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Among registered voters, 28% could find Iran on an unlabeled map of Western Eurasia

And 23% could find Iran on a map of the whole world.

From Morning Consult:

These are registered voters, who presumably do better than non-registered voters.

Note that Iran is a particularly tough challenge since it’s right next to Iraq.

Some people who got this question wrong picked Iraq instead of Iran, which isn’t too far off.

But the maps used in this survey had the outlines of the countries marked.

The hardest challenge would be to click within Iran’s borders on a global map with no national boundaries drawn on it, such as the top map in this post (which was not used in this poll).

Presumably, among people who can find Iran on the map, a lot of them can do it because they have a rough idea how big Iran is and what it is shaped like.

It’s not uncommon to see silhouettes of countries when reading or watching news stories about them.

Without borders, finding Iran would be tougher, although as a coastal country it’s a lot easier than finding or (spelling) Kyrgyzstan.

I could do it by lining up the Caspian Sea and the northeast side of the Persian Gulf, but that’s a challenge.

Men are a lot more map and foreign conflict-oriented than women.

This is basically impossible. I might be able to do okay on a map showing rivers and mountain ranges, or a night light map showing cities, but with just continental outlines, I quickly missed Slovakia by a small distance.

 
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  1. Lot says:

    Oh dear. Are the wrongest responses the cluster around Kansas, or the ones in Hudson’s Bay? Why the cluster around Malta?

  2. I think if you can find the Persian Gulf, clicking within Iran’s borders would be pretty easy. Way easier to find Iran than find the Caspian sea imo.

  3. Why did so many people place Iran in the south-central USA, (was that a joke) Greenland, and Australia? Bizarre.

    Sad that the population is so geographically-challenged. Maps are really easy, it’s just a matter of bothering to learn them.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
  4. Anonymous[105] • Disclaimer says:

    Too many jokers. Some chose parts of the ocean.

    Some chose South Bend and Las Vegas.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  5. Yeah, but the biggest problem with Americans is that very simply the American homeland hasn’t been touched by real war since 1865.

    Americans can see the pictures of what the Germans had to do to clean up bodies at Dresden – in case you didn’t know, the Germans had to roast the corpses on giant grills. But Americans can’t understand, not from the experience that counts. So Americans continue to say stupid shit like, “We should have nuked them [Iranians] in 1979.”

    That that would entail the deaths of millions of innocents is a non-factor.

    That’s the kind of “ends justify the means” rhetoric I would expect from communists and other heartless materialists. Are we all just heartless – and soulless – materialists now?

    Luckily, our government hasn’t exploited this kind of attitude, but its existence is why the government can get away with lesser crimes like assassination. But who cares, right? We the people wouldn’t couldn’t stop them when they butchered those “cultists” in Waco, Texas in 1993. And those were our own Americans!

    To an average American, the idea of a dead Iraqi, German, Korean, Vietnamese, or Afghan child, its flesh roasted beyond the point of identification, is an abstraction. Who cares about an abstraction?

    Lucky for me, I guess, I have an idea of the horrors of war. And I don’t want it to hurt any more people, if it can be helped.

    I must also thank an ever kind God for the fact that most of my friends in real life hate war as well. We are all Republicans too.

    But it’s not coincidental that the last two nationwide anti-war movements were in 1939-41 and the 1960s. All the generations involved grew up surrounded by maimed veterans and memories of dead relatives, those killed in France, the Pacific, and Germany. In both cases, of course, Roosevelt and Johnson were able to maneuver the country into more industrialized horror anyway.

  6. Rapparee says:

    Perhaps inspired by the novel Ender’s Game, I’ve suggested the idea in the past of using the National Geographic Bee as a recruiting ground for the nation’s future foreign-policy mandarins, since those kids actually like learning as much factual information as possible about the rest of the world. We can offer to enroll the winners in a special intensive world-affairs education program covering secondary school and undergraduate, then pull strings to get them top spots in the State Department. Wouldn’t be perfect, but unlike the architects of the Iraq invasion, they’d at least know the difference between Sunni and Shi’a.

  7. Anonymous[186] • Disclaimer says:

    It’s interesting that apparently American voters associate the Balkans region heavily with the Middle East judging by that map.

  8. @John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan

    Total absorption by the modernity around us is a fate worse than physical death because it is spiritual death. Surrender to the rotting cancer of complete modernism, that which reduces human life to the distant, abstract, and expendable, is horrific beyond measure. In this regard, Patrick Pearse was right.

    It is possible even now, though, for one’s interior soul to stand against this demonic materialism – I urge all of you to cultivate such an interior life. Many of you have done so, of course, which is how a great site like this exists at all.

    • Replies: @Clifford Brown
  9. inertial says:

    I am puzzled by the multitude of people who picked the right country but pointed at a spot right next to the border. Isn’t it more natural to point at the middle?

    • Replies: @Kratoklastes
  10. Whitney says:

    I could find it but mostly it’s because I literally looked it up on a map earlier today and noted the bodies of water around it. But I think what you’re forgetting to notice is the hilariousness of a certain number of people putting it in the Midwest

  11. JimDandy says:

    I located it on the map you posted, and was proud of myself, until I read that 23% of voters could do it, too. Made me feel less special. Then you pointed out that they used maps with borders, so I feel special again. Thanks. All of this obviously brings to mind the words of the American Patriot-Poet, Alan Jackson.

    I’m not a real political man
    I watch CNN
    But I’m not sure I can tell you
    The difference in Iraq and Iran
    But I know Jesus and I talk to God

  12. Iran? Down the hall and to the left from my office.

    They are looking somber and subdued. They don’t appear to be angry, but my normal cheerful workplace greeting may be out-of-place.

  13. frankie p says:

    People, American people that is, are not interested in the rest of the world. It bodes ill for the future of the US, for as the balancing of power occurs, the US ignorance of rising cultures and peoples will adversely affect the ability of the US to interact with and understand these nations, from China to India, Brazil, to Indonesia, Russia to Vietnam. Look at the IMF projections for the 10 biggest economies in the year 2050 and then ask yourself how well Americans will be prepared to deal with countries like India, Indonesia, and Russia as opposed to the countries currently in the top 10, like Germany, England and France.

    Personally, I enjoy finding out information about nations, especially important ones like Iran, a nation that will only become more important as time goes on. The old “find it on a map” trick is to display the ignorance of the people, especially the American people. I went through the US school system, graduating from high school and starting university in 1980. In all my primary and secondary education, I NEVER had a course on world geography. I NEVER was taught about other countries and the their special characteristics. It was all insular, USA, USA, USA, from history to culture to geography. My children attended primary and secondary school here in Taiwan (one attending high school in the US, one in Taiwan) and I was very impressed with the education regarding geography. Elementary and junior high school students learn to identify countries on a map, learn about demographics, industrial development, agricultural products, raw materials, etc.

    These “what do you know” polls should ask other questions, and UNZ readers should ask themselves what they really know about Iran. I agree, UNZ readers are MUCH MORE aware of global realities than the average bear. How many Americans understand any demographic information about Iran? Let’s face it, Americans have been spoon fed BS from the (((US Media))), and they now believe Iran is a country of smelly, bearded mullahs, rather than the progeny and descendants of an ancient culture. How many Americans are aware of even surface demographic facts like the following:

    Iran population: 83 million
    Population by age: almost 60% of population under the age of 35 (bodes extremely well for the future)
    Ethnic Groups: 8 (three smaller groups)
    Main ethnic group: Persian (61% of population)

  14. J.Ross says:

    I would never have this problem, even before taking a couple of Islamic history classes and, just to make sure at the empirical level, illegally invading Iraq, because I had world traveler and Nam vet Rufus McGaugh as a geography teacher in middle school. Our weekly quizzes were unlabeled continent maps with national boundaries, we had to write the nation names (all of them, not smaller groups), and the pass rate was so good it borders on an argument to include capitals or a harsher time limit. It looks impressive but isn’t hard at all, it’s the sort of thing kids love, and it will stay with them. Years later the huge difference between Nigeria and Niger is still instinctive. If your preteen’s teacher doesn’t do anything like this, you could easily get or make maps of this sort and impose them.
    —————-
    DOCTOR WHO IS RACIST SEXIST GARBAGE! FOR A TIME TRAVELER HE SURE NEEDS TO GET TO THE CURRENT YEAR!
    Okay, we’ll have an expicit endorsement of the welfare state, incomprehensible accents, unexplained worship of a random cat lady, a feminist spinoff, and more minority redshirts.
    NO NO IT’S NOT NEARLY PROGRESSIVE ENOUGH DO MORE NOW!
    Okay, we’ll make the next doctor a woman, and all the writers will be so woke, they think Terry Nation is a fascist (even his Avengers script was about fascism, plus just look at his name!).
    WHAT ARE YOU, A NAZI?
    https://theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2020/jan/08/doctor-who-more-offensive-than-ever-jodie-whittaker-pc

  15. @Lot

    For “most wrong,” I’d award the person who thought Iran was somewhere in Alaska, approximately in the Klondike gold fields where The Call of the Wild was set. It’s hard to get more wrong than thinking that alcoholic Eskimos are the ones trying to threaten us with nuclear missiles.

