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Never Underestimate The Power Of Stupid People In Large Groups

One of the earliest lessons I learned in writing was "write what you know." That developed into the corollary, "play to your strengths."

There are many types of bloggers, and it's tough to carve out one's niche. For me, finding where I fit in best, it was a process of elimination.

Some make their names as investigators. They ferret out stories that others don't find. I don't have the resources for that.

Some are "linkers." They find other blogs that say something interesting, and collect them for easy consumption. I don't have the time or the patience for that.

Others are grand analysts. They have the training, the education, and the raw brainpower to look at The Big Picture and break it down for the rest of us. I can sometimes flirt around the fringes of that, but not as consistently or as well as they do.

So, by default, I find that I'm best at what I like to call "connecting." I find items that interest me, and then connect them to other items in hopes of piecing together a little portion of the big picture.

That's what I'm doing this morning.

A couple of days ago, Zogby released a general poll of registered Democrats, hoping to get a snapshot of what they think, what they believe, what they want. One element was somewhat buried, but several enterprising people ferreted it out:

According to Zogby, 42% of Democrats don't believe the official story behind 9/11 and think that President Bush either knew about it and permitted it, or actually arranged for the whole thing. (These theories are known as LIHOP, for "Let It Happen On Purpose," or MIHOP, "Made It Happen On Purpose.")

I've often repeated my disdain for polls, surveys, and the like, but they do come in handy in one sense: if you don't try to apply them to the real world and simply compare them with another poll, they can -- occasionally, if properly tortured --- yield some interesting notions.

For example, let's keep that number in mind -- 42% of registered Democrats think that our government had at least some foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks.

Then think back almost few years ago, when another poll was taken. It asked Americans whether or not Iraq was involved in the 9/11 attacks. Quite a few did, and someone also did some mining of the data -- and found something they found fascinating: the highest percentage of those who did say that were Fox News viewers.

So, what does that mean? To me, not a damned thing. As Will Rogers once said, "It isn't what we don't know that gives us trouble, it's what we know that ain't so." Fox News never once, to the best of my knowledge, ever directly stated that Iraq was involved in 9/11. And I feel fairly comfortable in saying that -- Fox's critics who have literally spent years touting this survey would surely have uncovered such a thing and broadcast it loud and clear. Hell, Keith Olbermann would have made it part of his opening credits.

Likewise, I don't recall any leaders in the Democratic Party openly endorsing the LIHOP/MIHOP whackjobs, the Troooothers, or any of the other stupid and/or insane conspiracy nuts.

Well, with one exception. They were quite happy to embrace Michael Moore and his lie-infested "Fahrenheit 9/11". Moore was given a seat of honor at the 2004 Democratic National Convetion, and quite a few of the High And Mighty from the Democrats attended its premiere -- and had many words of praise for the Fabulist From Flint.

But I'd very much like to see some of those people who've used the 2003 study to attack Fox News discuss this Zogby survey, and just what it means about the Democratic party.

Especially if they do so while standing near a windmill. The spin they'll likely produce could put a sizable dent in our dependency on foreign oil.


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Comments (43)

So you ask us democrats to ... (Below threshold)

So you ask us democrats to respond to your question in one sentence and in the next say the answer will be bullshit. Way to answer your own question and end the dialogue before it starts. Nice going Jay.

Have fun reading the frothings from the wingnuts instead. You'll hear the usual insightful and oithy commentsf from the usual nits hollering TRAITORS, TERRORISTS, AMERICA HATERS. Enjoy.

I just realized my wife;s n... (Below threshold)

I just realized my wife;s name Linda was in the signature box from a comment she made yesterday, Thie comment above, proudly, was mune.


Heaven forfend you should p... (Below threshold)

Heaven forfend you should prove me wrong, JFO. After all, everyone knows you are loathe to do such things. Why, that would be rude and ungracious of you, and that would be completely out of character.


What's the big deal? In "Th... (Below threshold)
dr lava:

What's the big deal? In "The Looming Tower", by Lawrence Wright, and it slams Clinton era as hard as Bush, it shows how the government did have most of the pieces to the puzzle but in-fighting between agencies and incompetence in the Bush administration kept the attack from being stopped.

