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"Losing my faith in humanity ... one neocon at a time."

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Confusing hyperbole and hypotenuse

posted by Jazz at 1/20/2005 08:03:00 AM

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It's hard to laugh while America's new Nero is playing his fiddle as Iraq burns, but today Maureen Dowd gave me a smile. Seemingly a bit incensed at the recent gaff over Lawrence Summers' comments about women being genetically disinlined to math skills, Dowd decides to keep a sense of humor about it and questions Condi Rice's math skills.

She's clearly a well-educated, intelligent woman, versed in Brahms and the Bolsheviks, who has just been rewarded for her loyalty with the most plum assignment in the second Bush cabinet. Yet her math skills are woefully inadequate.

She can't do simple equations. She doesn't even know that X times zero equals zero. If you multiply 1,370 dead soldiers times zero weapons of mass destruction, that equals zero achievement for Ms. Rice, who helped the president and vice president bamboozle the country into war.

Our new top diplomat has obviously not mastered fractions. When she asserted during her confirmation hearing that 120,000 Iraqi troops had been trained, Senator Joe Biden corrected her, saying she was off by a bit. His calculation of trained Iraqi troops was actually 4,000 - hers was 30 times that. Maybe she's confusing hyperbole and hypotenuse.
There's plenty more in the same style. The numbers she uses for her math class examples are horrifying, but she still finds a way to laugh.