Carys Weldon Blog
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
I find stats on religion, political votes and polls, and terrorists fascinating SOME DAYS. Today is one of them, I guess, because I spent way too much time surfing sites to read up. So, steel yourself folks. Get ready for the cold, hard facts.
(Giggling) I can't remember where I read that over 90% of stats are made up, but the more I heard people quote me, "Well, such and such percentage of people said this..." I started asking, "Which people? Where did you get this information?"
My husband, for one, is a master of guesstimations. Are you? If so, get a piece of paper. Guess how many people in the world are of which faith. And then sit back, and get ready to test your knowledge. (I hear the bells of final jeopardy playing, don't you?)
Honestly, I only like to make up statistics when someone else has thrown one out that I know is obviously fake. If you said, "Seven million Americans bite their nails a day," I would probably throw back, "But 1.62 million of those are chewing their toenails, and are infants under the age of 11 months. Do those really count in this reckoning of yours?"
(Those stats were completely made up, by the way. I have no idea how many people in America chew their nails a day in the U.S. For that matter, I don't even know how many people are in the US currently.)
Which meant I had to go look that up. Total U.S. population can be found here, and you can also break that down to state by state if you want to.
I think it started clear back when the game show Family Feud posted percentages on the big game board. Most of the time, those answers were nothing like mine, so I assumed they were asking...oh, I dunno, aborigines in Australia's outback, or pygmies in the rainforest or something. You know, no one that had grown up in the U.S. anywhere near where I did.
But then, as the game wore on, I started thinking more like their polled public answers. So, then I had to wonder if they should say "We polled people in the midwest over the age of twelve. Or under the mean average of 79." Or whatever.
Anyhow, as always, I'm mostly just rambling on when I should get to the crux of what sent me searching today. I braved my email inbox this a.m. and have been sucked into the muck and mire for over 6 hours now. So, if you see signs of me being mentally ill, I'm sure I can blame it on overexposure to an abundance of spam.
Which makes me question how the islanders who were fed SPAM during WW2 and afterward are faring mentally. (Totally irrelevant except for the fact that I saw the most amazing Island dancers in person Monday night. They did the ring dance where the guys contortion their way through hoops smaller than any hula hoop I ever played with as a kid, and they fire danced, and made fire literally crawl the flooring in a mesmerizing way.) Anyhow, that's a whole other story. If you chant over and over again for me to tell you about the nearly naked men in skirts dancing at the church shindig, I can cough up more details, but I really think I've hit the highpoints already.
Back to my original topic, which was statistics...
Since 9/11/2001, we've heard more talk about Muslims than I remember in all the rest of my life put together. Mostly, we Americans are continuously being fed "tolerance and acceptance". Personally, I think it's funny since tolerance and acceptance don't seem to be in the mainstream Muslim thinking.
I saw an article that said Obama called America one of the biggest Muslim countries in the world. He bases that on the estimated 2-3 million Muslims supposedly in our country.
Of course, Obama was raised by a woman who loved Muslims and married two of them. And he was raised on pro-Muslim turf. So, he's got an affinity for Muslims. It's no surprise that he's trying to help Americans accept Muslims.
While I personally find that a little scary, since it reminds me of the pre-9/11 days when we were told to let Muslims settle in our communities and accept them with open hearts and arms. We did, of course, because America lets everyone come in and make themselves at home.
Now, I need to go on record as saying I don't think it's right to terrorize anyone. I'm not posting this discussion to incite riot. I just think I'm tired of keeping my tongue on political issues because I've been told a writer should keep personal opinions on politics to themselves so as not to run off a book sale.
But I'm an American and I believe in freedom of speech. What good is the right if you don't exercise it? Especially if you hold your tongue while everyone else is ranting their view?
I'm a big fan of Edmund Burke, who said "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."
I believe Americans need to wake up, and speak up, especially when it comes to issues involving terrorists, politicians NOT representing you properly, and other issues that are seriously hitting home these days.
So, I've opened up the Muslim can of worms today. Why? To point at Obama and say, "You know he's FOR Muslims, right?" Nah. You'd have to be deaf, dumb and blind not to know that. I assume my readers are on the ball enough to catch simple basics about our new president.
And I know a bunch of you voted for him. Power to you for exercising your right to vote. We all should vote according to our conscience, and stand behind our choices by virtue of pride...if there is any in the choice we made.
I thought you might be interested in a few sites. The first answers the question of how many Muslims are in the world, and in the U.S. in particular. This is important because we need to know what the percentage is, and take that into consideration as special efforts are made to accommodate them.
This may be put into better context when you look at the pie chart of ALL religions found on this page: http://www.adherents.com/Religions_By_Adherents.html
Here's a website that lists the terrorists who have perpetrated crimes against the U.S. or its citizens:
Now, if you are so sucked into stat fascination and need another site to ponder over, you might want to go here: http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/facts_for_features_special_editions/index.html
Labels: christians, muslims, Obama, religions, statistics, stats
Posted by CarysWeldonblog ::
10:18 AM ::
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