Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Can a Big Lie Get Bigger?

We all know the often cited factoid that Katrina's effects covered an area as large as the United Kingdom. This is, of course, an exageration. However, everything is bigger with Republicans, and that includes exageration. Take this jewel from Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska.

[He} said the administration is "getting a bad rap" for the emergency response.

"This is the largest disaster in the history of the United States, over an area twice the size of Europe," Stevens said. "People have to understand this is a big, big problem."

TWICE THE SIZE OF EUROPE!!!!! Why didn't he just say twice the size of the United States, that would be more impressive. How fucking stupid do they think we are? I guess they only have thier supporters to go by and they ARE pretty stupid.

12 Thoughts:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Should we laugh or cry?

"How fucking stupid do they think we are? I guess they only have ***thier*** supporters to go by and they ARE pretty stupid."

Ah, the irony.

And then this: "everything is bigger with Republicans" + "Take this jewel from Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska" = a Freudian field-day!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005 11:09:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Barb, is that you?

Wednesday, September 07, 2005 9:10:00 AM  
Blogger Zeppellina said...

I heard the one about the disaster zone being the size of the UK....but twice the size of Europe....?!!!!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005 9:39:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

What numbers can tell you about spin:

1. Area of England = 50,350 sq mi. (Encarta)

"In all, there are 90,000 square miles under federal disaster declaration." (Source.)

Let's round to 50,000 sq. mi. That means 224 miles x 224 miles. Let's round up to 225 miles x 225 miles (to take into account or rounding down earlier.) For a storm that was nearly 500 miles across when it hit, and which didn't peter out till mid-continent, I'd say that "England" is an underestimate, which matches other underestimates from one version of the spin cycle: "Well, the TV said NO dodged a bullet, so..." Richard Meyers was quoted as saying as much on NPR this morning, while extolling the virtues of the response. Of course, if NO dodged the bullet, even by the logic of the metaphor, the bullet hit somewhere, no?

2. Now, Europe is 3,998,000 sq mi. Twice that is about 8,000,000 sq mi. That's two orders of magnitude above what the federal disaster area is (unless that has changed). That matches the other WH spin, which is logically antithetical to the earlier spin: "Oh, it's so big we couldn't possibly have been prepared no matter what we did -- act of God! act of God!"

Wednesday, September 07, 2005 9:43:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Hey, Zep:

Size of the UK = 94,251 sq mi.

That's about right. I assume BBC or ITN got this right.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005 9:55:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Not that many Americans know the difference between "England" and "The United Kingdom," when the UK began, what's happening with devolution now, how Scotland is dealing with it, the fact that the UK seems to have made major progress with the IRA and vice versa...

Do Americans even know we invaded Canada twice (not counting the Seven Years/French and Indian War, when we were just colonies)? I hear periodically how the US and Canada have never had a war or any border trouble.

Seward, Lincoln's Sec. of State, wanted to end the Civil War by uniting with the South to invade Canada, Mexico and Central and South America. Really. Then, we'd colonize South America with "our Negroes". Lincoln wisely ignored this outlandish scheme.

But anyone who doesn't think we've been an empire for centuries is out of his or her mind.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005 9:59:00 AM  
Blogger Kyahgirl said...

wwhhhhattt???You mean Canada isn't part of the US?

Wednesday, September 07, 2005 10:33:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...


Yeah, really. Well, we've wanted it for centuries!

I'd rather see Canada take over the US at this point!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005 10:37:00 AM  
Blogger Kyahgirl said...

Oh Dug, the mind just boggles at the thought!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005 1:21:00 PM  
Blogger Zeppellina said...

We`ve got sort of used to US reporters
talking about England, when really they mean the UK!! :-)

Many Scots, myself included, do not particularly think of themselves as being British. I always say that I am Scottish and European.

Most Scots are pleased that we finally have our own parliament again, but are unhappy about the restrictions placed upon it.
Scotland was an extremely old sovereign country before the union.

The govt relented and gave a parliament again to stem the rising calls for independance.
(When the Labour party first formed, all those years ago, it quickly established itself in Scotland because it promised a Scottish parliament...we waited a long time).

It would be fair to say that our political outlook in Scotland was generally at odds with England.
Scotland suffered all those years of a Thatcher govt despite the fact that something like 98% of the Scottish population voted against her.
Hence the cries again for independance. It was felt that if 98% of our country voted against, then our vote didn`t really count in the long run, because we would always be outnumbered.
By the 3rd tory term, there was not a single tory MP in Scotland, we were a tory free zone!

Unfortunately, there are 2 problems with our parliament, one is what it is allowed to legislate on. The second problem is the labour-liberal pact.
We wanted free college/university education in Scotland, most of us believe that education is a right, and not a privilege.
Even the Liberals in Scotland thought so...but, when it came to the vote, because of the lib-dem pact, the liberals sold out.
I was fortunate enough to have been educated under the old grant system, my education, like many others, was free. It was this system we wished to restore. It didn`t happen.
We are not allowed to legislate on, for example, removing the Trident nuclear submarines from the Scottish waters, or anything else that might compromise the Westminster parliament.
I believe that Westminster has the right to suspend the Scottish parliament if they ever saw fit, although, I think they realise that this could now never happen.

But there are a lot of people here who don`t know their own history either. I am pleased that English people, after devolution, began to ask about their own history.
They had always been taught, as were we, the history of the empire.
Now they are asking about their own, which is a rich history.
But there are still many here who do not realise that Scotland had a famine too, and of the Highland clearances, where, people were loaded onto the slave boats and their crofts burned, and transported to America and Canada. They don`t realise that Scots were sold alongside black slaves in Jamaica. Or that just after the first world war there was a fear that there was about to be a revolution, and there were English tanks on George Square in Glasgow, with a curfew!!!
History gets swept under the carpet everywhere!!

We loved the South Park movie here about Canada!!
Canada still has the largest number of Scottish Gaelic speakers outside Scotland, you know! :-)

We`re an interesting wee country!!!
People have always been one of our biggest exports!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005 9:55:00 PM  
Blogger Zeppellina said...

oops!.....sorry that was so long....

bet you`re sorry youmentioned Devolution now....!!! :-)

Wednesday, September 07, 2005 10:07:00 PM  
Blogger Demotiki said...


Since they just spun my post instead of answering it, I would guess that anonymous is a righty. Thanks for looking up the numbers.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005 11:37:00 PM  

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