out and pay dearly, and for reasons that are ultimately no less financial in nature than they have to do with who's respecting whom.

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

I get your point, Hoosier. Arbitrarily preventing less religious Americans from incorporating an element of Christianity into their own culture, in a generic way, is such an incredibly important stand to take. It almost makes conservative Muslims wonder if they will have an important idea ever again.

Anyway, I do hope you enjoyed the low hum of synaptic activity that resulted from trying to convince me of this.

Moneyrunner said...

I’m currently reading Paris 1919 and the rhetoric used by people like Big Gov't Trickling Down on You reminds me again of the centrality of American to everything. President Wilson was exhibit A … a wonderful example of the Progressive school. Whatever the issue is, it’s all about America. Outside of the US nothing exists, unless it’s colorful people in exotic costumes. No one else fought wars, created empires, oppressed ethnic minorities, and held slaves, set up puppet regimes, wiped out entire nationalities or displaced millions. Only we, the source or all that is unclean and unholy have affected others. Russia grew to its tremendous size under the Czars through gentle persuasion. Ditto China. Islam persuaded the animists, Christians and Jews to convert by sending out missionaries. Nothing bad happened in the last 100 years – ever since Americans gave up isolationism – that isn’t the fault of America.

For that, there is no remedy, no atonement that is good enough, nothing that can be done to remove the rottenness that is at our core. The only remedy is national suicide. You first Big Gov’t.

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

I have used no rhetoric that suggests Islam or any other culture is perfect, let alone that they are better than us. Read more books (going off of one alone is never a good idea) and try re-interpreting my words then. Thanks.

Michael said...

Big Govt: No differing opinions as far as I can possibly tell from your obviously intentionally obtuse prose. But perhaps smug is a better word for your opinion of whatever secret thing it is that you do. Or pompous. Or both. In any event it does not sound interesting to me, it sounds self important. I don't do any of the things you imagine I do, because you haven't the slightest idea of what my industry does other than what you might read in a newspaper in an article written by a fool. But I raise capital for people who are buying or starting businesses. Pretty mundane stuff, actually. It has nothing to do with your perception of a melting down financial industry (watch our bonus numbers this year) or mortgage backed securities. I arrange for people to invest in companies that hire people, make products, provide services. Evil shit like that.

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

Forgive me for paying insufficient homage to your bonus numbers in a year or two after the government bailed your ass out, Michael.

Yes, I think people have every right to have a smug opinion of, not what you do, but your lack of respect for how that business or related businesses affect those other than just your "masters".

As for your lack of interest in what I do, how boring you find it, well, your self-description of what you do as "mundane" suggests this is projection.

In any event, I think I gave you a rather clear, polite (if pointed) and neutral description of how both of us contribute to the good and evils of the world. If you're still obsessed with my supposed superiority, all I can say is that I hope your health doesn't fail anytime soon. Some Americans value staying alive and healthy more than they do making money, and the respect and trust they give people like me over people like you attests to that. Maybe they're the evil ones, Michael. Or maybe you're just jealous.

And maybe they know a whore when they see one.

Try integrity some time, Michael. You will find it surprisingly refreshing.

Juba Doobai! said...

Let these pigs have their shariah and keep them the hell away from us, neanderthal bastards.

Michael said...

@BiG Govt: In which you assume my firm received Federal funds. We did not. In which you assume we perform services without integrity. We do. In which you reveal yourself to be an asshole. You are.

jr565 said...

Alex wrote:
The most amazing thing is how the American people do not demand the retreat of the empire. I guess as long as bread & circuses keep flowing, they just don't GIVE A SHIT. and they wonder why the world hates us?


Until they collapsed the ME were controlled by the Turks, which behaved like AN EMPIRE. Could the world not hate them?

jr565 said...

Does no country in the Middle East interfere with any other country anywhere in the world? Why is only the US to be singled out for that particular sin?

Alex said...

jr - the point is the ME was interfered with first by the Europeans and then the USA. The ME can't do anything but strike back like a wounded animal. That's what blowback means.

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

Glad to know that you agree with my assertion that you lack much in the way of integrity, Michael. Or maybe you might want to re-phrase the meaning of what you're agreeing with when you say "we do".

Talk about incoherent writing.

As for the bailout whose funds you sound so proud to have rejected, I'm sure your firm would have had a great time capitalizing Thunderdome and all the other post-apocalyptic ventures that would have sprouted up in a world without Goldman Sacks, AIG and the other beneficiaries. But like most assholes in the financial services community, I'm sure you'd prefer not to bother yourself with that concern. Like most of your ilk, you probably think that your little island of wealth and integrity can stand as a self-contained operation, and it's everyone else who's to blame for giving people like you a bad name. Not that you'd bother to want to do anything about them, of course.

Look in the mirror. If your profession doesn't get a hold of itself, "smug" people like me will be the least of your concerns.

kwood said...

Just a guess, but I'm thinking this Big Gov't person works for the TSA.

And I can't help picturing him looking and sounding like 'Newman' from Seinfeld when I read his posts.

Not that there's anything wrong with that!