If you have read any Michael Scheur you know this is true. HE WAS THERE.

That's a far stretch from t... (Below threshold)

That's a far stretch from the LIHOP/MIHOP crowd, lava, and you KNOW it is.

Nice attempt at deflection, though.


JFO:First of all w... (Below threshold)


First of all what's a "mune" that your so proud of?

That aside: So you ask us democrats to respond to your question in one sentence and in the next say the answer will be bullshit. Way to answer your own question and end the dialogue before it starts. Nice going Jay.

Nice going JFO is seeing something that isn't there. Where does it say you had to give an answer in a single sentence?

And it being "likely" that someone would spin an answer isn't a definitive statement, it just means a better than 50% chance. I don't see you disproving J's thought.

I just said this in the other thread you dropped a turd in but is worth repeating here:

Take that condom off your head.... If you get my drift.

dr. lave:If yo... (Below threshold)

dr. lave:

If you have read any Michael Scheur you know this is true. HE WAS THERE.

I have read it and Imperial hubris still sits on my bookshelf.

Whether he was "there" or not is immaterial. What is of more importance is Scheuer is a bigger nutcake that you:

From Imperial Hubris as Scheuer talks about Osama DEM Laden:

Osama bin Laden appears to be a geniunely pious Muslim; a devoted family man; a talented, focused, and patient insurgent commander; a frank and eloquent speaker; a successful businessman; and an individual of conviction, intellectual honestly, compassion, humility, and physical bravery (3).

[B]in Laden's character, religious certainty, moral absolutism, military ferocity, integrity, and all-or-nothing goals are not much different from those of individuals whom we in the United States have long identified and honored as religious, political, or military heroes, men such as John Brown, John Bunyan, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, and Thomas Paine (5).

[B]in Laden's philosophy and action have embodied many of the same sentiments that permeate the underpinnings of concepts on which the United States itself is established.
Is it any wonder why Osama DEM Laden vited his book as a "must read" by Americans in his latest propaganda tape?

Scheuer is Osama's greatest fan!

And a nutcake just as you dr. lava.

Jay Tea,You say yo... (Below threshold)

Jay Tea,

You say you don't give much stock to polls, and in this case it's for good reason. It's interesting to look at the poll questions.

Do you agree that "19 fundamentalists executed a surprise attack which caught US intelligence and military forces of guard."

If you don't agree that the FBI, CIA, DIA, NSA, etc. were totally caught off guard, then the other choices were either that the government was behind the attacks or the government knew the attacks were coming but "let them proceed for various political, military and economic motives."

Remember, Zogby may have conducted the poll and may have done a good job of collecting an analyzing the data, but 911truth.org was the one who paid for and worded the question.

"So, by default, I find ... (Below threshold)

"So, by default, I find that I'm best at what I like to call "connecting." I find items that interest me, and then connect them to other items in hopes of piecing together a little portion of the big picture."

It's no less important a task than all the others. I see attempts by many (the media, in particular) to present an unflattering large picture in small increments so as to give the appearance that they're unconnected occurrences. That is, they see the big picture, but don't like the looks of it, and breaking it down detracts from the overall importance of it. It's easy to then omit a detail or two that links all the others together to form that picture.

Only one thing kept the U.S... (Below threshold)

Only one thing kept the U.S. from detecting the plan and stopping 9-11 (by the way it was planned in the 90's, start in 93, long before the dimwit's favorite whipping boy came to D.C.) and it was called the Gorlick (aka Shrillary Clinton) wall. As for the 42%, it matches the number of democrats that have never worked a day in their life (welfare riders), but spend they're days watching 'Days of our lives', and think that's the way everyone lives, no job and money to burn. Doesn't that tell you the mental capacity of the majority of democrats? The Communist News Network (CNN) along with the soaps has had it's effect on the retards of the country. I think it's time to call BS of half the welfare riders excuse 'my great-great granddad was a slave' and you owe me.

