The Ugly American, lost in the weeds

The Ugly American


The phrase “The Ugly American” may have originated with Constantino Arias’ photo of the same name, showing a 1950s Batista-era tourist in Havana, Cuba. But the term is best known for the 1958 fictionalized political science novel by Eugene Burdick and William Lederer which graphically describes the failures of the U.S. diplomatic corps in Southeast Asia. In 1967…

Just focus on the ripe cherries; pay no attention to any others

Fallacies: Cherry Picking


If you judged fresh cherries only by he ones sold in supermarkets, you’d conclude that all cherries are ripe, good-looking and healthy. But the cherries sold in supermarkets aren’t a representative sample; they represent the very best, not a random sample of all cherries growing on the trees. It’s an example of selection bias, an…

Jeff Sessions announces the Trump Administration is killing DACA

Laugh at Your Peril


Desiree Fairooz laughed out loud at Sen. Richard Shelby’s (R, Alabama) assertion that Senator Jeff Sessions had a “clear and well-documented” record of “treating all Americans equally under the law.” That was during Sessions’ confirmation hearing to be Attorney General. The Justice Department has announced it will retry Fairooz, who was arrested for her laughter during…

MAGA? Not on the Evidence.

Exactly the Opposite


“Make America Great Again”? WC wonders if it isn’t exactly the opposite. If Trump doesn’t have a checklist of everything that made America great, and then set out to destroy everything on that list, it’s not for lack of trying. The idea isn’t new to WC; Gary Kasparov, among others, has suggested the same thing.…