    For second “most wrong,” I’d nominate the person who apparently thought Iran was a tiny South Atlantic island near St. Helena, where Napolean B. was banished.

    The fact that 80% of women and 62% of all college graduates couldn’t pick Iran “out of a line-up,” is sobering. Although most people did at least guess it was somewhere in the general Middle East or Southern Europe area.

    • Replies: @Ozymandias
  16. frankie p says:
    @John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan

    The Americans who say that we should nuke Iran are just mimicking the public figures who have said these things, public figures such as John McCain (RIH: rest in hell) and Sheldon Adelson (will RIH soon enough).

  17. If you learned your geography playing Risk!, Iran doesn’t exist.

    And Asia is impossible to hold and not worth the trouble, BTW. We should require that all of our foreign policy leaders should have played this game growing up. Then again, maybe they did, since we can see that Ukraine is the biggest thing in Eastern Europe.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  18. nebulafox says:

    Kind of OT, but I always found it cool that Mesopotamia was already ancient during Xenophon’s time. The sort of period that the people of the time would have thought of as their version of “antiquity” only really ended with the sack of Nineveh-the ruins being bigger than anything in classical Greece or Persia-and probably extended back to… 3000 BC? The first cities?

    Mind-boggling to think about, the sheer ancientness of the place.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
  19. Here’s an honest question:

    Do you really need to be able to exactly pinpoint a country on the map in order to have useful ideas about it, or are a lot of these questions just gotchas? (not saying Steve is doing that here.)

    In the case of Iran particularly, with so much of their power being proxy-based, and their historically not having any allied states in the region (prior to Shia Iraq), I sort of think that knowing Iran is in “the Middle-East” is about as much geographic information as you need.

    I’m not advocating ignorance; my point is that the most salient information about Iran is, e.g, cultural, political, and industrial, rather than geographical.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
    , @Eagle Eye
  20. So are the ones in the middle of the large bodies of water people just intentionally screwing up the results?

  21. sondjata says:

    Am I the only one willing to comment on the sex gap?

    • Replies: @Thomm
  22. Lot says:

    Feeling triggered here by the highly racist Mercator projection map up top.

    • Replies: @LondonBob
  23. @MikeatMikedotMike

    Perhaps they know the right answer and are intentionally sabotaging?

    Or perhaps they don’t know the right answer and are hiding their shame by acting like they are intentionally sabotaging?

    Or perhaps they are just unclear on the whole concept of land vs. sea?

  24. @Steve Sailer

    You don’t have to yell at me Steve.

    Geez.

  25. J.Ross says:
    @thinklikea1l

    It’s a meaningful general critique distorted by overdependence. Everyone should have a basic geographical, historical, and cultural education. Also it’s a way of attacking boneheaded foreign policy (but a limited one: how many Marines could identify the islands they hopped in WWII?).

    • Replies: @Pontius
  26. @Steve Sailer

    Steve, here’s a pretty cool game on one of the big airline’s seat-back entertainment dealies that asks you to point as close as you can to wherever the question refers to. Usually the question is pretty easy, but the damn touch-screen will screw you out of 500 miles easily (OK, it’s in km, but I need to think in miles)

    Has anyone else ever played this? I wonder if the airline keeps the data? (You never know.)

    • Replies: @Jim Christian
  27. Can You Find Iran on a Map?

    But Iran’s so far away!

    • LOL: Pincher Martin
  28. I thought it was surrounded by a few other shithole countries like Turkey, Iraq, Afghanistan etc.

  29. As I’ve written before, I LUV, LUV, LUV geography. Well, my son, when he was less than 1 1/2 (when he couldn’t say but 3 words), used to point at all kinds of things and say “da!” After a week of that at 1 y/o when my wife figured out he meant “what’s that?”, we would tell him.

    After some months, like I said, less than 1 1/2 y/o, he pointed to the globe. Of course, this one has boundaries and colors. After a few big countries, he really got into it. He got all of the America’s down, about 1/2 of Europe, most of Asia, and just a bit of Africa. You could say, “where is Paraguay”, and the kid would rotate the globe and jam his finger on it! Then, “where is North Korea”, and the same. For a few years he forgot all of that, but now he’s gotten back into geography with our encouragement.

    I bet I could nail S. America in that quiz, right now, probably 100%. N. America is trivial, well, and 2 others, but for the rest of the continents, I bet I’d get 50-60%.

    • Thanks: Jim Christian
    • Replies: @Jim Christian
  30. @MikeatMikedotMike

    If someone picked the exact opposite side of the planet from Iran (somewhere in the southern Pacific Ocean) that would be cool and sorta technically correct.

  31. Americans didn’t know where Kuwait was, but that didn’t stop them being gung-ho in supporting the War.

    For the most part, the general public just goes along with any war, at the start. It is really only when the war drags on for years and thousands of Americans die that they sour to it.

    Grass roots Conservatives especially, have been the most ardent supporters of war. Fortunately the dissident Right are not just a niche movement anymore, such that there is emerging a real anti interventionist sentiment on the Right. Part of the reason Trump got elected. But alas…

    • Agree: Rob
    • Replies: @Kratoklastes
    , @Reg Cæsar
  32. songbird says:

    I wonder if some of these represent people subconsciously looking at some I-place, like Iceland, Iowa, or Italy, and then giving up, but throwing their dot in the vicinity.

  33. @Lot

    That dot northeast of Augusta, Georgia was me, Lot. I fat-fingered it – damn touch-screens are crap!

    • Replies: @Jim Christian
  34. Fox says:

    That reminds me of something I read many years ago in a link from an article. When Clinton had bombs dropped on Yugoslavia in the late 1990s, a congressman from Oregon was asked in an interview by a local newspaper to show this Kosovo on a globe. He failed, citing as a reason that he didn’t have his glasses with him. – And this would have been someone probably casting a vote in favor of the bombings.
    One never ceases to wonder about the democrats of the world and what drives them on.

  35. @Lot

    Why the cluster around Malta?

    I’m more perplexed with the cluster around Greenland.

    And whoever put Iran in the Tasman Sea, halfway between Australia and New Zealand, was clearly screwing with the pollster.

    • Agree: bomag
    • Replies: @Nodwink
  36. res says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Or perhaps they don’t know the right answer and are hiding their shame by acting like they are intentionally sabotaging?

    That would be my bet.

    The more interesting question is whether you would rather have people like that or people who made honest mistakes being the ones making decisions?

    I wish we could better judge the point density on the map. It looks like there is a fairly uniform spread running from Iran through Iraq, Syria, and Turkey then further NW.

    P.S. A good way to remember Iran’s location is to recall that it both borders the Caspian Sea and controls the Persian Sea chokepoint at the Start of Hormuz. It is a prime strategic location in a number of ways. One being that it must be passed through if one wants to travel (or run a pipeline) on land (ignoring the Bosporus) between Europe and Asia without passing through Russia. Turkey is similar in that respect.

  37. Anonymous[337] • Disclaimer says:

    These revolting hairy people ? Presumably in the markets bartering among themselves…

    # White Power

  38. @Not My Economy

    Exactly – anywhere on the Eastern shore of the Gulf is Iran.

    It’s pretty clear that some respondents were just trolling, but it was still nice to see that Australia got painted as a target, but not Ao Tea Roa: being insignificant is a mitzvah.

  39. Jack D says:

    The placement of the scatter dots is a joke . People must have been randomly clicking because they just didn’t care. How about, ” Can you find Iran on a map, $10 if you get it right?” – would that also have a 23% success rate?” Some of these surveys have very hokey methodology – it’s almost like they don’t WANT people to get it right in order to prove a point.

    The obvious clues for the placement of Iran is that it sits between the eastern side of the Persian Gulf as its southern boundary and the Caspian Sea to the north. It’s hard to place the borders to the east and west because it’s mostly trackless desert. The border is supposed to follow riverbeds in most places but these are mostly wadis that are dry most of the year – you could cross these “rivers” and never know it.

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
  40. Art Deco says:
    @John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan

    So Americans continue to say stupid shit like, “We should have nuked them [Iranians] in 1979.”

    In 40 years, I’ve never heard anyone say anything remotely resembling this.

  41. @Achmed E. Newman

    That dot northeast of Augusta, Georgia was me, Lot. I fat-fingered it – damn touch-screens are crap!

    As Steve would know, Achmed, old pal, that dot is Augusta National, Home of the Masters, a Tradition Like No Other (cue schmaltzy piano bumper).

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  42. AndrewR says:
    @frankie p

    I never got why we were supposed to pretend McCain was anything other than a wicked warmonger.

  43. at least a few got the correct answer by putting their dot on israel.

    steve is such a disgusting jew.

  44. Churchill was right. Iran should be called Persia and Iraq should be called Mesopotamia.

  45. @inertial

    I am puzzled by the multitude of people who picked the right country but pointed at a spot right next to the border. Isn’t it more natural to point at the middle?