TRAITORS, TERRORISTS, AMERI... (Below threshold)


JFO will state: "I will ans... (Below threshold)

JFO will state: "I will answer your question after you answer this______________." Then later he will say," Is anyone going to answer my questions I asked in comments 10, 18, 36,43,58,99,101?" "You wing nuts are crazy."

An example of how the left deludes itself, with JFO being the typical model. ww

There are a couple of reaso... (Below threshold)

There are a couple of reasons for this data.

1. Democrats believe George Bush had something to do with 9-11 because they hate George Bush. It has nothing to do with facts.

2. They are fed lines of crap by the Troofers. Dylan Avery begins Loose Change alleging that Marvin Bush was in charge of security at the WTC on 9-11, and does so to a family member of a 9-11 victim. If one hasn't the intellectual ability or curiosity to determine the veracity of the claim (and it's an outright lie) then one is immediately sucked into the vortex of conspiracy. On the part of Democrats, it's called a willing suspension of disbelief. It has nearly become a Democratic religion. The troofers continue to feed the useful idiots lie and after lie after lie- Dick Cheney was in charge of NORAD, NORAD had set up a command post on the West Side on 9-10, Wirt Walker is a relative of Bush, United Airlines was a client of Securacom on 9-11, and on and on.

All are lies, but if you buy into the lies, the rest is easy. It also means you're an idiot.

We just don't know.<... (Below threshold)

We just don't know.

What part of that "We just don't know" did you miss?

Baghdad barney:And... (Below threshold)

Baghdad barney:

And so...........?

Hmmmm let me see here.

Statement No. 15 ("Overview of the Enemy") as contained in the 9/11 Commission's report:

Bin Laden also explored possible cooperation with Iraq during his time in Sudan, despite his opposition to Hussein's secular regime. Bin Laden had in fact at one time sponsored anti-Saddam Islamists in Iraqi Kurdistan. The Sudanese, to protect their own ties with Iraq, reportedly persuaded Bin Laden to cease this support and arranged for contacts between Iraq and al Qaeda. A senior Iraqi intelligence officer reportedly made three visits to Sudan, finally meeting Bin Laden in 1994. Bin Laden is said to have requested space to establish training camps.
From the original indictment of Osama DEM Laden, obtained by the Justice Department in spring 1998.
Al Qaeda also forged alliances with the National Islamic Front in the Sudan and with the government of Iran and its associated terrorist group Hezballah for the purpose of working together against their perceived common enemies in the West, particularly the United States. In addition, al Qaeda reached an understanding with the government of Iraq that al Qaeda would not work against that government and that on particular projects, specifically including weapons development, al Qaeda would work cooperatively with the Government of Iraq.
And so.........?

This is great coming from t... (Below threshold)

This is great coming from the guy who STILL argues that Iraq had WMD.

Keep it up!

Has any moonbat stopped to ... (Below threshold)

Has any moonbat stopped to figure how many people would have to be in the loop to bring the plan off if it were an inside job. I know you are a bunch of idiots but there can't be anybody that dumb.Well there are a few here but not enough of you to matter.

Breaking news jp2: they fou... (Below threshold)

Breaking news jp2: they found WMD in Iraq. Not huge stockpiles like *everyone* anticipated, but chemical weapons were found.

If you say a lie often enough, two things will happen. Those predisposed to believe it will make it gospel. Those who don't will know you're a lying idiot.

jp2: "This is great comi... (Below threshold)

jp2: "This is great coming from the guy who STILL argues that Iraq had WMD."

hey...maybe he's Kurdish???

hey...maybe he's a fan of Nancy Pelosi:
"As a member of the House Intelligence Committee, I am keenly aware that the proliferation of chemical and biological weapons is an issue of grave importance to all nations. Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process." -- Nancy Pelosi, December 16, 1998

or HEY...maybe he just read the Duelfer Report on Iraq's WMD!!! Not the few excerpts that the MSM used to claim there was NO THREAT! But the ACTUAL report which points out how grave the threat WAS!!

could be some of those...or just common sense! :)

Re:above"Stupid Pe... (Below threshold)


"Stupid People in Large Groups"


jp2...did you just insult h... (Below threshold)

jp2...did you just insult her excellency Ms. Speaker Nancy Pelosi??? I just might drive up the coast ahd rat you out!!

