One of the symptoms of the derangement of today's right wing is innumeracy. I'll grant that this is a broad-based problem not confined to the ranks of teabaggers and other exponents of troglodytic conservatism, but these people have a peculiar talent for making a hash of math and then solemnly assuring each other of the significance of their screwed-up calculations. Today I ran across a characteristic pair of examples from Free Republic, the Fresno-based sink of deranged teabagging. They occurred in comments in a thread devoted to bemoaning the ratification of the New Start treaty, which apparently entails the unilateral disarmament of the United States and its immediate surrender to
By an amazing coincidence, the 71-26 vote in the Senate is almost exactly the same percentage as the Parliament’s vote in support of Chamberlain’s Munich Agreement (369-150).Let's check StanFran's math, shall we?
28 posted on Wednesday, December 22, 2010 1:24:45 PM by StanFran
A total of 97 senators cast votes on the New Start treaty. The ayes were 71/97 = 73.2% and the nays were 26/97 = 26.8%. (Amazingly, these add up to 100%!) Now let's consider the British parliament's vote on the Munich agreement. The ayes were 369/519 = 71.1%, while the nays were 150/519 = 28.9%.
Do you believe that 73.2% is “almost exactly the same” as 71.1%? If you don't, then you don't qualify as a Freeper. Furthermore, you must seek dark significance in the purported (but actually nonexistent) equality.
It would actually be more accurate to point out that Ronald Reagan was almost exactly 71.1 years old when he delivered his Indianapolis speech in 1982 on the New Federalism, thus proving (proving!) that he was secretly inspired by Neville Chamberlain and actually intended the New Federalism to serve as a disguise for the New World Order ushered in by his successor, George Herbert Walker Bush. Subtle! And scary!
The second example of bad counting was provided in an angry observation about ratification having been accomplished in a lame-duck session of the Senate:
Why are FIRED employees still making decisions that affect the health and well being of the company (country)?“Fired” employees? Let's check the roster of New Start supporters. Recall that there were 71 of them. How many were actually rejected by the voters last November (as opposed to retiring of their own volition)? The first senator who fits the bill is Bennett of Utah, a Republican who was denied renomination by his own party. Next is Feingold, the Wisconsin Democrat who will be sorely missed. Continuing down the list, we find Lincoln of Arkansas, the hapless Democrat who unfortunately survived a primary challenge and flopped spectacularly on election day. Finally, there's Specter of Pennsylvania, the long-time Republican who switched to the Democratic Party in a futile attempt to survive.
They should be shown the door with a swift boot to help them along the way.
26 posted on Wednesday, December 22, 2010 1:23:45 PM by SunTzuWu (Political correctness does not legislate tolerance; it only organizes hatred. - Barzun)
Count them up. That's it. Four. New Start would have gotten 67 votes even without the support of the “fired” senators. For the benefit of Freepers and other ignorant types, that's the two-thirds majority required for ratification of treaties. New Start was not nudged over the finish line by supposedly discredited legislators.