    I would expect that people who approached the task based on key salient features would pick a post on the Western seaboard (i.e., the edge of the Gulf). That’s the set of points with the lowest probability of error.

    Similarly, for Saudi Arabia you ignore the Gulf and pick the top third of the eastern shore of the Red Sea (the other shore gives you Egypt).

    The hardest ones (on a map without borders, topo or vegetation) are the landlocked -stans, and Africa from Mali down to Botswana.

    In any case, the whole thing is just a party trick that shows the age of the person who can do it: either that, or a reasonably-smart kid whose priorities are fucked up.

    In times past (for people over 40) that shit had to be committed to memory… now it’s on everyone’s phone for recall at a moment’s notice, so any kid who bothers is a retard.

    To paraphrase Einstein: never commit to memory, that which can be looked up quickly. Obviously that’s conditional on the material not being in a future closed-book exam (assuming those still exist) .

    When I was a kid, a classmate and friend – Rudyard Barnes – tried to memorise trig tables. He had a good memory, and he was fairly smart, but that was the stupidest thing I had ever heard him say.

    • Disagree: Ben tillman
    • Replies: @Lockean Proviso
  46. @nebulafox

    Also OT, Macedonia:

    A Romanian friend recounted to me how he and his friends got into a fight with some Macedonians at a Romanian festival of some kind here in America. You see, the Macedonians showed up and started playing their Macedonian music at the Romanian festival, so naturally a fight ensued.

    Macedonians, stirring things up since 500 BC

  47. It to easy to pinpoint where many countries are, on a blank world map, simply because they are so small. Armenia is about 11,000 square miles, about 105 miles on a side, if it were square-shaped. Iran’s much larger of course, but I daresay most Americans could point in its general direction. It’s not like they’re going to poin their fingers to where Mongolia or Poland are, I’m pretty sure.

    In any case, I find it hard to accurately identify all 50 states on a blank map accurately, time after time. Maybe that’s just me.

    Give it a try.

    https://online.seterra.com/en/vgp/3003

  48. @Hypnotoad666

    “Although most people did at least guess it was somewhere in the general Middle East or Southern Europe area.”

    And Iran, Iran so far away. I just ran, Iran all night and day.

    I couldn’t get away.

  49. @greysquirrell

    Americans didn’t know where Kuwait was

    I knew 5 American guys – drinking buddies and gymbros – who all agreed that Kuwait was to the south-west of Iraq, because TV always showed US vehicles going from left to right across the screen.

    For the same reason, they thought that Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland were all to the west of Germany… because all the WWII footage they remembered had Germans heading to the left of screen.

    The 80s and 90s were a really low-information time: since the cost of getting good information was quite high, people relied much more on heuristics – particularly if the question concerned anything about which they weren’t particularly interested.

    We forget how spoilt we are to have almost every fact in human history, available to us if we can be arsed spending 20 seconds formulating a decent search term.

  50. @Achmed E. Newman

    Geography, yes, Achmed. Critical. Geography is the prime determinate of bordering countries, wealth, resources and about 5000 other considerations that make a people, a people.

    However, with barbarians like the United States, borders are easy, they’re easily breached, easily moved, who pays attention when there are people to kill, resources to steal? But when you consider such things, how to reach your ‘enemy’, you also better figure topography. Yeah, it’s 1500 miles to Tehran by every measure. 1500 hardscrabble, mountainous, deserted, Godforsaken miles. Topography is everything. How do we get there? Well, we didn’t the one time we tried, you know, the US. On top of everything else, that 1500 miles included a blinding haboob.

    With Tehran? Based on 200 wasted days of my life long, long ago I can tell you for a fact: the only winning move is not to play the game. It is HARD to reach Tehran. Topography is the thing. Even these guys knew it 40 years ago this April (cannot believe how old I am):

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  51. @PiltdownMan

    What’s hilarious is how many doofuses here in the northeast USA where I live think New Mexico is part of Mexico. I kid you not, and I am embarrassed that I have somehow met these people.

    • LOL: PiltdownMan
    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    , @epebble
    , @c matt
  52. Pontius says:
    @J.Ross

    I know a lady who rents rooms. A few years ago, she was talking to a young woman about finding her way around the city. She was saying things like head south on such and such street, go west etc. The young.lady look puzzled. She didnt know the cardinal directions. “I’m not a pilot.” she said, obviously exasperated.

  53. Mr. XYZ says:
    @S. Anonyia

    The Australian picks might have been due to kangaroos confusing Iran with I-Ran!

  54. How about those families that are still driving around Baja California, looking for Disney Land? All the Federales call them Los Gringos Loco.

    • Replies: @Clifford Brown
  55. @Buzz Mohawk

    In Risk, if all you’ve got left is the Ukraine, you need to find a way to cheat. The Ukraine is a road apple, Mohawk. I think it’s time to put the hurt on the Ukraine…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzLtF_PxbYw

  56. @greysquirrell

    Grass roots Conservatives especially, have been the most ardent supporters of war.

    You must be young:

    https://hsp.org/education/unit-plans/civil-liberties-and-the-civil-war-in-pennsylvania-0/copperheads-or-confederates-political-opposition-in-civil-war-pennsylvania

    https://www.sparknotes.com/history/american/spanishamerican/section4/

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opposition_to_World_War_I#Henry_Ford

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/America_First_Committee

    “During the Korean War the opposition party, the Republicans, did not revert to the risks of outright partisan opposition, although they came close to that in such statements as Senator Taft’s denunciation of the war as ‘an unnecessary war … begun by President Truman without the slightest authority from Congress or the people.’”

    Read more: https://www.americanforeignrelations.com/A-D/Dissent-in-Wars-The-korean-and-vietnam-wars.html#ixzz6AV3ibQAJ

  57. @PiltdownMan

    Most of us American boomers learned the US states and their capitals and how to spell them in 3rd grade or so. What’s interesting to me is that my wife learned the same thing, the 50 US states, their capitals and spelling, in Romania when she was the same age.

    • Replies: @PiltdownMan
  58. @Buzz Mohawk

    What’s hilarious is how many doofuses here in the northeast USA where I live think New Mexico is part of Mexico. I kid you not, and I am embarrassed that I have somehow met these people.

    Two questions:

    1. Are they white?

    2. Are they wrong?

    Among U.S. states, New Mexico has the highest percentage of Hispanic ancestry, at 47% (as of July 1, 2012). This classification covers people of very different cultures and histories, including descendants of Spanish colonists with deep roots in the region, and recent immigrants from a variety of nations in Latin America, each with their own cultures.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Mexico#Demographics

  59. I wonder how many people who took that quiz would also know that Iran is the same as Persia? Do they even teach about the Persian Empire in school any more? I imagine the only American kids who learn about ancient Persia anymore are the Jewish kids at the Yeshiva (because of Purim).

  60. Altai says:

    Interesting development. I know Steve has a morbid fascination with the evolution/decline of Newsweek. Now they’re putting a former spook with absolutely no history in journalism as editor at large. Twitter bio:

    Former Double Agent (author of “How to Catch a Russian Spy”) | @newsweek editor-at-large | Navy Intel Veteran | @MSNBC/@militarytimes/@fpri alum | Views my own

    This guy, Naveed Jamali. Though Jamali is a very common surname in Iran, his father is Pathan from Pakistan. (French mother, born in US in the 70s, so no idea why he was given a first name like Naveed, maybe named after his paternal grandfather.)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naveed_Jamali

    When we got that warning about 2020 in the middle east, was it a warning, was this all known in advance by certain people?

  61. Whiskey says: • Website
    @John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan

    Only the dead have seen the end of war. So the idea that the US could just hide out and avoid war was never in the cards.

    We were attacked on Dec 7, 1941 (you might have heard of this) because Japan was determined to make the Pacific a Japanese lake. Hitler declared war on us a few days later. Either the Axis or the Allies was going to dominate the globe, that much was certain and war was inevitable with both nations once Britain and France lost their nerve and failed to take out Hitler when he remilitarized the Rhineland (and was weak — the entire French Police force could have beaten the pitiful Wehrmacht at that point).

    It is good to avoid wars, like it is good to be fit. But sometimes one can run themselves to death ala Dr. Jim Fixx. Avoiding war when there is no choice merely leaves one to fight on Sun Tsu’s Death Ground.

    That 1939 anti-War shit was mostly Communists after the Molotov-von Ribbentrop pact; like Woody Guthrie, father of Arlo, who wrote on orders from Moscow songs about how America would “resist Roosevelts War for Jews” to the approval of the Daughters of the American Revolution. And also Hitler’s German-American Bundt, warmly supported by the Communists. To be anti-War was to be pro-Communist and pro-Nazi, at least until June 1941. When things changed a bit. Hitler was certainly not going to let the US just sit there ruling itself, he had World Conquering plans, as did Tojo and Stalin.