Jay Tea,I'm callin... (Below threshold)

Jay Tea,

I'm calling straw man.

Having re-read the poll question, I find that your statement about what Democrat do or do not believe to be a bit of a stretch in interpretation.

You state "42% of Democrats don't believe the official story behind 9/11 and think that President Bush either knew about it and permitted it, or actually arranged for the whole thing".

What the poll says is "42% of Democrats are more likely to agree with the statement 'certain elements in the US Government knew the attacks were coming but consciously let them proceed' than the other two alternatives".

The poll question said nothing about President Bush. However, the CIA, NSA, and FBI are all elements of the government and some people there knew and reported that al-Qaeda wanted to attack the U.S. again. Did they "consciously let them proceed"? I would highly doubt that, but in a pooly constructed questionaire, paired with the alternative "19 fundamentalists executed a suprise attack which caught US intelligence and military forces off guard.", the question was "Which theory are you more likely to agree with?"

I'm sorry...when Rance call... (Below threshold)

I'm sorry...when Rance calls "straw man" what are we all supposed to do next?? :)

just askin'

I dunno about you, Rance, b... (Below threshold)

I dunno about you, Rance, but when someone calls "Straw Man," I do the Scarecrow dance from the Wizard Of Oz. Or, if I'm feeling partiuclarly, funky, from The Wiz.


I'm sorry...when R... (Below threshold)
I'm sorry...when Rance calls "straw man" what are we all supposed to do next?? :)

just askin'

Kick the can? Move the goal post?

Question? With Osama's re-statement claiming his responsiblity for 9/11-----

In the speech, bin Laden refers to the attacks on New York and Washington several times, almost gloating about policy changes by the U.S. government in response.

"Nineteen young men were able -- by the grace of Allah, the Most High -- to change the direction of its compass,"

-----will the "truthers" request some quality time with Osama so they can get their storys straight?

marc, How about I ... (Below threshold)


How about I clarify it for you so that even an intelligencia like you can understand a mere mortal.

In one sentence jay asks a question. In the next, to paraphrase, he says whatever the answer is it will be bullshit. That's a real conversation starter kinda like "how are you?" [but i don't really give a damn about how you are.

As for turd dropping, I hope I didn't miss you. Your mouth is certainly big enough.

Straw man: Present a misrep... (Below threshold)

Straw man: Present a misrepresentation of the opponent's position, refute it, and pretend that the opponent's actual position has been refuted.

Nah, they'll just send him ... (Below threshold)

Nah, they'll just send him the proper talking points so they're all on the same page. Then Osama can be seen as someone wanting to SAVE the US from that eEvil Bushco conspiracy, and he'll be a hero instead of a bad guy!

It's SO much easier when you control the narrative, isn't it?

geez, Rance, I KNOW what a ... (Below threshold)

geez, Rance, I KNOW what a "strawman" argument is! I just thought you "calling a straw man" as though you were an NFL Referee calling "Clipping" was a little silly!

Do you address yourself as "Sir"? If so it could be a sign you're taking yourself just a tad too serious! Certainly more serious than the rest of us take you! :)

Nyahh. What's Up, Doc. Fo... (Below threshold)

Nyahh. What's Up, Doc. Forty-two percent were asleep at the switch whether or not they were push polled.

Besides, anyone, of any skill, can make up a stupid poll to show anything, to idiots. Pay attention to DJ and Jay Cost.

Justrand,I just fi... (Below threshold)


I just figured that I would throw the definition up there because there were no serious responses to the strawman charege.

Jay Tea states that the poll says that 42% of registered democrats think that "Bush either knew about [9/11] and permitted it, or actually arranged for the whole thing."

He's accusing them of something that is not true, or at least not indicated by the poll he is citing, so that he can rhetorically knock them down.

re: # 19 - how many times m... (Below threshold)

re: # 19 - how many times must this point be addressed?

