Saturday, May 18, 2013


And come to that, suggested?

Whoever writes the blurbs for the NYT's front page ought to sack up. How about saying what the article really says; e.g., Good writing need not be constrained by dictionary definitions?

The article would be better with some more examples, but it does offer something rare, to you, a decent person with your head on straight: the opportunity to agree with someone who writes for The Weekly Standard.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Fun fact of the day

An excerpt from "The Chutzpah Caucus:"

... Keynesian economics says not just that you should run deficits in bad times, but that you should pay down debt in good times. And it’s silly to imagine that this will happen, right?

Wrong. The key measure you want to look at is the ratio of debt to G.D.P., which measures the government’s fiscal position better than a simple dollar number. And if you look at United States history since World War II, you find that of the 10 presidents who preceded Barack Obama, seven left office with a debt ratio lower than when they came in. Who were the three exceptions? Ronald Reagan and the two George Bushes. So debt increases that didn’t arise either from war or from extraordinary financial crisis are entirely associated with hard-line conservative governments.

Monday, May 06, 2013

My mind is a terrible thing

I glanced at this three times before I realized it did not say "Dana Fetish Cubes."

I didn't know Rachel Maddow had a new book out

What's most amazing to me is that the wingnuts haven't swarmed the Amazon page to give it one star ratings. Particularly given the topic.

(At least as of this moment, it's at 4.5.)

Probably I won't read it. Sounds like something I already agree with on every point, and who needs reinforcement on such a discouraging matter?

Hat tip to Dok Zoom and his latest post in the series "Sundays With The Christianists." This one is on "A Biology Textbook With Dinosaurs On Noah’s Ark." The connection between these two items? A service advisory at the end of the post: next week's SWTC will be preempted by Dok hosting a discussion of Maddow's book.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Now, that's entertainment

And it's not just the headline.

Chinese “spy” caught with NASA laptop full of porn, not secrets

There's also the backstory.

Jiang, a former contractor at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, had recently been let go by his employer because of pressure from Republican congressman Frank Wolf of Virginia. Wolf had claimed Jiang and other Chinese engineers employed by NASA contractors were a security risk. And that day, it seemed so—Jiang had a NASA-owned laptop in his possession, and was on a plane back to China.

But it quickly became apparent that Jiang was at worst guilty of violating NASA policies. There was no evidence of any sensitive material on the laptop, and Jiang didn't have clearance to such projects at Langley as an employee of the National Institute of Aerospace. Instead, investigators found, the laptop was loaded with pornography and pirated movies. Since he had lost his job and his work visa was expiring, Jiang simply was going home—with a little entertainment.

A press release issued by Wolf after the arrest and copy of Jiang's arrest warrant have since disappeared off the congressman's website. In the release (cached by Google here), Wolf had said, "I am particularly concerned that (the) information (on Jiang's laptop) may pertain to the source code for high-tech imaging technology that Jiang has been working on with NASA. This information could have significant military applications for the Chinese Peoples Liberation Army."

Wednesday, May 01, 2013


The NYT sure does love that weasel word.

The piece itself is a little more honest, to be fair.