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Thu Aug 2, 2012, 09:48 AM

Jared Diamond: Romney Mischaracterized My Work

Jared Diamond: Romney Mischaracterized My Work

Author Jared Diamond argues that Mitt Romney’s controversial comments about Israeli culture, which featured a reference to his own book, misrepresent his work in a New York Times op-ed Thursday. Diamond sets the record straight with a brief summer of his own thesis, arguing that both geography and culture play a role in a nation’s successes.

In Israel, Romney said that the country’s culture accounts for its economic success, which he then juxtaposed to the economy of Palestine. Romney contrasts this cultural emphasis with Diamond’s book “Guns, Germs and Steel” which he says “basically says the physical characteristics of the land account for the differences in the success of the people that live there. There is iron ore on the land and so forth.”

“That is so different from what my book actually says that I have to doubt whether Mr. Romney read it,” Diamond writes in his op-ed. “My focus was mostly on biological features, like plant and animal species, and among physical characteristics, the ones I mentioned were continents’ sizes and shapes and relative isolation. I said nothing about iron ore, which is so widespread that its distribution has had little effect on the different successes of different peoples. (As I learned this week, Mr. Romney also mischaracterized my book in his memoir, ‘No Apology: Believe in America.’)”

Diamond ends with another Romney rebuke.

Mitt Romney may become our next president. Will he continue to espouse one-factor explanations for multicausal problems, and fail to understand history and the modern world? If so, he will preside over a declining nation squandering its advantages of location and history.

http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entries/jared-diamond-romney-mischaracterized-my-work


<...>

I'm reminded of an anecdote the Wall Street Journal recently published.

Mr. Romney made that clear at a July fundraiser in Montana as he rehashed the challenges Mr. Reagan faced when he took office. He recounted how Mr. Baker, a former secretary of state, held a national security meeting about Latin America during the first 100 days of Mr. Reagan's presidency.

"And after the meeting, President Reagan called me in and said, 'I want no more national-security meetings over the next 100 days -- all of our time has to be focused on getting our economy going,' " Mr. Romney recalled Mr. Baker saying.

In reality, this exchange between Reagan and Baker never happened. I don't know who told Romney this or whether Romney simply made it up out of whole cloth, but Reagan dealt with plenty of national-security meetings early in his presidency -- as all presidents do.

- more -

http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2012/08/01/13073227-he-didnt-forget-poland-but-he-skipped-afghanistan

Mitt makes shit up as he goes along.

There is something seriously wrong with Mitt Romney: He's a pathological liar
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021054693




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Reply Jared Diamond: Romney Mischaracterized My Work (Original post)
ProSense Aug 2012 OP
doohnibor Aug 2012 #1
Lucy Goosey Aug 2012 #2
JHB Aug 2012 #3
Blanks Aug 2012 #4
reflection Aug 2012 #5
DCKit Aug 2012 #6
arbusto_baboso Aug 2012 #7

Response to ProSense (Original post)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 09:57 AM

1. Reagan wouldn't mind (err, if he had a mind)

 

In fact, I think that this is proof that Ronnie "trees cause pollution", "ketchup is a vegetable", "welfare queens drive Cadillacs", "government IS the problem" Reagan has been reincarnated and is working as a staff writer for the Mittster.

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 10:02 AM

2. Hee! And, ouch.

Ouch:
"That is so different from what my book actually says that I have to doubt whether Mr. Romney read it"


I wonder if Mitt read the book and didn't understand it? Or if he didn't read it at all?

I think it's likely that he did read it, but has managed to misconstrue it in a way that supports his own beliefs, if that makes any sense. I mean that he deliberately didn't learn anything new, he ignored anything that might challenge or inform his beliefs, and he seized on little nuggets that he has since twisted in his head to support the belief that Palestinians are culturally inferior to Israelis because of iron ore or something.

I don't understand Mitt, but I find it kind of fascinating to try. I think his thought processes work very differently from mine.

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Response to Lucy Goosey (Reply #2)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 10:11 AM

3. I think you have the right of it...

...although I think it's possible he's just going by second-hand summaries.

He definitely missed the parts about why some societies declined.

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 10:38 AM

4. I wonder if Mitt thinks iron ore is a plant or an animal?

My focus was mostly on biological features, like plant and animal species, and among physical characteristics, the ones I mentioned were continents’ sizes and shapes and relative isolation. I said nothing about iron ore


So Reagan said "ketchup is a vegetable".

Romney says "iron ore is a vegetable"

I'd hate to see what school lunches look like in a Romney administration.

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 10:56 AM

5. I am currently re-reading this book

it is bar none the best book I have ever read. Yes, Mr. Diamond points out so many variables to explain the fates of nations that it would be disingenuous to concentrate on any particular one. My guess is that Mitt skimmed the book, remembered the title, and somehow proffered a quick lame 'iron ore' excuse based on that alone.

I would strongly recommend this book to anyone who wants a well-thought out history of the world that you won't find in conventional texts. I'm not saying it's absolute truth, but Mr. Diamond weaves many compelling arguments, backed up with voluminous amounts of data. When I finished the book, my paradigm about the modern world was completely turned on its head.

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 02:38 PM

6. Willard Mitt Romney: Captain Oblivious nt

 

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 02:44 PM

7. Well, since Diamond's book also shows how the Book of Mormon is an utter impossibility...

can you blame Mitt for "modifying" it to fit the points he wants to make?

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