The only WMD's that have been found in Iraq:

1) were so degraded as to have been effectively useless

2) predate the first Persian Gulf conflict, and so are not from any further WMD program

3) are not the WMD's we invaded for

I also find it very unfortu... (Below threshold)

I also find it very unfortunate that so many persons do not believe that 9/11 was a sneak attack by a gang of terrorist thugs.

There is absolutely no way that the U.S. government would allow such a major crime as 9/11 to take place if they knew ahead of time and not attempt to stop it.

Some tried to also create a similiar wacky theory behind the Pearl Harbor attack, claiming that Roosevelt knew ahead of time, but that's been discredited as well by the facts.

Unfortunately wacky conspiracy theories will always be with us despite good facts and simple logic.

Well, the "official story" ... (Below threshold)

Well, the "official story" isn't a story. It's been closely investigated by bipartisan and nonpartisan groups. We know what happened and how it happened.

Anyone who believes the "truther" baloney is just an idiot.

Now, am I surprised that at least 42% of self-identified Democrats are idiots? Of course not - that's WHY they are Democrats in the first place.

BTW ~ That's not an original Will Rogers quote. He stole it from Josh Billings. Billings' version is variously given as

"It's not ignorance does so much damage; it's knowin' so derned much that ain't so." or

"It is better to know nothing than to know what ain't so."

jim, in post# 33 asks: "... (Below threshold)

jim, in post# 33 asks: "re: # 19 - how many times must this point be addressed?"

The report by Charles Duelfer of the Iraq Survey Group, October 2004 is HUNDREDS of pages long...and I have read essentially every damn one of them! The MSM used VERY tiny pieces of the report to say "there were no WMDs when we invaded"...and thus conclude "Saddam was no threat!"

The reality was that the threat they (the ISG) found was MASSIVE! How many fighters did Ali defeat because him covering up on the ropes (rope-a-dope) made him look like "no threat"?? LOTS!! Here are some of the key findings from the report that the MSM chose NOT to use...that show just how big the threat was from Saddam's rope-a-dope! [I'll try to only include a few findings, but MOST of the report is in this vein)

Saddam Husayn wanted to end sanctions while preserving the capability to reconstitute his weapons of mass destruction (WMD) when sanctions were lifted.

He sought to balance the need to cooperate with UN inspections--to gain support for lifting sanctions--with his intention to preserve Iraq's intellectual capital for WMD with a minimum of foreign intrusiveness and loss of face.

The introduction of the Oil-For-Food program (OFF) in late 1996 was a key turning point for the Regime. OFF rescued Baghdad's economy from a terminal decline created by sanctions. The Regime quickly came to see that OFF could be corrupted to acquire foreign exchange both to further undermine sanctions and to provide the means to enhance dual-use infrastructure and potential WMD-related development.

Saddam wanted to recreate Iraq's WMD capability--which was essentially destroyed in 1991--after sanctions were removed and Iraq's economy stabilized, but probably with a different mix of capabilities to that which previously existed.

Saddam aspired to develop a nuclear capability--in an incremental fashion, irrespective of international pressure and the resulting economic risks--but he intended to focus on ballistic missile and tactical chemical warfare (CW) capabilities.

Saddam never abandoned his intentions to resume a CW effort when sanctions were lifted and conditions were judged favorable:
Saddam and many Iraqis regarded CW as a proven weapon against an enemy's superior numerical strength, a weapon that had saved the nation at least once already--during the Iran-Iraq war--and contributed to deterring the Coalition in 1991 from advancing to Baghdad.
The way Iraq organized its chemical industry after the mid-1990s allowed it to conserve the knowledge-base needed to restart a CW program, conduct a modest amount of dual-use research, and partially recover from the decline of its production capability caused by the effects of the Gulf war and UN-sponsored destruction and sanctions.

ISG has uncovered hardware at a few military depots, which suggests that Iraq may have prototyped experimental CW rounds.

The Regime prevented scientists from the former nuclear weapons program from leaving either their jobs or Iraq. Moreover, in the late 1990s, personnel from both MIC and the IAEC received significant pay raises in a bid to retain them, and the Regime undertook new investments in university research in a bid to ensure that Iraq retained technical knowledge.

sorry for the length of the... (Below threshold)

sorry for the length of the above post. but the REALITY is that Saddam was poised to quickly re-constitute his WMD, whether he had any remaining or not.