    There were a whole host of “racially impure” White people Hitler wanted to wipe out in America, which he considered a mongrel nation not worthy of existing. Stalin, he had plans for a planetary sized work-camp. Tojo, well you’re not Japanese now are you?

    I would agree that the stupid “Secret Wars” thing has to go. One of the worst things Obama did was sprinkle magic Negro dust all over his special forces olympics to the point its an open question how many countries we are secretly at war inside.

  62. Anonymous[270] • Disclaimer says:

    Just another illustration of how far an IQ of 100 gets one. I can probably hit Iran at better than 23% even with my eyes closed – as long as I can touch the world map and feel its dimensions.

    As for the “all countries” test, agree that it’s impossible. I got burned at only #4, missing Republic of Congo by a tiny distance. Now imagine Monaco or Lesotho 🙂

  63. BenKenobi says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Or perhaps they are just unclear on the whole concept of land vs. sea?

    You mean the guy who thought the blue part on the map was land?

  64. @Buzz Mohawk

    True. I’ve colored and filled in paper maps in childhood. I’m going to attribute my lack of a perfect score to age, and some degree of visuo-spatial incompetence. But the latter is a not uncommon failing, which I think is the point I was trying to make.

  65. I am pretty impressed that as many as 28% of voters could point to Iran on a map. Of course, it is pretty easy, because all you have to do is look for the Straights of Hormuz, which can be seen from space, but most people in the US have very little knowledge of geography, so I am still impressed.

    In the Dominican Republic, I would say that the majority of people do not know that Nueve York is not in Florida, or that Florida is a state, or that you cannot get a taxi from Miami to Los Angeles, or that England is on an island (just like the Dominican Republic).

    • Replies: @kaganovitch
    , @donut
    , @AKAHorace
  66. Thomm says:
    @sondjata

    Apparently.

    I am surprised they allowed the gender breakdown to be published.

  67. @Rapparee

    You do know the “smart” kids of Ender’s Game were conned, right?

    Great book–if you get the correct lessons from it.

    • Replies: @Rapparee
  68. @Achmed E. Newman

    Steve, here’s a pretty cool game on one of the big airline’s seat-back entertainment dealies that asks you to point as close as you can to wherever the question refers to.

    New block A-320 Neo? I flew one back in May, turns out I’m on one for a flight to Tampa Saturday. Ok, ok, I’ll say it: Jet Blue? With the cool-blue LED interior lighting? Finally, touch-screens. I always select map so I know to have a look out the window when I’m passing over Northern Virginia, a land to which I will endeavor never to return..

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  69. @Hapalong Cassidy

    History starts in 1619 these days, get with the program.

    Many American schools are no longer teaching history prior to 1450 (the really fun stuff.). The Ancient World and the Middles Ages are being memory holed

    https://theweek.com/articles/781034/ancient-history-belongs-schools

    • Replies: @Altai
  70. Altai says:

    OT: Paul Krugman just got scammed by the wonderful beautiful new diverse America.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/political/paul-krugman-suggests-trump-supporters-may-be-setting-him-child-porn

    Well, I’m on the phone with my computer security service, and as I understand it someone compromised my IP address and is using it to download child pornography. I might just be a random target. But this could be an attempt to Qanon me.

    It’s an ugly world out there.
    — Paul Krugman (@paulkrugman) January 8, 2020

    Apparently he later tweeted ‘Times is on the case’.

    Common scam to send email or phone call explaining ones IP address has been ‘hijacked’ to do something like download CP and to call ‘tech support’ to fix it… by giving Arjun remote access to your PC…

    https://www.bbb.org/article/news-releases/19674-scam-alert-ip-address-scam-uses-scare-tactics-to-fool-consumers

    Still was funny to see him think this was a setup by right-wing hackers and not that maybe Sanjay was scamming you. And to see him posting all this in real time on twitter, man. As Steve once said, Twitter is the worst enemy of mainstream institutions by giving us unfiltered access to how dumb our luminaries really are. He has since deleted all the tweets. Presumably after a 23 year old, lowly paid American IT guy explained how dumb he was being. The supply of Trumpian terrorism can’t meet demand.

    • LOL: LondonBob
    • Replies: @J.Ross
  71. Altai says:
    @Clifford Brown

    Actually I think US history is starting to really begin around 1880-1930. And soon it will start around 1970-1990. A nation’s history is the history of it’s people in the land…

  72. @Achmed E. Newman

    Every year a few god forsaken Japanese tourists arriving by train from Newark Airport depart the train at Newark Penn Station as opposed to New York Penn Station.

  73. Iran, Iran, Iran. You gotta love the place.

    First off, look at all the people attending General Soleimani’s funeral. They’re all men! No shrieking lesbians can be found yelling childish inanities. This is a country run by men. Politics rightly belongs in the masculine sphere in this country.

    With that said, Persian women are some of the most educated women on the planet. In Iran, women either go into the STEM fields or else they don’t bother with higher education at all. I’ve met many Persian female engineers here in Canada who studied at the esteemed Shafir University in Tehran. In Canada, Persian women are more feminine, more exotic, more logical in their thinking and likely to make more money than their white female Canadian equivalents.

    Unfortunately, our women are more prone to take useless degrees and come out of academia thinking that being a manhater somehow manifests higher culture and intellectual sophistication.
    So who do you think makes the better mate?

    I know a couple of nerdy white Canadian guys who married Persian women. Best decision they ever made! If you’re a shy and somewhat nerdy white guy who isn’t into Asian women, try your luck meeting Persian women in Toronto, Los Angeles or Vancouver.

    I’m surprised TV and media doesn’t play the white guy/Middle Eastern or Mediterranean girl pairing too frequently. The chemistry works and it plays well on screen. It was done quite well as one of James Bond’s love interests in Casino Royal (2006). You also can’t miss Richard Spencer gushing at the Syrian Girl every chance he gets during a live stream.

    Maybe it’s a tag team that the movers and shakers of Hollywood doesn’t want to see formed?

    • Replies: @Marty
    , @Templar
  74. could find Iran on an unlabeled map of Western Eurasia

    We have always been at war with Westasia.

    Men are a lot more map and foreign conflict-oriented smarter than women.

    [second map]

    Really? Iraq is in the middle of the South Atlantic?

    Iraq is at the crotch of the Persian Gulf, and Iran is their neighbor to the right.

  75. SafeNow says:

    10% of Univ. of Miami students could not find Miami on a map of the U.S. This was a few decades ago but I think I have it about right. Perhaps they were kidding. But if they were not kidding, it belied the notion that many Americans are not interested in world geography; rather, it is geography more generally. BTW, I love those counter-intuitive and weird geography-facts quizzes. Maine is the State closest to Africa. And so on.

  76. @Jonathan Mason

    all you have to do is look for the Straights of Hormuz

    They don’t exist. You might want to look for the Straits of Hormuz though.

  77. @Art Deco

    I’ve heard people say it in the last few days. And not politely, either.

    An acquaintance of mine – a pro-Israeli mischling – put it this way: “F**k the Middle East. Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia – f**k ’em all. Everyone there hates everyone else, and they’ve all been trying to kill each other for thousands of years. So why shouldn’t we give them what they want? Kill them all and be done with it. Drop some nukes and turn the desert into glass. If Trump doesn’t have the balls to do it, then he should ask the Israelis.”

    He’s a fun drunk, isn’t he? If you really want to get him going, ask him his opinion of Greta Thunberg.

    • Replies: @Jane Plain
  78. Anon[150] • Disclaimer says:

    Iran is the curvy one, and Iraq is the notchy one. That’s all anyone needs to know.

  79. Marty says:
    @Canadian Observer

    In the years ‘02-04, the hottest babe on the Berkeley campus, by far, was a mocha-toned Persian girl from L.A. What was unclear was whether her remarkable assets, and her nose, had been modified. I happened to be speaking with her when I witnessed one of the funniest things ever. There was a back-up wide-receiver on the football team, black, very handsome, who turned his head to look at her and walked straight into a telephone pole. I doubt any defensive back had ever hit him so squarely. Now the bad news: she became a democratic political consultant in Sacramento.

  80. @kaganovitch

    Or perhaps the mythical Straights of Homoz.

    Long ago, two powerful city-states – Straighthus and Fagguthus – controlled the continent of Atlantis. The city-states battled for dominance until, in the Third Pubic War, the Fagguts defeated the Straights and enslaved them. The leader of the Fagguts, Homo the Barbarian, consolidated the two cities and their territories into the unified Kingdom of Homoz. His descendants ruled Atlantis for the next millennium.

    According to legend, in the year 69, a group of Straights overthrew their Faggut masters, stole a submarine, and journeyed far beyond the sea. After a long and arduous journey, they came ashore on the site of the Presidio in modern-day San Francisco and established a colony. There they flourished for two centuries. Then the Fagguts struck back.

    Historical records are spotty, but the preponderance of evidence indicates that Queen Fagguthus Haggathus (Fagg Hagg) of Homoz directed General Prik Wankor and his hardened legions of Faggut warriors to destroy the Straights at the Battle of Kastro. In a brilliant maneuver, Prik attacked from the rear, thrusting deep into the Straights’ most vulnerable territory and quickly forcing them to their knees.

