What Fresh Hell Is This?

September 26, 2010

Jack Kelly Sunday

In this week's column, Jack Kelly weaves a number of different threads of anecdotal evidence to prove, well I am not sure what - that we live in a land of religious freedom where one religion shouldn't be as free as everyone else? Maybe. I honestly don't know.

Oh yea, he's talking about the "Ground Zero Mosque" (which, again, isn't exactly a mosque and it definitely isn't at Ground Zero - but why let clarity get in the way of demagoguery?)

Jack begins with a constructed polarity:
Writing in National Review in July 2009, Angelo Codevilla said traditional distinctions between Republicans and Democrats were being overshadowed by the split between the "Court Party," which he defined as "the well-connected ... who see themselves as potters of the great American clay," and the " 'Country Party,' the many more who are tired of being treated as clay."
It's certainly interesting that Jack would cite this piece in the NRO in that it begins with:
Far be it from me to suggest that Sarah Palin should be or is likely to be our next president. She has not shown the excellence of cognition or of judgment that would recommend her ahead of other possible candidates, nor does her path to the presidency look easy.
Being that Jack is a Sarah fan from way back.

But back to Jack. While he restates the NRO's definitions of "Court" and "Country" parties, he more or less projects his own content into them from the get go. The "Courts" are the liberal Democrat elites he's looking to ridicule and the "Countrys" are, of course, the Tea Partiers.

With no evidence whatsoever connecting either of of the NRO's year old definitions (from the Summer of 2009, remember) to the events of this summer, Jack asserts:
According to the Court Party, those Americans -- more than two thirds of us, polls indicate -- who oppose construction of a mosque near Ground Zero are motivated chiefly by religious bigotry.
According to the Court Party? Who says that? Is there a quotation I missed somewhere? A source from anywhere to support Jack's point? No. He's projecting what he thinks one dated fabricated abstraction thinks about a recent real event.

And even then, what he's projecting is partial and misleading. From a FoxNews poll taken August 10-11 of this year, when asked this question:
A group of Muslims plans to build a mosque and Islamic cultural center a few blocks from the site of the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York City. Do you think it is appropriate to build a mosque and Islamic center near Ground Zero, or do you think it would be wrong to do so?
64% of those polled said it was "wrong" while only 30% said it was appropriate. But when asked this question:
Regardless of whether you think it is appropriate to build a mosque near Ground Zero, do you think the Muslim group has the right to build a mosque there, or don't they have that right?
61% said the group "has the right" to build and only 34% said it doesn't. This is at the heart of tolerance and religious freedom. While we may not agree with a particular religion's tenets, those who practice that religion are absolutely free to do so.

Jack, however, uses some anecdotal evidence to try to prove that there's no religious bigotry in the heartland, so therefore there's no bigotry in his newly embraced "Country Party."

He goes with:
Aman Ali and Bassam Tariq drove 13,000 miles across America during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan with the intention of attending services at 30 mosques within those 30 days. They didn't encounter any of the religious bigotry the Court Party says is endemic.

"Ali and Tariq were embraced nearly everywhere they went, from a Confederate souvenir shop in Georgia, to the streets of Las Vegas, Nevada, to the hills of North Dakota where the nation's first mosque was constructed in 1929," CNN reported Sept. 10.

Mr. Tariq, 23, an American citizen of Pakistani descent, told CNN the reception they received "really made America feel like home to me in a way that I've never felt before."
It is interesting to note that their second blog post (the one they wrote after attending the "Ground Zero Mosque") begins like this:
Dude, it’s just a mosque.

Bassam and I walked into Park 51, the site of the so called “Ground Zero Mosque,” expecting to feel transformed, knowing the fact that I was praying inside the place that’s practically been mentioned in the news every 20 minutes.

But all it felt like – was praying inside a mosque.
Wait, wait, wait. The terrorists are already praying there? My god, they need to be stopped! Muslim prayers at Ground Zero are an insult to the memory of those 4,000 God-fearing Americans killed by Islam on 9/11!

If you missed the satire in the previous paragraph, you're reading the wrong blog. Let's get back to reality.

They're already praying at the Park51 site. So the real question is whether a new building will be built for them. Should the state be given that authority? Should the local (or regional or nation's) population be given that authority?

I think not.

Jack continues his anecdotal ways. Take a look:
And if it's religious bigotry that fuels opposition to the mosque near ground zero, why do most Arabs, most of whom are Muslim, object to its construction?

That was the startling finding of a poll by Elaph, which John Hopkins Prof. Fouad Ajami described as "the most respected electronic daily in the Arab world." According to that poll, 58 percent of its readers oppose building the mosque.
Too bad that when you look at the "poll" you find it's not a poll at all. It's a survey. From the Wall Street Journal:
A survey by Elaph, the most respected electronic daily in the Arab world, gave a decided edge to those who objected to the building of this mosque—58% saw it as a project of folly.

Elaph was at it again in the aftermath of Pastor Terry Jones's threat to burn copies of the Quran: It queried its readers as to whether America was a "tolerant" or a "bigoted" society. The split was 63% to 37% in favor of those who accepted the good faith and pluralism of this country.
See that? The journal "was at it again" when it "queried its readers" about Terry Jones - so what it did there, it also did with the mosque "survey." Do I need to point out how unreliable surveys like this are? They don't tell you much if anything about the general population - only about those self-selected readers of a journal who in another act of self-selection decide to respond to the survey. As solid information, surveys like this are more or less useless.

They're anecdotal. As is most of Jack's column.

Anecdotal evidence built on a fabricated polarity.

And that's not much at all.

1 comment:

Ol' Froth said...

Why does Jack Kelly receive a paycheck to write? He's about as talented as a fifth tier blogger.