Evidence suggests Syria DID take significant WMDs stockpiles and precursor materials in the days leading up to the invasion.

whether they did or not, the reality is that sanctions were crumbling, and the "no-fly" zone would have crumbled quickly thereafter.

France WAS sabotaging our efforts to hold Saddam accountable, due to massive involvement in the OFF scandal!!

Our Leftist buddies would have wanted to wait until Saddam had fully reconstitured his WMD stockpiles...so our troops would have died by the thousands during any attempt to overthrow Saddam...or allow him to dominate the entire Middle East.


75% of Republicans believe ... (Below threshold)
Just John:

75% of Republicans believe the official story.
Do 60% of them beleive the "official story" blames Iraq?

Well ,Justrand, just a few ... (Below threshold)

Well ,Justrand, just a few points:

1) your statement of "Saddam was poised to quickly re-constitute his WMD", is quite a different statement than # 19's "they found WMDs in Iraq."

No WMD's were found. So the substance of my response to # 19, is to repeat that point.

2) Saddam being *poised* to start program to make weapons to use against us *some day*, made him a future threat.

I understand dealing with future threats is important - but I think if there are present threats who have already killed thousands of US citizens, we should deal with present threats first.

And the invasion and occupation of Iraq has diverted forces and resources not only from Afghanistan, but from stopping Al Qaeda and catching Osama Bin Laden in particular.

So, that's where I'm coming from, when I oppose the occupation of Iraq. I think it's screwing up Afghanistan and making our future more difficult, not less.

What I would have preferred to do was keep inspecting Saddam until we were done in Afghanistan and rooted out Al Qaeda, or until Saddam died of old age, whichever came first.

Perhaps we'll disagree on that - but I just don't think it was a good idea to turn a one-front war with Afghanistan into a two-front war and occupation, and not even catch the guy who killed 3,000 of our people and thumbed his noses at us.

Stupid People in large numb... (Below threshold)
spurwing plover:

Stupid People in large numbers do you mean those GREENPEACE idiots going naked up on the glacer? But then you would have to be pretty stupid to have anything to do with GREENPEACE

There are many types of ... (Below threshold)

There are many types of bloggers, and it's tough to carve out one's niche. For me, finding where I fit in best, it was a process of elimination.

I believe the word is "peristalsis."

Jim:and not ev... (Below threshold)


and not even catch the guy who killed 3,000 of our people and thumbed his noses at us.

Jesus is dead, yet Christianity still lives and is as strong as ever.

Mohammed launched intensive programs for the propagation of Islam, yet he's long dead and Islam is alive and well.

What makes you think the death of Osama DEM Laden will make the rest of the jihadist-cut-throats, drop there throat slashers and go quietly into the night?

And BTW, your implication that the U.S. has dropped all attempts to kill him are patently false.

Liberals were screaming abo... (Below threshold)

Liberals were screaming about the US not being able to catch Saddam. Then when he was caught, it was no bid deal, according to them.

We'll get Osama, but when we do, it will be belittled by liberals once more as "no big deal."

Catching him won't end the war on terrorism, but that won't be "understood" by the left until he is caught.


Jim, you're in agreement wi... (Below threshold)

Jim, you're in agreement with Adam Gadahn, bin Laden's speech writer, that we shouldn't have gone into Iraq.

Why is it that you choose to ignore Duelfer's evidence of Saddam's evil intention, and Rossett's exposition of his means, through the Oil-for-Food fiasco, to acquire and use WMD against us. Is this willful ignorance, or do you come to it accidently, sort of a byproduct of your politial bias?

Justrand, that was excellent. The left believes that the WMD meme is useful even in the face of evidence that it is not. They believe that repetition will carry the day. The trouble is, now, in the face of overwhelming evidence they are mistaken, they continue to spout the sort of nonsense bin Laden just did. The sun never sets on such fools, they just close there eyes.






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