    Adhering to Faggut custom, Prik took no female prisoners. He slaughtered the women and captured the men, reserving the most virile for his own private harem.

    Even as the Fagguts were celebrating their greatest triumph, disaster struck. A massive earthquake sank the entire continent of Atlantis. Queen Fagg Hagg perished along with all of her subjects, save for Prik and his troops at San Francisco.

    Seizing upon the occasion, Prik anointed himself spiritual heir to the Homoz throne and crowned himself King of the Fagguts.

    The coronation ceremonies were marred by rain. But at the very moment that Prik donned the royal crown, the skies cleared and a faint rainbow appeared.

    To this day, in honor of their great triumph over the Straights, the Fagguts march under a banner of many hues.

    For more information, see Fagguts in the Rear by E.N. Uhmuh (San Francisco: Phallic University Press, 1991) and The Fey Go Marching On by Harry Palmer (Boston: S&M Publishing, 2004).

    • Thanks: Lockean Proviso
  81. epebble says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    In 1984, in Washington State University, it was very common for college students (and even many graduates) to come and meet a student from India and be surprised that he looks different from what they expected. They were thinking Indians from India are the same people as Native Americans.

  82. @Steve Sailer

    Or perhaps they are just unclear on the whole concept of land vs. sea?

    Like Jimmy Kimmel & Co. when they made fools of themselves?

    I’m not sure how many people were involved in making this video but no one of them noticed their map was missing Caspian Sea.

  83. J.Ross says:
    @Pontius

    Thank god there wasn’t a cursive requirement!

  84. J.Ross says:
    @Altai

    Hey. Hey. Hey. Buddy. Chief.
    This is a Nobelle prize winner in economics you’re talking about, son.
    You think they let idiots and crazy people write columns for the New York Times?
    If he says it wasn’t his cheese pizza, who are we to doubt the man who predicted that a Trump presidency would end the stock market?
    Let’s simply hope that law enforcement gives him the same benefit of the doubt they gave to Justice Kavanaugh.

  85. Altai says:

    Somebody made a compilation of his senior moments wrt computers and the internet.

    He looks a bit younger than he is, but he is still only 66. He’d have been in his early 40s when the internet went mainstream. There is just no excuse for being so silly.

    • Replies: @kaganovitch
  86. Eagle Eye says:
    @thinklikea1l

    Do you really need to be able to exactly pinpoint a country on the map in order to have useful ideas about it, or are a lot of these questions just gotchas? (not saying Steve is doing that here.)

    It’s not hard for younger students to memorize the outline and basic facts a few dozen countries.

    WITHOUT the ability to pinpoint a country (i.e. learned familiarity with its location and outline), you wouldn’t even know whether or not the country’s location and shape are relevant to any political, economic, demographic etc. issue before you.

    Nobody is realistically going to look up a subject country and all neighboring countries when the subject comes up on the off-chance that some of the details might prove relevant.

    Western man has allowed the Frankfurt School to cut himself off from precious memorized knowledge that earlier generations worked hard to acquire, whether maps, historical facts or poems. There is method to this po-mo madness.

    • Agree: S. Anonyia
  87. @Art Deco

    You definitely need to get out more.

  88. @frankie p

    Here’s Ann Coulter yesterday:

    Just in terms of American Lives Snuffed Out, the greatest threat to our country, hands down, comes from Mexico. Doesn’t “national security” have something to do with keeping Americans alive?

    Mexican heroin killed at least 14,000 Americans last year. Mexican fentanyl and methamphetamine killed about 10,000 to 14,000. Hispanic drunk drivers — Mexicans or other Hispanics given safe passage to the U.S. through Mexico — kill about 3,000 Americans every year.

    That’s not to mention the random murders, the Kate Steinles, the cartel and gang killings, and even the occasional mass murder committed by Mexicans in the U.S. (Look up Eduardo Sencion and Salvador Tapia.)

    Number of Americans killed in their own country every year by Iranians: 0 that I know of.

    Number of Americans killed in their own country every year by Mexicans: 30,000, by conservative estimate.

    And….

    Cable news networks lure liberals and conservatives into taking opposing sides of conflicts that have less bearing on our lives than one day of illegal immigration.

    If Fox News and CNN had been broadcasting from Europe in the 1920s and 1930s, this is how I imagine they’d alert the public to the rising danger of Adolf Hitler:

    — January 1933: Hitler appointed chancellor; the Reichstag begins process of transforming Weimar Republic into Nazi Germany.

    FOX NEWS HEADLINE: PERU DEFENDS AMAZON RAINFOREST FROM COLOMBIA; MEDIA MELTDOWN OVER PERU’S FIRST LADY

    CNN HEADLINE: COLOMBIA DEFENDS AMAZON RAINFOREST FROM PERU; POLL: MOST FOX VIEWERS CAN’T FIND COLOMBIA ON A MAP

  89. @Not My Economy

    But the anti-Iran lobby is always trying something– including their recent effort to have the DoD call the Persian Gulf the “Arabian Gulf”. However, those buzzkill nerds at the State Department insisted that it was, as always, the Persian Gulf.

  90. Anonymous[268] • Disclaimer says:

    What, America has enough nuuuuuuuuuuuuurds,. We don’t need no more, that can find Iran on a map.

  91. @SafeNow

    BTW, I love those counter-intuitive and weird geography-facts quizzes. Maine is the State closest to Africa. And so on.

    So that’s why Soros is sending African refugees to Maine- it’s close. Nothing to do with demography, it’s just geography, see?

  92. @Kratoklastes

    Familiarity with a world map isn’t something arduous and unnecessary. Having a sense of where things are can add a lot of understanding when reading history and news. It’s like saying “why learn words, you can look them up?” Having to look it up every time wastes time and is often skipped due to fatigue or laziness. Besides, maps are fascinating.

    • Agree: Ben tillman
  93. Dumbo says:
    @Whiskey

    There were a whole host of “racially impure” White people Hitler wanted to wipe out in America, which he considered a mongrel nation not worthy of existing. Stalin, he had plans for a planetary sized work-camp. Tojo, well you’re not Japanese now are you?

    LOL. Not even in their wildest dreams or hallucinations Hitler or Tojo or even Stalin ever thought of “wiping out” or “conquering” America. Now, Americans wanting to rule over the whole world, that’s not a dream, that’s a reality. But they are never called on it, because they are exporting “democracy”, or something.

  94. Nodwink says:
    @Pincher Martin

    And whoever put Iran in the Tasman Sea, halfway between Australia and New Zealand, was clearly screwing with the pollster.

    I would have thought so too, but since discovering the internet I reckon they are absolutely convinced of this. In all probability this person is also a devoted Zionist, who frets about Iran invading Israel.

  95. @Buzz Mohawk

    Those are not Macedonians, those are ethnic Bulgarians living in “North Macedonia”.

    – A Greek

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    , @nebulafox
  96. @Buzz Mohawk

    Macedonia appears to be worth invading.

    • Replies: @kaganovitch
  97. @Kratoklastes

    In the 1980s we had the Guiness Book of World Records and the People’s Almanac sitting in most most bathrooms. They contained most of human knowledge worth knowing.

  98. @Rapparee

    Um, that’s pretty much what we do now.

  99. donut says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    I’ll bet they can name the city where every MLB team is located .

  100. Steve… it is right next to Buttfukistan…

  101. LondonBob says:
    @Lot

    Flying London to Capetown I realised just how huge Africa is, almost no lights at night visible though.

  102. Iran is easy. Just try Burkina Faso, Tuvalu, Tanzania, Paraguay, Tajikistan, …

    • Replies: @S. Anonyia
  103. IHTG says:
    @Lot

    A guy on Twitter suggested some people might be conflating the Middle East and the Midwest.

  104. kihowi says:

    There’s only one thing more American than not knowing where foreign countries are, and that is knowing the bare minimum and being deliriously proud of it.

    I’m always suspicious about this sort of thing. Remember Jaywalking, where the people interviewed pretended to be dumb to end up on tv and the audience had a wonderful time feeling superior?

    I’ve said this before, but there’s nothing white people in general need more than to feel like intellectuals without doing real work for it (reading studying, thinking), and a huge industry has grown up to cater to that. TED, Netflix documentaries, XKCD, Twitter, Bill Nye, and articles like this that pat them on the back for highschool knowledge. I think if you take the top 75% of whites, most of them would just know.

  105. @SafeNow

    BTW, I love those counter-intuitive and weird geography-facts quizzes. Maine is the State closest to Africa. And so on.

    From 2010 until 2016, the tallest statue in the Western Hemisphere was standing in… (drum roll) Dakar, Senegal.

  106. AKAHorace says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    In the Dominican Republic, I would say that the majority of people do not know that Nueve York is not in Florida, or that Florida is a state, or that you cannot get a taxi from Miami to Los Angeles, or that England is on an island (just like the Dominican Republic).

    Americans are often criticized because they know so little about the rest of the world. I am not sure that this is fair, countries around the world know a lot about the USA as it is so central to our world. So for example Poles, Zimabweans, or Brazilians are proud to find out that they know a lot about the states while Americans know little about Poland, Zimbabwe or Brazil. But how much do Poles know about Brazil or Brazilians about Zimbabwe etc ?

    (to avoid angry comments from Poles, Brazilians and Zimbabweans I would like to stress that I picked all three at random. Not because I think that they are on the same continent.).

  107. Ali says:

    How about you stop self-centeredly calling the entire area with the middle of a direction towards you (Middle East) like a colonialist, and start calling it as it is, by the name it always had: West Asia. North Africa.

    • LOL: JMcG
    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason
  108. FPD72 says:
    @Pontius

    Before we all had GPS on our phones, I would sometimes call a business to find out where it was located. If the answer was the intersection of two streets, I would ask which quadrant. This question would be followed by several seconds of silence, followed by the employee asking me what a quadrant was. After I told them they would invariably answer, “Let me get the manager.”

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
    , @JMcG
  109. @kaganovitch

    My bad. Let’s get this straight. Ace to ten is a Broadway straight. The Straits of Hormuz are narrow straits, and sometimes found by shipping to be dire.

    So… with Trump in the oval office, the United States are in dire straits.

    In the game of contract bridge, Seven No Trumps is the best contract that can be made, a Grand Slam, but at this point in time most of the world would settle for a Contract with America of one no Trump.

    • Replies: @JMcG
  110. @Ali

    How about you .. start calling it by the name it always had: West Asia. North Africa.

    Because your readers would not understand what you are talking about and because the term West Asia is not clearly defined. Should we describe Israelis as Asians?

    My father was born in Port Said, Egypt, but if he told people he was born in North Africa, they would not think of Egypt, but of Algeria or Libya or possibly Morocco.

  111. These are registered voters, who presumably do better than non-registered voters.

    Funny, I’d assume the opposite…

    What’s a non-registered voter?

  112. If you fancy a real challenge, here’s an online quiz that tests exactly that but for every country in the world

    Yeah that’s insane.

    It just gave me Lichtenstein and UAE. I missed them by like a hair because they are smaller than the mouse cursor.

  113. peterike says:
    @Rapparee

    I’ve suggested the idea in the past of using the National Geographic Bee as a recruiting ground for the nation’s future foreign-policy mandarins,

    Really, really, REALLY bad idea.

  114. Anonymous[245] • Disclaimer says:

    I’m actually surprised that nearly 40% of men can correctly locate Iran on a blank map. Much higher than I’d’ve guessed.

  115. “The hardest challenge would be to click within Iran’s borders on a global map with no national boundaries drawn on it,”

    So you’re saying Iran has been wiped off the map?

  116. @Altai

    I saw him once at a catered affair we were doing. He gives off a really autistic vibe.

  117. Greenland? Australia? Italy? I guess if you don’t know in elementary school, you don’t know as an adult either.

  118. c matt says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    To be fair, technically it is not, but if you have spent any time there (at least in the southern portion) it is hard to demographically or culturally distinguish it from Mexico (same for other border states). Except for the language which is unofficially known as Spanglish (or I suppose Inglañol, if you are from the other side of the border).

  119. c matt says:
    @Whiskey

    We were attacked on Dec 7, 1941 (you might have heard of this) because Japan was determined to make the Pacific a Japanese lake.

    And here I thought the Japanese attacked us because the US was messing with their supply lines while supplying their enemies, which, by contemporary standards made us fair game (you are either with us, or you are against us, as someone once said). Silly me.

  120. @Jim Christian

    Steve would indeed know that, Jim! You know, now that I think of it maybe it was someone thinking about taking out those nukes – instead of Iran, he located the Savannah River bomb facility. They don’t make much over there anywhere (it’s much closer Augusta than Savannah, but near the river), but that’s where a whole bunch of fissionable material used to come from.

    • Replies: @JMcG
  121. @Jim Christian

    No, it wasn’t Jet Blue, Jim. I think it was a 737, but they’ve got that stuff on all the planes other than RJs and the Douglas planes. I like the moving maps too and get a window seat if at all possible.

  122. @Jim Christian

    Yes, that anniversary is coming up. I remember at least what the news told of the story back then. Maybe you have more inside info?

    • Replies: @Jim Christian
  123. Polynikes says:
    @frankie p

    And to completely prove Mr Burns point incorrect, a guy like McCain has plenty of experience with the horrors of war.

    Imagine holding Germans up as a morality to follow…lol.

  124. @Not My Economy

    Just click due south of the Caspian. It’s not that hard

  125. @Redneck farmer

    Nah, that’s from the early “we’ll be greeted as liberators stage”

    The grim reality is this

  126. @Pontius

    LOL!

    That reminds me of my story of selling some extra siding off Craigslist. The guy insisted that he didn’t need directions, as he has his GPS. When he got slightly lost while only 1/2 mile away, he called up finally. “Hey, I’m gonna turn around and get back to ‘Elm’ Street.” “No, you don’t have to turn around, I know where you are. What street are you crossing now?” “Well, I dunno… I’m off the GPS… ” “They got damn signs!”

    I was so pissed that I didn’t give him some extra siding that wasn’t part of the deal.

  127. I absolutely refuse to believe for one microsecond that 23% of american voters or non-voters could identify any foreign country on an unlabeled map of the world, with the obvious exceptions of Canada, Mexico, and maybe Australia. A claim that 23% of any large category of essentially random americans identifying a middle eastern country correctly is completely, absolutely absurd. I base this opinion on my interactions with americans of all stripes day after day, for years on end. Also supporting my completele disbelief in the 23% claim is the nature and content of the dialogue and debate among voters, mass media, and candidates in all national level elections, year after year. If the people of this country are mentally vacant enough to regularly and enthusiastically participate in these farces, then there is no way in hell that any detectable portion of them know anything whatsoever about the rest of the world, their own government, history, or much of anything besides sports and stupid television shows.

  128. Templar says:
    @Canadian Observer

    The girl in the nurses uniform is Franco Iranian…she is also the main squeeze of Jimmy Page.
    Bonus iSteve favourite Peep Show link
    0https://youtu.be/UArQNEqZjAY

  129. I bet Donald Trump could not find Iran on a map. Or if he did, he would extend its boundaries with a sharpie.

    • LOL: Rob
    • Replies: @J.Ross
  130. @Art Deco

    The Simpsons did it in 1996.

    • Replies: @Jane Plain
  131. @Peter Akuleyev

    There was a time when the big go-to Christmas presents for me were the World Almanac and the Information Please Sports Almanac. The Information Please Sports Almanac was so superior to the Sports Illustrated version that to me it was the first manifestation of the downfall of Sports Illustrated. Information Please Sports Almanac ended up getting bought out by ESPN.

  132. @FPD72

    Someone looks bad in this story, but not who you think.

  133. MT1798 says:
    @Art Deco

    I’ve hear plenty of “let’s turn the Middle East into a parking lot,” “make the sand glow/turn into glass.”

  134. J.Ross says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    I bet he has access to excellent maps and people who can explain necessary details, what with him being a president and all. I’d rather have an apparent idiot with deficiencies in geography than a law professor who allows himself to say out loud that an invasion and regime replacement operation will take less time than the installation of a new kitchen.

  135. @Jack D

    Can you find Iran on a map, $10 if you get it right?

    Exactly so. Without the proper incentive people are assholes. In a similar vein, when people claim not to see gender or race, I ask them that if they had to bet their jobs on guessing someone’s gender or race correctly, would they still be so obtuse? I’ve never gotten a response.

  136. @Whiskey

    Preposterous from top to bottom.

    Japan never entertained encircling the Pacific or even occupying Hawaii. They only went as far east as they did on 12/7/41 to reach the US Navy.

    The American public was something like 8:1 against entering the war as late as 1940. They didn’t even want us selling arms to Britain. Multiple polls were taken on the question. Roosevelt ran in 1940 saying “We will not send our armed forces to fight in lands across the sea.” It had nothing to do with Woody Guthrie and everything to do with disgust at the futile bloodbath of WW I. Public opinion only started to move when FDR backdoored his way into Lend-Lease and suddenly there were tons of defense jobs. Public opinion only broke for war decisively on 12/7/41.

    Other commenters have covered the Hitler stuff.

  137. @Kratoklastes

    I knew 5 American guys– drinking buddies and gymbros …For the same reason, they thought that Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland were all to the west of Germany… because all the WWII footage they remembered had Germans heading to the left of screen.

    What a load of BS.

    I do believe you had “gymbros” though.

  138. @Stan Adams

    I don’t believe you.

    Like Art Deco, I’ve never heard an American say anything remotely like that. I’ve been around all kinds of Americans. I’ve never heard even the most fist-pumping beer-drinking American-flag waving guy say that.

    As for Jews and part-Jews, nothing close.

    You’re a liar.

    “Mischling (German: [ˈmɪʃlɪŋ]; lit. “mix-ling”; plural: Mischlinge) was the legal term used in Nazi Germany to denote persons deemed to have both “Aryan” and Jewish ancestry.[1] The Germanic root is cousin to the Latin term whence the Spanish term mestizo and French term métis originate.”

    You’re a pro-Nazi liar, too.

  139. @Peter Akuleyev

    In the 1980s we had the Guinness Book of World Records and the People’s Almanac sitting in most most bathrooms. They contained most of human knowledge worth knowing.

    That’s a small subset of ‘worth knowing’.

    It just struck me that don’t think I’ve ever held a Guinness Book of World Records in my hands. I can’t think of more than 1 or 2 “-est”s (fastest, strongest, fattest, highest) that wouldn’t arise elsewhere. As kids we all knew that John Walker held the one-mile record (“3:49.4” was known to every Kiwi kiddie on the planet, I reckon), of course.

    Reading on the toilet is a very under-rated thing though. These days I tend to play ‘Real Racing 3‘ instead: I spend upwards of 4 hours a day reading (and a half-hour or so listening to audiobooks – Jonathan Cecil reads me Wodehouse as my bedtime stories).

    In our family in the 70s and 80s, my parents instituted rules about reading on the toilet: with 5 kids that’s a decent idea (banning reading on the toilet was never considered).

    The initial permitted-reading list was
    • any dictionary or thesaurus (we had at least 5 dictionaries if you include English/German, English/French etc);
    • any volume of Micropaedia (we had a complete, recent 15th ed. Britannica); or
    • the Bible (KJV) which was weird since both my parents were and are atheist (as far as I can tell).

    Macropaedia were excluded because nobody should have time to read an entire entry in the time it takes a kid to take a shit.

    I argued that the list should also include any “How and Why Wonder Book“, and “Tell Me Why” and “More Tell Me Why“: Dad said that would be OK so long as I was prepared to let my siblings have unfettered access to them. I declined: they were mine and lived in my room.

    My youngest sister was a fan of Astérix le Gaulois (only the ones written by Goscinny: pre-1977). She likewise refused to let anyone else share, so they weren’t permitted toilet-reading.

    Anyhow… as a policy it was a failure – if its aim was to reduce toilet congestion.

    I suspect that the actual aim was to change us boys’ loo-reading-material to something other than “Commando” comics (“Teufel – AARGH!!!” “Ach du Leiber!” “Take that, Fritz!“).

    .

    It’s really really weird to think that when we were kids we were always either outside ‘playing’ (not just sports: climbing trees, catching lizards/tadpoles etc), or inside reading (or making models etc).

    Contrast that with my nephews – who range in age from 30s down to teens – who have a thousands different forms of tech diversion, but are always “Bored“.

    My brother recently chided his youngest (now 19) that he didn’t recall ever saying (or thinking) “I’m bored“.

    We asked Mum later that week: she agreed – the hardest part of her day was getting us all inside for dinner.

    It shows what changes in the environment can do: I’m thinking here about the fact that food quality has declined enormously (even for fruit and vegetables), and junk food has gone from being a weekly treat (if you were lucky), to being an everyday thing.

    • Replies: @Jim Christian
  140. @ScarletNumber

    Oh sweet Jaysus. Can you guys get your heads out of your show-biz obsessed asses and look at the real world?

  141. Anonymous[969] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    Ask a dumb question and you’ll get a dumb answer.

  142. @Art Deco

    John McCain singing “Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb bomb Iran” to a Beach Boys tune.

    • Replies: @PiltdownMan
  143. @Achmed E. Newman

    Maybe you have more inside info?

    Nah, no info here. People used to ask me what I did aboard Nimitz, I’d tell em I shoveled coal for the furnaces. I can tell you what was public record somewhat afterwards and that is that the H-53s were old shit leftovers from Vietnam crossed-decked from Kitty Hawk, where they’d been riding along and rusting for months before we got them. They got them green, painted them sand, a few of them got some infrared pods retrofitted, but everything was a cannibalization exercise. Also, they had lousy security on the thing clear back to the Pentagon because so many people were in on it. Plus you had the Walker folks on the ship then, although, I can tell you, we were out in the middle of the Indian Ocean for a few months before the ‘rescue’, I don’t know how the Walker kid could have compromised anything back then. But I believe the after-action reporting among the services convinced them they needed the Special Operations Command if we were going to have integrated special forces from each of the services horning in on every operation that needed Delta/SEAL participation. For Iran Hostage, we had SEALs, Rangers, Berets, Air Force guys, Marines maybe, every service hadda have a piece of the pie, which is shit for security. Top it off, we know now that the hostages had been moved that very day. Had we even MADE it to Tehran, they wouldn’t have been there. We were so bad at such things then. Having unified SOC didn’t matter much for ten years, because after all, what was Black Hawk Down but yet another Special Forces fuckup, albeit Bill Clinton vs. Jimmuh Carter?

    Ah well. I liked it better before we were so good at all this. Or good enough to think we’re any good at all or why. Look like it’s worth nothing for anything so much as a money maker, a profit center. We should get our money back when they lose these wars.

    • Replies: @PiltdownMan
  144. @Jane Plain

    What you choose to believe is your concern, not mine.

    My acquaintance, who is indeed half-Jewish, is something of an asshole – a real misanthrope. The other day a lady sitting near us was coughing and he uttered, darkly, “Choke, bitch.” And he meant it. He’s a nasty, hateful prick. He treats his employees like crap even as he sucks up to his wealthier customers. But I don’t hate him so much as pity him. He’s an old, bitter man with lots of personal demons.

    If it will make you feel any better, I can report that I know some truly loathsome Christians. One holier-than-thou type who always gave me the creeps turned out to be a pedo cruising for little boys. I know plenty of Christian wife-beaters, criminals, drunks, addicts, etc.

    For the record, I get along fine with all kinds of people, good and bad, many of them Jewish. I’ve lived and worked around Jews all my life. At times I’ve even been assumed to be one. And I have no great love for Muslims, be they Arab or Persian.

    My transcription of the conversation was accurate. Make of it what you will.

    • Replies: @Jane Plain
  145. @Whiskey

    There needs to be a “stale propaganda” button.

  146. @John Gruskos

    John McCain singing “Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb bomb Iran” to a Beach Boys tune.

    The Beach Boy’s released their version of “Barbara Ann” about 18 months before John McCain was shot down over Hanoi. He must have liked the tune. McCain, of course, missed out on hearing all the rock music of the 1960s starting with the psychedelia phase that began around mid-1967, just before he was shot down. And, in any case, he would have been a bit too old, and too much from a navy family background to relate to it.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  147. @Jim Christian

    People used to ask me what I did aboard Nimitz, I’d tell em I shoveled coal for the furnaces

    LOL.

  148. Thank you for regurgitating the Jewish version of WW2. Yours is the hasbara storyline we have gotten in our high schools and colleges since 1945. But now thanks to the internet revisionism Chosen People Inc are at long last losing control of the WW2 narrative. This is why the ADL and other NKVD like organizations want to kill the first amendment. It’s a race to the finish line, isn’t it. But I thank you for telling me of Woody Guthrie’s songs about resisting “Roosevelt’s War for the Jews”. The 60’s folk movement – heavily Jewish – never told us about that Anyway I am busy learning everything I can about what really happened in the 30’s and 40’s and YOU just told me something I didn’t know. Funny how the truth outs if it is given a chance. We will see how long that lasts.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  149. @Jane Plain

    I have heard the same sort of murdrous ugly nonsense from the same sort of person.

    Instead of insulting people, try to get a grip on reality.

    It’s sometimes messy.

    • Replies: @Jim Christian
  150. JMcG says:
    @FPD72

    Who I’m sure didn’t know either.

  151. JMcG says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    How about the parts of your adopted country that voted for him and will in all likelihood vote for him again? Not as smart as you? Less likely to wear sandals? A more luxuriant beard and likely more tattoos? Probably wear baseball caps and not floppy hats? More likely to realize Haitians aren’t really all that great? How about those people? You would have done more good staying at home and voting for Tony Blair and Jeremy Corbyn.

  152. @Hapalong Cassidy

    I taught about the Persian Empire during one of my several years teaching. In some states Ancient History is a requirement, usually in middle school. Most History teachers are football coaches so they don’t take it too seriously.

    I taught modern World History most frequently. I spent a lot of time addressing the Ottoman Empire, Russian Revolution, French Revolution, English Civil War, etc. This made me the “weird teacher”…was told to focus more on the U.S & topics “relevant to the U.S” even though it was a World History course.

  153. JMcG says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    I was recently reminded by a comment or here that it is “fissile” material every rather than “fissionable”

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  154. @Bardon Kaldian

    Tanzania is easy. Right below Kenya.

    Paraguay, too….interior lower third of South America.

    Tajikstan is easy if you have the borders of China outlined. Not so much otherwise.

    The other 2 are pretty hard, though. Coastal West Africa is hard to memorize…lots of small countries with weird names.

    • Replies: @PiltdownMan
  155. @PiltdownMan

    People used to ask me what I did aboard Nimitz, I’d tell em I shoveled coal for the furnaces

    LOL.

    • Replies: @PiltdownMan
  156. @PiltdownMan

    People used to ask me what I did aboard Nimitz, I’d tell em I shoveled coal for the furnaces.

    LOL

    Most of my stuff was secret, there was other stuff of much higher classification, but nothing SC, just classified stuff. Maintenance manuals on the airplanes were classified secret. In those days, if a fly lands on a turd outside the hangar, well, THAT’S classified. Still, if anyone on the beach asked you anything, you told them something that pointed them to anything other than what you actually DID. For me, what I did? I shoveled coal. I fried eggs for breakfast, I weaved baskets at Liberty Call. You tell them you did shit-slinging, turd chasing, garbage dumping, coal shoveling. You never told them the truth because spooks were always trying to catch guys saying shit they oughtn’t.

    But you never, ever told anyone what you actually did. You have no idea how paranoid they were back then..

  157. @Kratoklastes

    You need help, Krato. Just saying. Your routine just bombed:

  158. @Jim Christian

    A LOL on two counts. Regarding your other comment, I was gently reminded of the same, some years ago, by one of the guys who used to work here

    http://fissilematerials.org/

    But he was miles above my intellectual pay grade so he was really nice about it.

    • Replies: @Jim Christian
  159. @S. Anonyia

    Paraguay, too….interior lower third of South America.

    Often confused with Uruguay. But it helps me to remember that Uruguay is near the sea (Battle of the River Platte.)

    Tajikstan is easy if you have the borders of China outlined. Not so much otherwise.

    As I pointed out, above, about Armenia, the problem with pinpointing many of these countries that may loom large in the news is that they are very tiny in area, relative to a map of the world, or even of the Eurasian landmass alone. That’s especially true of Central European countries and the Balkans, and countries in Asia Minor and Central Asia. As for most newer island republics, forget it.

  160. @PiltdownMan

    John McCain released his 10 favorite songs when running for President in 2008: they were pretty good. You could tell they were from before he went of to war in the mid-1960 and then from a couple of years after he got back in the 1970s: e.g., Dancing Queen.

  161. I have difficulty believing that 23% of Americans can find Iran on a world map. That percentage seems far too high. When I was a university student, a US polling firm did a nation-wide study and discovered, among other things, that a full 75% of Americans could not find their own country on a map of the world. Similar studies have been repeated many times since then, with essentially the same results among adults and students at all levels including university: about 75% of Americans couldn’t find either their country or Canada.

    One of the most famous references to this astonishing level of American ignorance occurred on US national television during a Miss Teen USA pageant when one of the finalists, Miss South Carolina, Caitlin Upton, was asked why most Americans couldn’t find their country on a world map. Here is her answer, which was posted on YouTube and received more than 40 million views: (You can still find it. It’s worth seeing.)

    “I personally believe that US Americans are unable to do so because, uh, some people out there in our nation don’t have maps and, uh, I believe that our, uh, education like such as, uh, South Africa and, uh, the Iraq, everywhere like such as, and, I believe that they should, our education over here in the US should help the US, uh, or, uh, should help South Africa and should help the Iraq and the Asian countries, so we will be able to build up our future for our children.” (27)

  162. 22pp22 says:

    That test was silly. I was asked to locate Spain, Somalia and Laos. Spain and Somalia were easy because they have coasts. For Laos I found northern Vietnam and moved inland a little. The test failed me. No one can be that accurate with a mouse.

    • Agree: Achmed E. Newman
    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  163. @but an humble craftsman

    I have heard the same sort of murdrous ugly nonsense from the same sort of person.

    Don’t blame Jane Plain, she’s either one of them, or she doesn’t get out much. I’ve seen and heard them in real estate offices, the legal profession, in schools, teachers, at college. This is a common sort. Most of them were women, but women are vicious in every way anyway, they’re a lousy part of humanity the minute they don’t get their way on something and sometimes, especially, when they ARE. Nature of women. Not sure if they were Jewish. Most of humanity, or the lack of same boils down to, I like that guy/Don’t like that guy. Human nature all over.

  164. @PiltdownMan

    But he was miles above my intellectual pay grade so he was really nice about it.

    I getcha. Unless someone is clearly idiotic, I assume most all are many intellectual miles above my paygrade. Then, I listen to them, pick their brains, read their books and ask too many questions. Ask Achmed E. Newman and other commenters, but also Martyanov, Unz, Sailerman, any of The Greats here, they’ll tell ya that Jim Christian is a pain in the ass for some years here. Like most, I gotta few perceptions, like few, lived life in strange circles, but those guys are formally educated in ways that mean something, as in beyond simple diplomas. When you strike intellectual gold, you don’t let it get away without asking a question or two.

  165. @Ayatollah Smith

    One of the most famous references to this astonishing level of American ignorance occurred on US national television during a Miss Teen USA pageant when one of the finalists, Miss South Carolina, Caitlin Upton, was asked why most Americans couldn’t find their country on a world map. Here is her answer, which was posted on YouTube and received more than 40 million views: (You can still find it. It’s worth seeing.)

    A sample size of one, and that one a ditzy teenager is hardly sufficient. One could “prove” any proposition at all with such a methodology. That said, I too find %23 suspiciously high.

  166. @Ayatollah Smith

    Chelsea Clinton is vapid like that–JUST like that, when she’s off-script. Girls get that way by being quite sheltered, maybe a little inbred, or by being beautiful because being beautiful, they just skate through life in their pretty little empty heads.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  167. @Stan Adams

    “My acquaintance, who is indeed half-Jewish, is something of an asshole – a real misanthrope. ”

    They come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and sexes, of which we now know there are 4,683. It has nothing to do with the fact that he’s half-Jewish, or American, or a man, or white.

    This is aberrant behavior, and not characteristic of any of the above groups, which, it seemed to me, was your original point.

    “Hey, I heard a mischling talk about nuking Iranians! Isn’t that JUST the way they talk?”

    And mischling is still a word lifted straight outta the Nazi vocabulary. I’d stay away from it, but what do I know?

    “He’s a fun drunk, isn’t he? If you really want to get him going, ask him his opinion of Greta Thunberg.”

    He’d fit in fine here, then.

    • Replies: @Stan Adams
  168. @JMcG

    “Fissile, fissionable, tomato, tomahtoe, 5 Megaton fission, 100 Megaton fusion, let’s call the whole thing off.”

  169. @22pp22

    That’s exactly what I was talking about above – it’s worse on a cruder touch-screen too. I can find Cyprus and New Zealand, so be happy, 22!

  170. @Ayatollah Smith

    The Caitlin Uptons of this world are not desirable for their brain power:

    • LOL: Johann Ricke
  171. @Kratoklastes

    The thing about Kuwait makes no sense.

  172. Jack D says:
    @Achilles Wannabe

    Next we will learn that Hitler was really a good man who was unfairly maligned by the Jews. Like Soleimani, he was assassinated by Washington on Zionist orders despite being a brave military commander who never did nuthin’ to America. There really is no end to “internet revisionism”. You can revise yourself all the way to topsy-turvy land where up is down and black is white.

    • Replies: @Achilles Wannabe
  173. Anonymous[266] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jim Christian

    Chelsea is not beautiful nor inbred. She has to have some IQ, though not exceptionally high.

    • Replies: @black sea
  174. @Jane Plain

    Fair enough.

    Mischling is catchier than half-Jew. But maybe we should coin a new word free of Nazi overtones.

    Jewtile? Gentbrew? Hebgoy?

    I like Jewlatto, myself, but that only applies to Lenny Kravitz. Jewban is a thing, but only in Miami.

    Mark Zuckerberg’s daughter might very well end up being called a JAPpa.

  175. black sea says:
    @Anonymous

    I’m going to guess that Chelsea Clinton has almost never run across any intelligent person who persistently challenged her most heartfelt ideas and unquestioned premises.

    She’s been encouraged and agreed with all her life because she was raised in a cultural, financial, and ideological bubble which she’s never been curious enough to set foot out of. This sort of experience is pretty common — you certainly don’t have to be the daughter or a president and a senator to live it — and it goes some distance toward explaining why there are large contingents of people who simply can’t imagine an intelligent person of reasonable goodwill taking a position different from their own on pretty much anything they happen to care about.

  176. “This is basically impossible.”

    Not to Ken Jennings, Holzhauer, or Rutter.

    (Yes, I realize they are all white! One guy has 1/4 Japanese ancestry! And Holzhauer and Rutter are German names!!!!)

  177. @Jack D

    Establishment history of WW 2 and its causes IS the “topsy-turvy land where up is down and black is white”

    • Replies: @Dr. Evil
  178. Dr. Evil says:
    @Achilles Wannabe

    Establishment history of WW 2 and its causes IS the “topsy-turvy land where up is down and black is white”Establishment history of WW 2 and its causes IS the “topsy-turvy land where up is down and black is white”

    True, if you mean the Russian establishment.

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